Maintenance work next week to boost performance

The Hunter Valley coal chain will get an uptick in performance shortly thanks to a massive network maintenance shutdown next week, Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) Executive General Manager Hunter Valley, Jonathan Vandervoort said today.

Over 100 projects to improve throughput and reliability are scheduled to take place, furthering the Hunter Valley coal chain’s already high level of service delivery.

“Keeping the rail network running safely and smoothly is a bit likely running a finely tuned racing car,” Mr Vandervoort said.

“There are multiple components that intricately work together for it to perform well and it requires an in-depth check-up and regular maintenance to ensure it continues running safely for over 250 train services a day.

“That’s exactly the focus that will drive over 1000 of our staff and contractors next week, when we deliver millions of dollars’ worth of maintenance work at locations across the Valley.”

The network closedown starts from early in the morning of Tuesday 31 May to 6am Friday 3 June between the Port and Narrabri.

Ulan line works from Muswellbrook to Ulan will run slightly longer from 6am Tuesday to 8pm Friday.

Typical rail maintenance tasks like replacing sleepers, cleaning and compacting ballast, welding rail and technical jobs like signalling work will also take place.

“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,” Mr Vandervoort said.

“It’s far more efficient to package the vast amount of work needed into 72 hours rather than spread over many nights and in-between live running rail traffic.”

“These shutdowns are planned more than a year in advance and we closely work with the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator to make sure we minimise the impact on our customers,” 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 is planned for 23-25 August. There will also be some weekend maintenance trackwork around the port 11-13 June.


Media Contact: Bas Bolyn, ARTC, 0477 340 658

Please visit or for passenger service impacts.


There will be level crossing and road closures during the maintenance shutdown next week. This includes:

  • The level crossing on Rosemount Road, Denman being closed on Wednesday 1st June from 9:30am to 12:00noon
  • The level crossing on Mangoola Road, Denman being closed on Wednesday 1st June from 12:00noon to 2:30pm
  • The level crossing at the Narrabri saleyards level crossing (between Namoi and Doyle Streets) for one week between 31 May and 7 June 2016. Traffic management will be in place and alternative access will be via Doyle Street (the old Newell Highway).
  • There will also be disruption to traffic around the railway overpass area of the Newell Highway (to the north of town) – with traffic speeds reduced between 23 May and 6 June to allow for safe exit and entry of trucks visiting the work site.

We would like to advise motorists to take care, slow down, allow for additional travel time and be cautious of trucks entering and exiting the work site.

Go to top