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

Trans-Australian Railway line repaired

artc action


Operations have resumed on the Trans-Australian Railway between Adelaide and Tarcoola following an intensive 24-day repair operation by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

Nine freight trains are expected to access the newly repaired network today allowing much-needed supplies such as fresh food, beverages and retail goods to move on this vital rail link connecting Western Australia and the Northern Territory to the Eastern states.

Following significant rainfall and flooding in South Australia between January 21-23, which was described by meteorologists as a one-in-200-to-300-year event with more than 200mm of rain in 24 hours, ARTC had to close the inter-state network between Port Augusta and Tarcoola.

ARTC Group Executive Interstate Network Simon Ormsby said all of Australia owned a debt of thanks to the crews and contractors who have worked extremely hard to bring the interstate network back online.

“ARTC crews from Port Augusta led the charge with support by teams from Kalgoorlie, Adelaide and Port Augusta. Contractors and staff from other areas were also called in to assist due to the overall scale of the operation,” he said.

“In the end we had more than 100 staff on ground working around the clock to fix 18 locations along a 300km stretch of track in 24 days. This was a tremendous display of coordination and effort with our on ground work supported by ARTC project management and logistics staff from across the country.”

Ormsby also thanked the companies that rallied to pitch in such as McMahons, Exact Mining and Bardavcol which reallocated resources from their mining and road projects in the region to support the rail recovery efforts.

“A special mention also to John Holland who brought in specialist rail construction resources from the Eastern States and Arc Infrastructure and Sydney Trains who supplied specialist equipment to be utilised in the recovery effort,” he said.

“ARTC had almost 100 people on the ground working dual shifts to shift more than 50,000 tonnes of ballast and rock being used for the repair work.

“More than 25 units of heavy machinery were used across the work sites and in a number of areas we were required to re-build access roads from the highway to the rail network to enable the movement of heavy machinery to site requiring a massive coordination of civil works.

“I would also like to thank all our customers for their patience during this period while they have been working with us as we moved towards the resumption of services today. We are hoping to get back to normal operation as soon as possible.”

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