Major bridge work taking place during Hunter Valley Coal Network five-day shutdown

3rd August 2020

Major bridge work taking place during Hunter Valley Coal Network five-day shutdown.

  • Major maintenance work on bridges will take place throughout the coal network in the Upper Hunter Valley next week from Muswellbrook to Narrabri.
  • The five-day shutdown is required for maintenance personnel to gain safe access to the track, delivering projects to ensure a safe, reliable network.
  • Ongoing rigorous controls remain in place to minimise the risks of COVID-19 exposure to the community and workers involved in the maintenance shutdown.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) will carry out a major maintenance shutdown of the Hunter Valley Coal Network in the Upper Hunter from Muswellbrook to Narrabri.

From 3-7 August, around 300 workers will conduct over 100 separate maintenance jobs including:

  • Major bridges replacements at Quirindi
  • Bridge works at Gunnedah
  • 270 Transoms replaced on Aderdeen bridge
  • Upgrading of 1850 metres of track formation
  • Preventative and routine maintenance tasks

The ARTC has commenced a two-year program to replace three rail bridges (the Hunter River Bridge, Muscle Creek Bridge and Bridge Street bridge) in Muswellbrook.

“In the upcoming rail shutdown, sheet piling will be undertaken near Bridge Street and we plan to work both day and night to minimise the duration of disruption to the community and rail network,” said Mr Johnson.

Mr Johnson said the project would provide a solid economic boost for the Muswellbrook area, with up to 200 people working on it at various stages over the next two years.

“Delivering this construction project will help jumpstart the economy and during these difficult times that is absolutely critical,” he said.

Major work is also taking place in Quirindi with the replacement of the bridge across Jacob and Joseph Creek.

This involves the removal of the existing bridge and installation of a large steel rail bridge, which will significantly reduce the maintenance for the structure.

Mr Johnson said the original steel bridge was built in 1927 and will be replaced with a new 85-metrelongsteel bridge.

“The Quirindi works have been underway since last October with significant earthworks, concrete piling and concrete preparation now complete,” he said.

“It’s a huge undertaking to remove the existing steel bridge and then to install by crane 28 precast concrete bridge girders and a new steel walkway and access stairs.”

Signage and traffic control will be in place during the single lane closure to safely allow pedestrian and vehicle movements.

Mr Johnson said the work requires the shutdown of rail traffic of the Hunter Valley network to allow for the orchestrated sequence of activities to be carried out safely.

“COVID-19 requires ongoing vigilance in many aspects, as such, the health and safety throughout the works is of critical importance so we have ongoing strict hygiene protocols in place to minimise potential risks to the community and the teams involved in the Hunter Valley maintenance shutdown,” he said.

“The work will generally start at 6.30am on Monday, August 3 and is expected to be completed about 6.30am on Friday August 7.

“We thank our customers, community and motorists across the network for their patience while we carry out this important planned maintenance program.”

Alternative bus services will be provided for impacted passenger services, and details and schedules can be found at the Transport NSW website.

The next major maintenance shutdown is scheduled from September 22-24, 2020. For further details www.artc.com.au/community/track-work/

Image: ARTC