The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) would like to advise that a graduated return to service with limited operations will begin this evening on the Hunter Valley network in New South Wales.
This follows successful restoration work by local authorities, ARTC and our contractors after the network was closed on July 5th due to heavy rainfall causing serious flooding in Maitland and surrounding areas.
The State Emergency Service (SES) opened the floodgates at Maitland Station on Wednesday and ARTC and our contractors have been working on assessing damage to track and reinstating signaling and track equipment.
The first trains to resume this evening will be coal trains that will be delivering to local power stations, with more coal trains expected to run on Friday.
ARTC will continue to monitor track conditions very closely but other train services including grain and other goods are expected to resume over the weekend.
During the network closure ARTC has been working closely with customers, including power generators and relevant authorities, including the SES, on resuming services as soon as safely possible.
Wayne Johnson, ARTC Group Executive Hunter Valley network said:
“We are very pleased to have trains resuming service on the Hunter Valley network so soon after such a major flooding event.
“Getting services back so soon is testament to outstanding work by our team and our contractors, showing commendable resilience in extremely difficult working conditions.
“We have prioritised coal trains as the first trains to resume service given the importance of resuming supply to power stations, with agricultural products for food production to commence soon after.
“ARTC would like to thank our customers and the local community for their patience during this disruption to normal services.
“We would also like to thank local authorities including Maitland City Council, Transport for NSW, with a special call out to the NSW Police and the State Emergency Service, for their co-operation during this difficult period.
“We will keep the local community informed as we move the network back to normal operations.”
Media contact: ARTC media team 1300 196 401