With flood waters dropping over the weekend and improved weather conditions, ARTC teams have been able to make good progress with repairs to the track between the Port of Newcastle and Maitland.
Thanks to the support of Pacific National, a test train has been able to run between the port and Maitland to de-scale the rail and ensure all the repaired signalling and track circuitry is working properly.
As a result, a reduced frequency local passenger train service between Hamilton and Maitland will be able to run from tomorrow morning (Monday 27 April). Passengers are advised to go to www.nswtrainlink.info and www.sydneytrains.info for further information about timetabling and services.
The Maitland flood gates remain up but water has been dropping at a rate that we expect the gates to be removed tomorrow morning. There are still sections of track with high water levels around Wallis Creek, and this will be the key area of focus for our team after the flood gates come down.
Some parts of the network are still without power, and there remains a sizeable track repair and signalling repair job to take place over coming days.
ARTC crews will continue to work through the week to return the track to normal operating conditions. Residents are advised that this will involve heavy track repair machines working around-the-clock conducting track resurfacing and rail grinding. This is essential to get the network back up and running and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
ARTC will continue to work with our customers and the Hunter coal chain on an operational start up plan for coal, passenger and general freight that will take into account the need to meet passenger timetables, provide coal customers with access to the Port and above all, safety. We thank our customers and all the operators for their patience and assistance so far and Council and SES for their advice and support.
The mid North Coast track remains closed.
Media Contact: Bas Bolyn, ARTC, 0477 340 658