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Blaze disrupts Sydney-Brisbane freight movements

<p>Freight between Sydney and Brisbane is moving again after a bushfire north of Sydney closed the crucial road and rail arteries yesterday (Monday, January 22).</p> <p>The New South Wales Road Transport Association estimated that 2,000-3,000 trucks may have been affected by closure of the F3 freeway and the Old Pacific Highway routes.</p> <p>Its spokesman, Hugh McMaster, said that many southbound trucks heading into Sydney on overnight hauls from Brisbane were held up.</p> <p>Many would have been scheduled to make pick-ups from Sydney yesterday, he said.</p> <p>Transport operators would be working to catch up on demand for their services today, but the disruption could have a flow-on effect over the next few days.</p> <p>Both roads were shut for about six hours from 11am yesterday, causing 10 km queues and preventing southbound trucks from entering Sydney.</p> <p>The fire began on Sunday afternoon, prompting the closure of parts of the freeway on Sunday night and a full closure for most of Monday.</p> <p>The freeway was partially re-opened for a two-hour period on Monday morning before being closed, along with the alternative Old Pacific Highway route. </p> <p>The main rail line between Cowan and Hornsby, on the northern fringes of Sydney, closed for about five hours during the peak freight movement period.</p> <p>Railcorp said the rail line was shut from about 11:15 am to 3:45 pm after advice from the NSW Rural Fire Service. </p> <p>Freight movements are normally scheduled between 10 am and 3 pm, to avoid the peak passenger movements which carry about 1m passengers each day.</p> <p>Pacific National is the main freight customer along the corridor, but was unable to be contacted this morning.</p> <p>The fire has burnt out more than 376 ha, but is no longer threatening the key transport corridors.</p> <br />