Last week’s Wooroloo bushfire had a devastating impact on the WA community and Arc Infrastructure’s thoughts go out to everyone who was affected by the fire, particularly the residents living in or around the fire zone.
Arc had over 40 employees and their families impacted by the fire with some needing to evacuate for a period of time. As a priority we supported and will continue to support these employees as the community recovers.
The fire also impacted Arc and our customers operationally and caused a 6km section of track from Midland to Toodyay West on the main interstate line the Eastern Goldfields Railway (EGR), to close Monday 1 February under advice from the Department of Emergency Services (DFES). The Midland Railway (MR) was also closed as a precaution between Muchea and Millendon Junction on Tuesday 2 February.
Head of Operations & Customer Management Rod Smith said it was a team effort that saw the lines inspected and reopened as quickly as possible.
“Throughout the line closures Arc worked closely with customers on their contingency plans to ensure critical food and supplies could travel into Perth via road.
“Due to the amazing efforts of DFES over the course of the week, Arc was given clearance to access the corridor on Friday 5 February for an initial run-through. The following day our teams fully inspected and cleared the corridor and ensured any damaged or dangerous trees that may have been hazardous to operations were cleared.
“Overall, the Arc team was pleased with how well the rail corridor and infrastructure stood up to the fire front and we thank all of our people for their significant efforts across this time. Our recent program to replace overhead power lines with solar alternatives meant that the railway’s main power supply was unharmed and expedited recovery efforts,” Rod said.
The impacted section of EGR was reopened on Sunday 7 February after final approval from DFES was received on Saturday. The Muchea to Millendon Junction section of the MR was unaffected by the fire and was therefore available for services from Saturday 6 February.
“Arc had patrollers complete a final check on the affected lines prior to reopening and identified no issues as a result of high winds and rain overnight. As an additional precaution, Arc Infrastructure technicians were present at active level crossings to ensure operation of the equipment was fully functional for the first services through the area.
“Arc is continuing to liaise with customers and we expect all trains to be back on scheduled train paths over the next couple of days. We thank our customers for their patience, cooperation and understanding over this past week,” Rod said.
Arc, together with everyone in the State, is extremely grateful for the work of DFES in getting the bushfire under control, and for their collaboration and support with getting the railway back open sooner than anticipated.
Arc Infrastructure has made a $10,000 donation to the Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund, which has now been activated to assist victims of the bushfires in the City of Swan and Shire of Mundaring. If you wish to make a personal contribution, you can do so here
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