RAIL lines through Maitland and Gunning have reopened this week to boost the flow of agricultural freight to domestic consumers in the Sydney basin, and to export pathways out of Port Kembla, Port Botany and Newcastle.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) leases both the dual Main South line which runs through Gunning and connects Sydney and Melbourne, and the Hunter line into Newcastle, a major bulk grain port.
One path through Gunning was closed following a derailment on July 11, and it reopened at 6pm on Monday following the replacement of some 7000 sleepers and repair or replacement of 5.5 kilometres of rail.
“ARTC would like to thank our customers for their patience during this disruption to normal services,” an ARTC spokesperson said.
“In addition, ARTC would like to thank residents of Gunning and surrounding areas for their understanding while our staff and contractors were in the area conducting significant restoration work.”
Monday also saw the reopening of the Hunter rail line, which was closed by flooding in Maitland and surrounds on July 5.
ARTC resumed limited services on the evening of July 14, with coal trains delivering to local power stations given priority.
ARTC has now completed all possible repairs and has been able to return all passenger and coal and non-coal freight services with minimal disruption to operations.
“We are very pleased to have a return to normal services so soon after such a major flooding event,” ARTC group executive Hunter Valley network Wayne Johnson said.
“This has only been possible thanks to our work with local authorities, especially Maitland City Council, Transport for NSW, with a special call-out to the NSW Police and the State Emergency Service.
“We would also like to thank our customers for their patience during this period of disruption.”
The Main Western line over the Blue Mountains remains closed near Blackheath as crews work to rectify an embankment impacted by flooding earlier this month.