Freight Rail, Major Projects & Infrastructure, Operations & Maintenance, Safety, Workforce

Mid-February date for full SA track repair

The Australian Rail Track Corporation has advised that full repairs to the flood-damaged rail tracks in South Australia are unlikely to be completed before mid-February.

An ARTC spokesperson said crews had been working around the clock, with works  progressing from the initial 18 sites to focussing on the six remaining locations, which were the most severely impacted and will require the most recovery time.

“As a result of the volume of water that was recorded, we are required to re-build access roads from the highway to the rail network to enable the movement of heavy machinery to site. The civil contractors are progressing well on this work,” the spokesperson said.

“ARTC has almost 100 people on the ground working dual shifts. We are utilising accommodation at several regional locations to house the workforce, including Tarcoola, Woomera and Port Augusta, as well as the Mt Gunson mine.

“McMahons, Exact Mining and Bardavcol have reallocated resources from mining and road projects in the region to support the rail recovery efforts and John Holland have brought in specialist rail construction resources from the Eastern States to support. 

“This is being supplemented with ARTC work teams from WA (Kalgoorlie), and two SA depots (Adelaide and Port Augusta) as well as ARTC project management and logistics support from across the country.

“Rail equipment from ARTC, Arc Rail and Sydney Trains are being utilised in the recovery efforts.”

It is expected that more than 50,000 tonnes of ballast and rock, which is being stockpiled at a number of locations on the network, will be utilised in the repair activity. ARTC is sourcing the materials, using both road and rail transport for ballast, from WA (Kalgoorlie), Whyalla and Adelaide, and general construction material from the nearby Mt Gunson Mine.

More than 25 units of heavy machinery are in place across the work sites, provided by ARTC, contractors and through local hire arrangements.

“Following an extensive and detailed assessment of all track, ARTC can advise completion of the repair works is expected to occur by mid-February,” the spokesperson said.

“This timeframe is consistent with initial updates provided to customers, stakeholders and the broader community.

“Our focus is to repair the line as quickly as possible, in the safest manner, to ensure operations can commence and freight can get moving.”

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