ARTC made significant progress with repair works between Telarah and Dungog over the weekend and as a result we are able to bring forward the forecast to return the ARTC network along the mid North Coast operations, with some certainty.
We will be reopening the North Coast line between Telarah and Taree for operations as of 10am this Saturday morning (9 May). This will allow a full return to Sydney – Brisbane, export coal and passenger rail services from this timeframe onwards.
The forecast has been able to be brought forward for a number of reasons:
· Heavy rains that affected areas from Port Macquarie north over the weekend avoided the work sites and did not limit material supplies or site access
· The ability to deliver truck movements from Martin’s Creek Quarry in double-shifts, 18-hours per day
· Round-the-clock work periods
The regrettable cancellation of the Tocal Agricultural Days also helped, providing consistent access over three days through the main access point to the major washaway sites – which would have otherwise, understandably, resulted in limited truck movements.
We cannot thank the Agricultural College enough for their assistance over the last two weeks in allowing us access to the main repair sites, their support has been immense in allowing us to return operations quickly, safely and ahead of schedule.
Following completion of civil works later this week, there will be final track testing and certification requirements before the track can be formally reopened.
ARTC operations staff are already underway planning a return to service with our customers, and will manage a staged, balanced return to operations from Saturday morning onwards.
We would again like to thank our customers, the community, the SES, Councils, NSW EPA and wider stakeholders for their support and assistance in allowing us to return operations as quickly and safely as possible as well as Kempsey Shire Council and Greater Taree City Council who have assisted with alternative freight arrangements at Kempsey and Taree rail yards.
We would also like to thank the Martin’s Creek, Paterson and Tocal communities for their patience with the increased truck movements and rail works in their communities to allow this critical repair work to take place.
We will provide a short update on our website on Saturday confirming the return to services.
Media Contact: Bas Bolyn, ARTC, 0477 340 658