Australian Rail Track Corporation says at least 1500 sleepers will need to be replaced on the Hunter rail line after the midweek train collision between Singleton and Muswellbrook.
Independent investigators handed back the site, where a loaded coal train’s wagons derailed and were hit by a locomotive on Wednesday near Newdell Junction, to the ARTC on Thursday.
The locomotives and wagons were expected to be removed from the line on Friday afternoon, after which repairs to the tracks would begin.
An ARTC spokesperson said signalling and track switching equipment was being repaired “over approximately 10km of track”.
“Around 1500 sleepers require replacing, approximately 100 metres of track needs more substantial repairs,” the spokesperson said.
“A range of crane equipment, excavators, bulldozers and other heavy equipment are all mobilised in support of the repair and recovery efforts.”
The ARTC said on Thursday it expected the Hunter rail line between Singleton and Muswellbrook to be closed through the long weekend.
Buses are still replacing passenger train services between Scone and Singleton.
“The current forecast for services to resume remains this weekend, subject to all works going well,” a spokesperson said on Friday.
“Our teams are working around the clock to ensure a return to services and we thank our customers for their patience during this time.”