PASSENGER services on the Main Western Rail Line in the Blue Mountains will recommence from 21 January 2023, following last month’s freight train derailment.

NSW minister for regional transport and roads Sam Farraway said crews were working hard to repair a 10-kilometre section of track between Lawson and Linden, with the line expected to re-open later this month.

“Our maintenance crews are working around the clock right through the holiday period to get the job done. They have already laid almost 10 kilometres to support the new track, installed more than 15,000 new sleepers, laid more than 11,000 tonnes of ballast and replaced or repaired 39 pieces of signalling equipment,” Mr Farraway said.

“This work has been carried out in extremely difficult terrain and has required detailed planning and specialist engineering expertise to get the crews and replacement material on site to carry out the repair work safely.”

Mr Farraway said by working closely with industry, freight has continued moving across the critical supply chain by opening the adjacent track in blocks of days to diesel trains.

“I want to thank the community for their patience while crews carried out the repairs as safely and quickly as possible,” he said.

The repair works involved the removal of 18 kilometres of damaged rail and 15 kilometres sleepers.

About 92 pieces of signalling equipment was damaged and required repairs or replacement.

Approximately 9.8 kilometres of railroad subgrade layer has been installed (base layer/foundation layer to support the railway track and enable new sleeper and rail installation.

Additionally, 15,000 new sleepers have been installed and 11.7 kilometres of new rail has been installed and clipped into position through the hot summer weather, requiring adjustment as the unfinished track buckles and moves due to heat.

The works also included laying more than 11,000 tonnes of ballast. Additionally, 2.2 kilometres of initial tamping has commenced to pack the ballast under the sleeper to produce a stabilise sleeper and rail bed.