Trains resume after devastating bushfires
Limited passenger and freight train services will resume along the Blue Mountains Line between Mount Victoria and Lithgow next week as the NSW Government continues work to restore critical infrastructure impacted by the bushfires.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads 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.”
“But this will be a long recovery process as we are essentially rebuilding some parts of the operating system from scratch.”
Crews have already removed more than 300 damaged trees from the corridor and are working to relay thousands of kilometres of communication, electrical and signal wiring.
“We understand customers’ concern and frustration, and we appreciate their patience while the repair work continues,” Mr Toole said.
NSW TrainLink chief executive Pete Allaway said NSW TrainLink and freight services had been suspended between Mount Victoria and Lithgow since 19 December due to active fires and the 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.
Customers travelling along the affected lines can check the latest information and plan their journey through trip planning apps or online at http://transportnsw.info.
TEMPORARY TIMETABLE DETAILS FROM TUESDAY 21 JANUARY
Monday to Friday the first Bathurst Bullet service will depart Bathurst at 5.46am and return from Sydney at 5.47pm.
On weekends, the first Bathurst Bullet service will depart Bathurst at 6.07am and return from Sydney at 5.51pm.
Monday through to Sunday the second Bathurst Bullet service will be replaced by coach between Bathurst and Mount Victoria.
On Monday, a replacement coach will run from Sydney to Dubbo and return, leaving Central at 6.30am and returning from Dubbo at 1.45pm.
Tuesday through to Sunday, the XPT will depart Central at 6.18am. Tuesday to Sunday the XPT from Dubbo to Sydney will depart 2.45pm.
On Monday, the XPLORER train will travel from Sydney to Broken Hill, leaving Central at 5.03am.
This service will travel via Cootamundra on January 20 and resume the normal path via the Blue Mountains thereafter.
On Tuesday the XPLORER train will travel from Broken Hill to Sydney leaving at 7.45am.