After wild weather caused severe flooding in the Hunter Valley, coal, freight and passenger trains had to halt operations.
A statement on Wednesday from the Australian Rail Track Corporation said heavy flooding at Sandgate and flooding at other locations between Newcastle and Maitland means rail services are not running and the line has been closed, leaving 45 coal trains and a number of grain trains stranded.
It is estimated it will take two weeks before more than half a million tonnes of coal, left stranded by the flooding, will reach it’s destination – the Port of Newcastle.
With pending high tide and the potential for additional flood waters, the line remained closed but had opened up again by Thursday afternoon.
“Heavy flooding has subsided at Sandgate on the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s Hunter Valley network throughout this morning to levels that allow us to start planning for a staged return to rail services,” the ARTC said.
“Water damage to some of the signalling equipment between Sandgate and Warabrook requires repairs and surface water varies at different sections of the track.
“While weather conditions have cooperated, our timeframes overnight and this morning have been contingent on river levels and tides.”