The facility can perform a range of functions, including the refuelling of trains, routine inspections and wagon maintenance.
The facility is expected to provide significant capacity benefits to the broader Hunter Valley coal chain, Pacific National Coal director David Irwin said.
“The opening of our Greta train support facility is a significant milestone in ensuring the continued growth and liberation of capacity in the Hunter Valley coal chain,” he said.
“Capable of maintaining and provisioning up to 20 train consists per day, the facility will service the existing traffic passing from Newcastle and ensure we continue to deliver efficient, effective and sustainable coal haulage services.
“So far, the Greta facility has injected more than $110 million into the Hunter Valley economy and created up to 550 full-time jobs during the 16-month construction period, with at least 30 new local jobs once the site is operational in 2013.”
Located between the existing railway line and the Hunter Expressway (the F3 Branxton extension), the facility includes three provisioning tracks and two maintenance tracks; a provisioning shed providing facilities for crew change over, refuelling and re-sanding activities; wagon maintenance facilities, including a wagon maintenance hard stand area; a maintenance workshop; a truck and vehicle storage area; a store room; office space; and a lunch room.
Asciano chief executive officer and managing director John Mullen said: “With coal exports expected to grow strongly within the region, the successful launch of our productivity enhancing Greta train support facility is a testament to our NSW workforce and management team, and reinforces our ability to deliver on our coal strategy.”