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More than 1200 Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) staff and contractors will work on over 100 railway maintenance projects across the Hunter over the Queen's birthday long weekend.
The work, which will increase the performance and maintain the reliability of one of the busiest rail networks in the country, will start at 6pm Friday (8 June) and continue through until 9am Tuesday (12 June).
Essential works including track resurfacing and tamping (ballast packing), bridge repairs, re-railing, rail grinding, track reconditioning, signal works and other corridor maintenance tasks will take place during the long weekend.
“We align these works with other rail maintenance scheduled across NSW to minimise overall impacts on rail customers – and the ability to deliver these when there are fewer trains running means we can get the most amount of work done, as safely and efficiently as possible,” said ARTC’s Group Executive – Hunter Valley Wayne Johnson.
“Over 100 projects are on the cards with the Hunter Valley team working around-the-clock with our contractor partners constantly looking at ways to deliver them innovatively.”
Mr Johnson said at the last maintenance shutdown in April, the team installed new and improved turnouts (which allow trains to switch from one track to another) using unique, purpose-designed equipment for track panel installation in difficult-to-access or busy locations, such as Maitland.
FINISHED PROJECT: Completed turnout installation in Maitland during April's track work.
“The team also trialled the use of under-bearer pads at one of the turnouts with the aim of dampening the dynamic forces of passing trains, helping to extend the lifecycle of the turnout’s complex and expensive componentry.”
“We would like to thank the community for its patience while this work takes place. We know that it can be disruptive and with the use of heavy machinery, noisy work, and we do appreciate it causes an inconvenience to some of our neighbours,” Mr Johnson said.
“Trucks and heavy machinery will be in use, as well as entering and exiting work sites. We ask the community to please take caution around the rail corridor during this time and be aware there may be some road closures or detours in your region.”
Some Hunter line passenger rail services are impacted from 4.30pm Friday afternoon. Visit: www.transportnsw.info for more information.
The next planned maintenance shutdowns along the Hunter Valley network are:
31 July – 2 August (major maintenance shutdown).
18 August to 19 August (only between Hamilton and Maitland).
18 September to 20 September (major maintenance shutdown).
Muswellbrook Under-Bridge Maintenance- Maintenance works to the bridge which goes over the New England Highway in Muswellbrook. Works start on June 9 to 12 with the highway traffic to be restricted in that area due to crews working above, detours via Market street.
Gowrie Gates at Singleton/Hole in the Wall- Further piling works in preparation for the bridge replacement as well as other preparatory road works. Traffic unchanged in this area.
Tarro Track Reconditioning – Works will be adjacent to Tarro Station with the Woodbury road bridge closed from 7pm June 8 and reopening 3am June 12.
Hexham Track Reconditioning- work sites in this areas will be using Shamrock St, Hexham for both access and truck deliveries of materials to sites. Traffic control will be in place.
This article first appeared on www.maitlandmercury.com.au
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