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Two rail maintenance workers have escaped injury after an excavator they were operating was hit by a coal train at Maitland in the Hunter Valley.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation says the accident is affecting coal haulage to the Port of Newcastle, but is not impacting on passenger train services.
The two excavator operators jumped clear before the Xstrata train slammed into their machine near the High street train station shortly before 8 o'clock this morning (AEDT).
ARTC spokesman Brad Emery says the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has joined the investigation.
He says investigators are trying to determine why the excavator was carrying out maintenance on the tracks at the time.
The ATSB is on site at the present and they'll investigate and we'll open the line later this afternoon," he said
"The ARTC will obviously do our own investigation as well."
"It was good that no one was injured and there's almost no damage to the track."
"One of the coal lines is still open and the main passenger line is also still open."
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