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Half a million tonnes of coal left stranded by flooding of rail lines in the Hunter Valley will not reach its destination for two more weeks.
Flooding has subsided at Sandgate on the Hunter Valley rail network and rail services have recommenced.
The lines were closed late on Tuesday, leaving 45 coal trains and a number of grain trains stranded.
There remains sporadic flooding across the network and at the Port, so the Australia Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) will liaise with the Hunter Valley Coal Chain coordinator to ensure a safe return to coal services.
ARTC executive general manager for the Hunter Valley, Jonathan Vandervoort said grain trains would be moving shortly.
"We've got a couple of grain trains that come down from the central and north-west, we've got two trains held as Werris Creek, and we've got two trains here at Newcastle ready to go back," Mr Vandervoort said.
"There's a bit of water on the track where they'll unload, but we expect by the end of today those trains should be moving across that track."
However, it is a different story for coal trains.
"We've got about 45 coal trains out there at the moment," Mr Vandervoort said.
"It's a far more coordinated effort to get those trains up and running so that they don't get in each other's way and to coordinate that through the three coal terminals at Newcastle.
"That's a process that takes about 12 hours to get running smoothly.
"The impact there is over half a million tonnes. That's what we typically move in a 24-hour period.
"It'll take a couple of weeks to make that loss up but those trains are being run as a priority, so there's no impact on our end-user customers."
Mr Vandervoort said there would be no long-term impact from the flooding.
"In terms of the ballast, it's made to clear water so there's no long term impacts," he said.
"In the short term, there's an electrical impact on points motors that move the track when you want to jump from one track to the next.
"Those points are in the process of being replaced now, so long term there's no impact."
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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