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The amount of coal transported through the Hunter Valley will increase in the months ahead, with the opening of a new refuelling and maintenance facility for coal trains in Greta.
After seven years of work, the train support facility will today be officially opened by the New South Wales Roads Minister, Duncan Gay.
The $110 million operation will mean coal trains will no longer be refuelled at Newcastle, while maintenance works can also be carried out further up the Valley.
Pacific National Coal Director, David Irwin, says the facility will be in full operation by the end of next month.
"We have been paying a capacity price as a result of having the fuelling of all trains happening at Kooragang Island," he said.
"That has meant the use of particularly the port infrastructure has not been as efficient as it could have been, and we do expect to get quite significant flow-on impacts from dumping trains at the port, immediately departing, and then fuelling at Greta."
Mr Irwin says it is about improving efficiency and reducing the level of train congestion in Newcastle.
"Our coal trains will no longer need to be fuelled on Kooragang Island and most of the congestion exists around Kooragang Island," he said.
"We've also got a facility at Carrington, closer to the city, and the biggest difference there is that as a result of this facility we will do much less shunting of wagons.
"We will actually be doing much of our wagon maintenance up at Greta."
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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