Freight Rail, Operations & Maintenance, Track & Civil Construction, Workforce

Slow and steady for Hunter Valley network resumption

Coal Train Photo Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator

The Hunter Valley network in New South Wales is on a graduated return to service, with limited operations.

This follows successful restoration work by local authorities, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and its contractors after the network was closed on July 5 due to heavy rainfall causing serious flooding in Maitland and surrounding areas.

The State Emergency Service (SES) opened the floodgates at Maitland Station last week and crews have been working on assessing damage to track and reinstating signaling and track equipment.

The first trains that resumed were coal trains delivering to local power stations.

ARTC will continue to monitor track conditions very closely but other train services including grain and other goods are expected to resume.

During the network closure ARTC has been working closely with customers, including power generators and relevant authorities, including the SES, on resuming services as soon as safely possible.

ARTC Group Executive for the Hunter Valley network, Wayne Johnson, said getting services back so soon was testament to outstanding work by the team and contractors, showing commendable resilience in extremely difficult working conditions.

“We have prioritised coal trains as the first trains to resume service given the importance of resuming supply to power stations, with agricultural products for food production to commence soon after,” he said.

“We will keep the local community informed as we move the network back to normal operations.”