NSW freight rail begins re-opening after flooding

The ARTC says some freight rail services have slowly begun to recommence on the Hunter Valley rail network

NSW freight rail begins re-opening after flooding
The Hunter Valley rail network is slowly reopening after flooding

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) says more freight rail services are beginning to return in limited capacity as lines begin to re-open following recent heavy rainfall and flooding in regional New South Wales.

The Hunter Valley rail network was first closed on July 5, with coal deliveries to the Port of Newcastle being disrupted by heavy rainfall and serious flooding.

But now the ARTC says some services are beginning to return to the line, with some limited operations occurring after restoration works from local authorities proved successful.

The ARTC says it worked with authorities such as the SES and power generations to help services return as quickly as possible.

This includes the SES opening floodgates at Maitland Station and the ARTC assessing track damage while restoring signalling and equipment.

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"Getting services back so soon is testament to the outstanding work by our team and contractors, showing commendable resilience in extremely difficult working conditions," ARTC group executive of the Hunter Valley network Wayne Johnson says.

"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."

The first trains resumed last week, with the ARTC saying more trains will begin to recommence services in the coming days.

Johnson says he was grateful for the local community’s patience during the disrupted times.

"We will keep the local community informed as we move the network back to normal operations," he says.

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