Track Work

Our response to COVID-19

We are committed to responding to restrictions imposed by the Australian and State Governments to manage COVID-19. This may mean that last minute changes to our planned works will be required. Please continue to check this site for updates.

Rail is an essential service which facilitates the movement of freight across the country for the benefit of the Australian economy and jobs. This is a responsibility ARTC takes very seriously, and we are working hard to ensure we balance the challenge of ensuring the safety and reliability of a critical transport network, alongside our obligations to meet and respond to the current public health challenges associated with COVID-19. We are committed to adhering to the relevant government guidelines and where practicable will implement additional control measures.

To maintain a high standard of safety and reliability across our network we sometimes need to restrict access to parts of the track to carry out maintenance and construction works. By closing sections of track to normal activity, we can get the work done more quickly and in a safe environment.

We understand that no one likes to be disrupted and we try to keep track closures to a minimum. Track closures are usually scheduled overnight or for weekends, when less trains are travelling.

Hunter Valley Network Trackwork Updates

Suburb Work Reference Track Work Start Track Work Finish Nightwork Update
East Maitland & Metford  Track Maintenance  

187KM_Oct 21

8:00am Sunday 3 October 6:00am Thursday 7 October Yes Community Flyer
Singleton Track Maintenance 238KM_Oct 21 6:00am Tuesday 5 October 6:00pm Friday 29 October Yes Haulage Route



Track work Calendar

Every year ARTC delivers tens of millions of dollars’ worth of rail maintenance work in different communities around Australia. The maintenance work we do is critical to ensuring that the rail network is safe and reliable for the hundreds of trains that use our network every day.

Sometimes that means we need to conduct maintenance work in a big block, during the evening and early morning or over the weekend. This is because there are only set windows available to be able to get in and do some of the work we need to. It is also far safer to deliver this maintenance work when there are no, or fewer, trains running.

The trackwork calendar aims to help give you some advance idea around the work that might take place in your area. We try to keep it as accurate as possible but unfortunately there often can be a number of late changes in work programs. So please use the calendar as a guide only.

You can choose different displays for the calendar (daily, weekly and list views) and by clicking on the event you can find out more information about the work taking place.

The track work calendar can be accessed from this address:

Find out more about the maintenance work we do, and why, on this page below.

What does track work involve?

Track work includes:

  • Upgrade works such as repairing tracks, track reconditioning, welding and laying new track
  • Ballast dig outs or cleaning (ballast is the “bed” on which the track lies)
  • Vegetation management
  • Accessibility upgrades including improvements to level crossings and maintenance access paths
  • Turnout renewals and replacements (turnouts are the “switches” or points in the track where trains are guided from one track to another, or branch off to a siding or the like).

How long does track work take?

Track work varies depending on what we’re doing. It may require changes to train timetables or stopping patterns. Track closures usually take 62 hours, with crews working around the clock. For major work, it can take up to 110 hours. We often work at night to ensure minimal disruption all round.

Why is track work important?

Track work is essential to ensure the safety and integrity of the track. By closing sections to traffic, our maintenance crews can work safely and efficiently, and more work can be carried out with the same resources.

What planning goes into track work?

We spend a lot of time planning track work and the closures to the rail corridor, to make sure all bases are covered. Planning includes:

  • Identifying the work
  • Appointing contractors and crews
  • Arranging machinery and equipment
  • Engaging and coordinating with stakeholders, including rail operators, network controllers and surrounding communities.

We also coordinate with our rail end-users, mines and ports, who may use the time the track is closed to do their own maintenance activities simultaneously.

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