THE AUSTRALIAN Rail Track Corporation has announced a rail shutdown as it works on a $45 million freight line upgrade in New South Wales.

Throughout August, ARTC will be carrying out enhancement works on a 35-kilometre stretch of track between Narrabri and Turrawan.   

The enhancement works support the larger Narrabri to Turrawan Line Upgrade, connected to the Hunter Valley Coal Network, that would create a connection to the future Inland Rail project.

Mike Zambelli, ARTC Group executive – major construction projects, said there would be works at several locations along the rail corridor.

“ARTC will replace existing steel and timber sleepers with heavy duty concrete sleepers, replace the existing rail with upgraded rail, replacing ballast and conduct necessary earthworks for the project at various sites,” Mr Zambelli said.

“There are limited opportunities throughout the year when we can safely access the track,” he said.

“ARTC makes the most of these short windows to carry out jobs in a planned approach that minimises the impact of major works and reduces the potential for unplanned downtime.

“We also ask members of communities close to the rail corridor to be cautious during the shutdown period and keep an eye out for increased vehicle movements in and out of work sites.”

The first works will occur between 1800 on 4 August, and 0900 on 8 August. The task involves site mobilisation, the delivery of materials, surveying, drainage works, re-sleepering, and re-railing the track.

Further enhancements are planned within the existing rail corridor between Narrabri Coal and Turrawan, with works occurring between 0600 and 1800 over two weekends on 12-13 August, and 26-27 August.

Mr Zambelli said ARTC teams would endeavour to minimise noise and disruptions during the project.

“We apologise for the inconvenience and as always we appreciate the patience and co-operation of motorists, commuters and customers.”