Maintenance has shut down the Hunter Valley coal network this week, with the closure starting on Tuesday at 6am, and set to run into the late evening on Thursday.
The network-wide maintenance shutdown means limited train operations to allow multi-million-dollar packages of work to be delivered in a safe and efficient way at dozens of worksites across the region, network administrator ARTC said in a release.
Nearly 1000 ARTC and contracted staff will work in the rail corridor during the shutdowns, which are part of the coal chain calendar and allow work to take place throughout the Hunter Valley, from the Port to Narrabri, and from Muswellbrook to Ulan.
ARTC executive general manager for the Hunter Jonathan Vandervoort said the maintenance would ensure the third-busiest railway network in the country stayed reliable.
“By ‘closing down’ the network and with fewer trains running we can ensure we get the maximum amount of rail maintenance done more efficiently; but, above all else, it helps provide the safest possible environment for workers,” 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.
“Unfortunately, with work of this scale there will be some disruption and we would like to ask motorists and members of the community to be aware of changed traffic conditions and heavy work vehicles entering and exiting sections of the rail corridor.
“We would like to thank the community for their patience and understanding while the works take place as we appreciate it will be causing some inconvenience.”
The next scheduled maintenance closure is for August 18 to 20.