Services on the Main Western line have returned to full capacity after work crews completed repairs to line the line following bushfires and flooding.
Over 150,000 man hours have been put in since the Gospers Mountain Bushfires hit the railway in December. Flooding following heavy rains in February also washed away sections of track.
Some freight services and diesel-powered passenger services had resumed in mid-January, however due to the damage to signalling equipment and overhead powerlines, regular Intercity commuter services were cancelled.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said that the repairs had covered great lengths to get services back up and running.
“We know just what a vital transport link this line is for both passenger and freight services – and our crews have put in a superhuman effort to repair the devastation caused by the summer bushfires and flash flooding soon after,” said Toole.
“More than 200 employees worked to replace more than 50 kilometres of fibre optic cables and 37km of high voltage power lines damaged in the fires.”
Other equipment that had to be replaced included 75 power poles, a signal control hut, a substation, thousands of small pieces of safe working systems. The high-voltage power supply also had to be rebuilt and 540 trees removed from the corridor.
“It’s been a huge task but it’s great to know services on the Blue Mountains Line are now back on track – and ready to support essential travel for those returning to work and school and from June 1, those looking to enjoy a break in the bush,” said Toole.
Acting chief executive of Sydney Trains Stewart Mills acknowledge the hard work of those who contributed to getting services back up and running.
“I’d like to thank every person who has worked so hard to rebuild, test and commission infrastructure critical to the safe operation of passenger and freight trains between Mount Victoria and Lithgow.”