AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Speed limits for freight trains lifted&semicolan increase capacity

<p>Speed limits for freight trains accessing the Hunter Valley coal rail network have been increased in parts, the Australian Rail Track Corporation announced yesterday (Wednesday, January 17).</p> <p>Limits have lifted from 60km per hour to 80km per hour for trains approaching the Minimbah and Nundah Banks.</p> <p>ARTC chief executive David Marchant said the introduction of 80km per hour approaches for loaded coal trains reduced the headway between trains by over 3 minutes on the steep grades. </p> <p>&#8220With current section times of 17 and 20 minutes respectively, this represents a capacity increase of between 15% and 20%,&#8221 Mr Marchant said.</p> <p>&#8220This is a great efficiency gain for the rail network.&#8221</p> <p>The ARTC claims the combined effect of lifting train speeds and the new Sandgate grade separation will be to lift coal capacity of the Hunter Valley rail network to about 115m tonnes per year. </p> <p>The headway between trains dictates the capacity of a section of plain track. </p> <p>Minimbah and Nundah Banks represent the current headway limit between Antiene (just south of Muswellbrook) and the Newcastle ports. Reducing the headways on these steep sections lifts the capacity of the network as a whole.</p> <br />