Modern maintenance readies track for grand old ladies of steam

  • Trackwork from 6am, Tuesday, April 4 – 8pm, Thursday, April 6
  • More than $20 million worth of track work in three days

While Maitland celebrates all things rail during the upcoming Steamfest, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is getting on with the job of keeping the vital rail infrastructure in the Hunter Valley up to scratch with major maintenance works scheduled next week.

More than $20 million worth of essential maintenance will see sections of the track shut down to ensure works can be completed promptly and safely before thousands descend on Maitland for Steamfest.

Works will take place from Kooragang in the Port area, north through Maitland, up to Narrabri and west from Muswellbrook on the Ulan line.

ARTC will undertake a range of scheduled maintenance tasks including full track reconstructions, new rail being laid, level crossing improvements, ballast cleaning, rail corridor tidy up works and signalling maintenance.

The Hunter Valley is the largest coal railway network anywhere in the world so regular maintenance is critical said ARTC’s Executive General Manager, Hunter Valley Jonathan Vandervoort.

“More than 200 trains a day carry freight and passengers around our busy network and these maintenance works are essential to improve the system and keep trains running safely.

“We also have the privilege of hosting additional rail visitors this month, with some grand old steam engines making an appearance on our network during Maitland Steamfest over the weekend of 8 and 9 April,” Mr Vandervoort said.

“That’s nothing to puff about and we are proud to have been supporting Steamfest with train paths and train planning support for nearly 15 years; and the maintenance of our network is another way we help support the iconic event.

“We’d like to thank the community for their patience with us while this important work is delivered and we also ask motorists to take extra care and be cautious of trucks entering and exiting work sites.”

“These network-wide track maintenance works are part of an intricately planned schedule, taking into account the needs of the coal network as well as other events, such as avoiding school holiday periods and the iconic annual Steamfest,” Mr Vandervoort said.


Note to newsdesks: There are road closures during this shutdown, please see below for details.

Media Contact: Bas Bolyn, ARTC, 0477 340 658

  • Visit our trackwork calendar.
  • See video of some shutdown works in action: Coggan Creek project delivered by Abergeldie on behalf of ARTC

Road closures

ARTC is carrying out important maintenance works at a number of level crossings, details as follows:

  • Baranbah Street, Baan Baa 6:30am 4 April to 8:00pm 6 Apri
  • Mayfield Road, Baan Baa 6:30am 4 April to 8:00pm 6 April
  • Wollombi Road, Farley 6:00am 3 April to 8:00am 7 April
  • Rouchel Road, Aberdeen: 9am – 6pm 4 April
  • Middle Falbrook Road, Glennies Creek: 4am 5 April to 6pm 6 April
  • Liverpool Street, Scone: 9.30am – 3pm 5 April
  • Brook Street, Muswellbrook: 6am 4 April – 8pm 6 April
  • Golden Highway, Denman: 7am 4 April – 7pm 5 April
  • Polding Street, Murrurundi: 5pm 5 April – 9am 6 April
  • Cemetery Road, Whittingham: 6am 5 April – 6pm 6 April

During maintenance periods the level crossings will be closed continuously for access from both sides. Please plan ahead for the disruptions these closures may cause and try avoid these areas around the proposed works periods to avoid inconvenience.

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