Update on storm damaged tracks
Following discussions with ARTC today, the RTBU NSW Secretary can confirm that the Hunter Valley line is due to be fully operational by Wednesday night, with the first train set to run on Thursday morning.
It was originally hoped the Hunter Valley track would be back up and running by Sunday, however this was unfortunately not the case.
The North Coast line has sustained considerably more damage and will not be operational for at least the next three weeks.
The union has been in continual talks with Pacific National who is in turn discussing with its customers the options available for transporting goods while the rail line is down. Among the options being considered is a temporary transport terminal on the North Coast.
The RTBU is working to ensure everything possible is being done to minimise the chances of workers being stood down and will keep members updated as things progress.
Aurizon management has sent correspondence to crews from Junee to Acacia informing them that they would be stood down from Sunday 26 April to Sunday 3 May, owing to the storm damage on the tracks.
The notice said that the storm has forced the ARTC to close all lines up and down mains north of Maitland extending north toward Taree, meaning Aurizon is unable to run services between Glenlee and Taree.
The message from the company says that during the stand down period, workers would not be required to attend work, that roster cycle hours would be reduced and that the company will contact workers to inform them of their next shift, as per the EA.
The RTBU is working hard to negotiate with the company to ensure the impact on members is minimised as much as possible.