A limited Bathurst Bullet and Dubbo XPT service will be reinstated on the Blue Mountains Line from Tuesday morning as work continues to repair key infrastructure damaged by the bushfires.
NSW TrainLink and freight services have been suspended between Mount Victoria and Lithgow since December 19 due to active fires and the subsequent damage.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, said Transport for NSW had been working hard to ensure some services could resume.
"They have done an incredible job. When you look at the destruction that has been caused by those fires, it is immense," he said.
"We are going to be months away before we see regular services operating once again.
"Where those fires have been through, we've seen something like 300 trees already checked, inspected and removed on that line. We've got signalling boxes that have been completely destroyed, we've got thousands of wires that need to be replaced."
We are going to be months away before we see regular services operating once again.Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole
Starting from Tuesday morning, the first Bathurst Bullet service will depart Bathurst at 5.46am and return from Sydney at 5.47pm. This service will operate from Monday to Friday each week.
On weekends, the Bathurst Bullet will depart Bathurst at 6.07am and return from Sydney at 5.51pm.
Monday through to Sunday, the second daily Bathurst Bullet service will be replaced by coach between Bathurst and Mount Victoria.
Mr Toole said that the second bullet service will be replaced by coach between Bathurst and Mount Victoria.
He explained that the reason for limited services is to allow work to continue on the line while still getting trains through.
"We need about a nine to 10 hour window each day to be able to undertake the repairs that are needed on the main western line; we can't have crews going in, bringing in heavy equipment and having trains operating throughout the day," Mr Toole said.
"That's why we're going to see freight movements primarily in the evening, early passenger services happening in the morning and throughout the day we'll see crews on the ground doing the work that's required to get operations back up and running as normal."
The impact on the train line has hit companies that rely on freight services hard.
Grain Force operations manager Wes Larnach said using an alternate route has significantly increased costs and time.
"It has basically tripled the cost," he said.
"...It was a loss making exercise for us, but we had to do it to make sure our customers got their priority freight down."
Customers who will be travelling along the affected lines are encouraged to check the latest information and plan their journey via www.transportnsw.info.
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