26 September 2023

Back on tracks after bushfires

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The Minister for Regional Transport and Roads has announced that limited passenger and freight train services will resume along the Blue Mountains Line between Mount Victoria and Lithgow next week as work continues to restore critical infrastructure impacted by the bushfires.

The Minister, Paul Toole said the bushfires had left a trail of destruction along a 25 kilometre stretch of the state’s main western line, causing extensive damage to signalling and rail infrastructure.

“We recognise how important this rail connection is to passengers travelling to and from the west and to moving freight and we are doing everything possible to resume full services as soon as possible,” Mr Toole said.

“Sydney Trains’ engineers have worked tirelessly to develop temporary systems that will allow us to restore rail connectivity and safely operate a limited number of freight trains from Monday evening and passenger trains from Tuesday 21 January,” he said.

“But this will be a long recovery process as we are essentially rebuilding some parts of the operating system from scratch.”

Mr Toole said crews had already removed more than 300 damaged trees from the corridor and were working to relay thousands of kilometres of communication, electrical and signal wiring.

Chief Executive for NSW TrainLink, Pete Allaway said NSW TrainLink and freight services had been suspended between Mount Victoria and Lithgow since 19 December due to active fires and subsequent damage.

“The first Bathurst Bullet, the Broken Hill XPLORER and most Dubbo XPT services will resume to a slightly altered timetable, with the remaining affected services to continue to be replaced by coaches and buses while repair work continues,” Mr Allaway said.

Further information is available through trip planning apps or on the Transport NSW website via this PS News link.

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