The tunnel proposal is part of a planned $2 billion investment from BHP Billiton in capital works and infrastructure in NSW’s coal-rich Gunnedah Basin.
The Federal Government has set aside $1 million for the Australian Rail Track Corporation to plan the tunnel and a railway extension.
Local media in Scone have reported that due to level crossing locations and the length of the trains using the new rail link, the entire town could be completely divided in half for long periods.
This would isolate half the town from medical services on the other side.
Upper Hunter Mayor Barry Rose has also warned of the impact of vibrations on the town’s houses and NSW Member for the Upper Hunter George Souris has called for an overhead rail crossing for the town.