Safely completing the planned maintenance works the core focus as Hunter Valley Coal Network shuts for three-days.

Safely completing the planned maintenance works the core focus as Hunter Valley Coal Network shuts for three-days.

  • Major maintenance work will take place throughout the coal network in the Hunter Valley next week from Kooragang Island in Newcastle to the Ulan region.
  • The three-day shutdown is required for maintenance personnel to gain safe access to the track, delivering projects to ensure a safe, reliable network.
  • Ongoing rigorous controls remain in place to minimise the risks of COVID-19 exposure to the community and workers involved in the maintenance shutdown.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) will carry out a major maintenance shutdown of the Hunter Valley Coal Network from Kooragang Island in Newcastle to Ulan.

From 4-6 August, around 700 workers will conduct over 400 separate maintenance jobs including:

  • Upgrading of 450 metres of track formation
  • Laying over 10 kilometres of new rail track
  • Ballast replacement of 450 metres of track
  • Preventative and routine maintenance tasks
  • The initiation of major construction works on the Muswellbrook Bridges replacement

As part of this shutdown ARTC will reuse processed excavated materials, known as ‘spoil’, as part of a planned track reconditioning project at Farley.

ARTC Group Executive Hunter Valley, Wayne Johnson said ARTC is where possible, processing spoil for reuse in future rail projects and exploring uses through local waste recyclers and potential to recycle for social benefit projects.

“Sustainably going about our business is increasingly important and we want to ensure we are reusing materials, that otherwise would have become waste where we can, including appropriate ballast, formation, aggregate and fines fill material,” Mr Johnson said.

“We did the first trial in March this year where spoil was screened, crushed and tested for suitability to use for a rail reconditioning project and we used it again successfully during the May shutdown for the reconditioning of 240 metres of track,” he said.

“For this shutdown, recycled material will be used to recondition 330 metres of track.”

Mr Johnson said the work requires the rail movement shutdown of the coal network to be carried out as safely as possible.

“COVID-19 requires ongoing vigilance in many aspects, as such, the health and safety throughout the works is of critical importance so we have ongoing strict hygiene protocols in place to minimise potential risks to the community and the teams involved in the Hunter Valley maintenance shutdown,” he said.

“All of the combined frontline teams continue to practice social distancing and minimising interactions with the local community, as an example, where previously we would have door knocked to inform nearby neighbours of the upcoming works, we will do a letterbox drop of information flyers instead.”

“The work will generally start at 6.30am on Tuesday, August 4 and is expected to be completed about 8.30pm on Thursday August 6.

“We thank our customers, community and motorists across the network for their patience while we carry out this important planned maintenance program.”

Alternative bus services will be provided for impacted passenger services, and details and schedules can be found at the Transport NSW website.

The next major maintenance shutdown is scheduled from September 22-24, 2020.  For further details

Media contact: ARTC media team 1300 196 401

Link to images of spoil on the Hunter Valley network here.

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