The Hunter Valley economy is set for another cash injection next week, as the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) undertakes around $20 million worth of rail maintenance work along the coal chain’s rail corridor.
ARTC’s annual maintenance program in the Hunter Valley pumps more than $100 million into the local Hunter economy every year, Executive General Manager – Hunter Valley Jonathan Vandervoort said.
“That benefits everyone from local hoteliers, restaurants and the corner store to quarries, equipment hire and contract labour companies,” Mr Vandervoort said.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but the maintenance work we do is not funded by the taxpayer – including improvements to Hunter passenger lines.
“Everything is paid for by the revenue we earn from our customers and almost all of the important maintenance work we deliver next week will involve or support local Hunter businesses.”
Over 100 individual projects to keep the rail network safe and reliable will take place during the network closedown from 6am Wednesday 27 April to late Friday evening 29 April.
Typical rail maintenance tasks like replacing sleepers, cleaning and compacting ballast, welding rail and technical jobs like signalling work, will take place throughout the rail corridor.
“By ‘closing down’ the network and with fewer trains running we create a safer environment for our people and provide the opportunity to get the maximum amount of rail maintenance done in an efficient amount of time,” Mr Vandervoort said.
“It’s the most efficient and safe way to package the vast amount of work needed rather than spread over many nights and in-between live running rail traffic.”
Maintenance work will take place throughout the Hunter Valley from the Port to Narrabri and from Muswellbrook to Ulan.
“These shutdowns are planned more than a year in advance and we closely work with the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator and our customers to make sure we minimise impact on the Hunter coal chain,” Mr Vandervoort said.
“We would like to thank the community for their patience and understanding while the works take place as we appreciate it does cause inconvenience.”
The next major, network-wide maintenance shutdown will be 19-21 July.
Media Contact: Bas Bolyn, 0477 340 658