No coal trains are running into Newcastle on Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) lines, and extensive repairs are needed before the ARTC can reopen its Hunter Valley coal and North Coast networks, after wild weather forced closures on Tuesday.
“All coal and freight services into Maitland and Newcastle have been suspended due to flooding,” the ARTC reported on Tuesday afternoon.
“The ARTC network in the Hunter Valley and North Coast, NSW, has been impacted significantly by the extreme weather conditions being experienced across northern NSW at the moment.
“High rainfall, severe flooding, strong winds, fallen trees and debris, power failures and fallen power lines and power poles have all contributed to operations being halted in the Hunter Valley coal network and trains travelling via the North Coast of NSW.”
As a result of that damage, the rail manager said extensive repairs will be needed, with no timetable set for the line to be reopened.
“The track will require extensive repairs in order to return services safely,” the ARTC said.
“Given the current weather conditions and forecast further weather events and rising water over track, it is not possible to provide a forecast for when services might return.
“Access to locations is difficult and while the weather continues, staff will continue to monitor the situation, begin initial planning and mobilise resources in readiness for when the repair works can safely begin.
“ARTC is working hard to return services as quickly as possible, however there is currently no forecast for return to operations.
“The track washaways on the North Coast will take some time to repair.”
The weather conditions also halted several passenger services in the region, with NSW TrainLink reporting the closure of its Hunter Line services, and partial closure of its Central Coast & Newcastle Line services.