Freight Rail, Passenger Rail, Safety, Standards & Regulation

Shutdowns on Hunter network this week

Coal Train Photo Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator

The Australian Rail Track Corporation is conducting a range of rail maintenance tasks on the Hunter Valley coal chain this week.

Starting on Tuesday, May 19 at 6am and scheduled to run through until late Thursday evening, May 22, the scheduled maintenance is resulting in a shutdown of the line.

ARTC’s executive general manager for the Hunter, Jonathan Vandervoort, said the shutdown is particularly important to ensure the quality and condition of the track was at its best following recent extreme weather events.

With $20 million in rail maintenance planned, as well as the finalisation of major projects, the shutdowns are an important part of the coal chain calendar, Vandervoort said.

“These shutdowns are planned more than a year in advance to allow customers to manage their throughput and production schedules and to ensure integration across the intricately managed Hunter coal chain.

“We recognise there is som disruption when important works like this take place.”

Over a thousand ARTC staff and contractors are at work in dozens of sites across the Hunter rail corridor from Newcastle to Narrabri and from Muswellbrook to Ulan.

“We appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers and the community as these works are vital to keeping the network reliable and safe.

“We would especially like to ask motorists to take care near the rail corridor, as there will be more trucks on the road than usual, entering and exiting work sites,” Vandervoort said over the weekend.

ARTC’s next major network-wide maintenance shutdown is scheduled between July 14 and 16.