Arup has designed the signalling system on the Hunter Valley coal network rail line between Branxton and Farley, just west of Maitland, New South Wales.
The new signalling has been designed for full bi-directional traffic. Eight minute headways on both lines meet current capacity targets for loaded coal trains running at 60km/h.
The design will also allow a future increase in permissible speed for loaded coal trains to 80km/h following track and structural strengthening works, reducing train transit time and further increasing capacity.
Continuous and economical running
The new bi-directional corridor has been divided into two sections, allowing for line maintenance with minimal perturbation of traffic and providing alternative paths in case of failures.
Arup’s design also allows trains to run continually, including throughout the majority of annual maintenance works.
Re-signalling to the loaded coal train speed profile will also reduce excessive braking and acceleration of trains, with more even headways throughout the Maitland to Branxton section. This will improve fuel economy and reduce vehicle maintenance and workshop time.
The provision of a modern processor-based signalling system and designed resilience of the vital communications between processors will also significantly reduce the amount of unplanned system downtime.