Rail services on the western line return to normal service
The state’s western rail line will be fully operational from Saturday 30 May after crews worked more than 150,000 man hours to rebuild the track infrastructure from extensive damage caused by bushfires and flooding.
The restoration of the line through the Blue Mountains would allow Intercity services to Lithgow to resume and ensure the freight industry can keep goods moving.
More than 200 employees worked to replace more than 50 kilometres of fibre optic cables and 37km of high voltage power lines damaged in the fires.
Seventy-five power poles, a signal control hut, a substation and thousands of small pieces of safe-working systems were also destroyed in the fire. The high-voltage power supply had to be rebuilt, and more than 540 dead or severely burned trees have been removed.
A limited number of passenger and freight services resumed on 20 January, but electric passenger trains like the Intercity services were unable to operate until further repairs to the 25-kilometre rail corridor between Mount Victoria and Lithgow had been made.
The fully operational western line will allow for the return of recreational travel in NSW, along with essential travel for commuters and school children.