Wild weather damages Hunter coal chain

EXTREME weather has played havoc with the Hunter Valley’s coal rail network yesterday with flooding and fallen debris damaging sections of track and taking mines offline.

Blair Price

“High rainfall, severe flooding, strong winds, fallen trees and debris, power failures and fallen power lines and power poles have all contributed to operations being halted in the Hunter Valley coal network and trains travelling via the North Coast of NSW,” the Australian Rail Track Corporation said yesterday afternoon while the wild weather continued.

“As a result of the damage, the track will require extensive repairs in order to return services safely. Given the current weather conditions and forecast further weather events and rising water over track, it is not possible to provide a forecast for when services might return.

“Access to locations is difficult and while the weather continues, staff will continue to monitor the situation, begin initial planning and mobilise resources in readiness for when the repair works can safely begin.”

ARTC said all coal and freight services into Maitland and Newcastle was suspended due to flooding, water over rail lines, power supply failures and trees and various other debris over the lines at a number of locations between Maitland and Newcastle’s port.

“The track washaways on the North Coast will take some time to repair,” the rail authority said.