Hunter Valley Rail Network shutdown

Filed in Just In by May 25, 2021

THE Hunter Valley Rail Network from Newcastle to Ulan is currently undergoing major maintenance and has shutdown for three days until 8:30 pm Thursday, May 27.

Approximately 1,200 workers will conduct more than 212 maintenance jobs during the three-day shutdown, with works starting at 6:30 am this morning.

See full list of maintenance works below.

All regional services will have alternative bus services, with the exception of passenger services to the North Coast and Maitland, which will remain as per the timetable. 

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is also replacing the Muswellbrook Bridge over eight phases. Construction of the first phase will be completed within six to eight weeks and the remaining seven a further three weeks each.

ARTC Group Executive Hunter Valley Network, Wayne Johnson said eight new bridge sections will be constructed onsite in a specially fabricated casting yard away from the construction site of the existing bridges to allow works to continue outside of scheduled track possessions.

“This type of technique is more commonly observed in the construction of road bridges rather than rail but is good for building bridges that require large span lengths and we would utilise this process again for any future bridge projects,” Mr Johnson said.

“There are a number of benefits to using this construction technique. While it does take a little longer, it’s substantially less intrusive to the natural environment which has been identified as key fish habitat and the trees in the area are home to a significant population of protected Grey-Headed Flying-Fox,” he said.

The bridge replacement is scheduled to be complete in June 2022 and the next major maintenance shutdown is scheduled for August 10-12, 2021. 

Shutdown works will include:

  • Upgrading 290M of track formation;
  • Replacing a major crossover and major turnout at Quirindi;
  • Replacing 8,000M of worn rail;
  • 20 undercutting sites, 387M of track;
  • 4000M of removal of fouled ballast and replacement of fresh ballast;
  • 21 track machines, removing defects and performing maintenance activities;
  • Track defect removals;
  • Scheduled maintenance activities.

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