Major bridge work continuing in Muswellbrook during Hunter Valley Coal Network shutdown

  • Major work on bridges will take place on the coal network in Muswellbrook during the maintenance shutdown next week.
  • The three-day shutdown is required for maintenance personnel to gain safe access to the track, delivering projects to ensure a safe, reliable network. 
  • High noise generating piling works has been adjusted to reduce the impact on the community during the maintenance shutdown period. 

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) will continue its work replacing three rail bridges in Muswellbrook as part of their maintenance shutdown of the Hunter Valley Coal Network.

From 17-20 November, approximately 1200 workers will conduct over 600 separate maintenance jobs including:

  • Upgrading of 1650 metres of track formation
  • Replacing 12900 metres of rail
  • 38 undercutting sites
  • Track defect removals
  • Scheduled maintenance activities.

ARTC Group Executive Hunter Valley Network, Wayne Johnson said work to replace three rail bridges (the Hunter River Bridge, Muscle Creek Bridge and Bridge Street bridge) in Muswellbrook was going well.

“We started this program in July 2020 and expect to have it completed in June 2022,” said Mr Johnson.

“During this shutdown period there will be construction of the bridge foundations for the new bridge over Bridge Street and whilst we will work both day and night, ARTC have committed to keeping all piling works which causes sudden, loud banging, to between 7:00am and 9:00pm each day,” he said.

“We’ve listened to the community’s feedback and planned our work so the high noise generating piling works have been adjusted to reduce the night time noise impact on the community,” he said.

At times, the work is expected to be loud but all feasible measures to minimise noise across the site during the work are being taken.

Lighting towers will be used to continue the works safely at night and will be faced away from residences and Bridge Street.

The shutdown work will also require a lane closure for southbound traffic on Bridge Street underneath the rail bridges, between Market and Haydon streets.

The signage and traffic control will be in place and monitored during the single lane closure to safely allow pedestrian and vehicle movements.

Mr Johnson said the work requires the shutdown of rail traffic of the Hunter Valley network to allow for the orchestrated sequence of activities to be carried out safely.

“The work will generally start at 6.30am on Tuesday, November 17 and is expected to be completed about 6.30am on Friday November 20,” he said.

“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 for February 2021. For further details


Media contact: ARTC media team 1300 196 401

Muswellbrook road and pedestrian changes:

  • Single lane road closure on Bridge Street underneath the rail bridges with signage and traffic control in place at all times to safely allow pedestrian and vehicle movements.
  • All northbound traffic will continue to use Bridge Street with traffic controls.
  • All southbound traffic will detour via Bell Street and Market Street to maintain traffic flows with delays of up to 10 minutes expected on both routes.

More details can be found HERE, and images of Muswellbrook bridge work on the Hunter Valley network can be found HERE.

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