Landslip still affecting rail travel

The train-bus tango on the Mountains line is likely to continue for weeks as crews work to try to repair damage caused in a landslip at Leura.

Weeks to repair: The landslip below the railway at Leura.

Weeks to repair: The landslip below the railway at Leura.

The land gave way after the torrential rain which soaked the Mountains over four days from February 7-10.

And despite massive resources being thrown into the repair job, with a large number of workers on duty and dozens of trucks carrying debris from the site, it will be a huge job to make the line safe again.

Buses are operating west from Springwood to Mt Victoria. As an added inconvenience, because of infrastructure damaged by bushfires earlier in the summer, buses are also replacing trains between Mt Victoria and Bathurst.

The deluge which saw more than 400 millimetres of rain dumped over the Mountains undermined the soil beneath the railway line almost midway between Leura and Katoomba.

The landslip stranded more than 50 carriages west, leaving Transport for NSW short of rolling stock for the Mountains run. The carriages are in stabling areas at Katoomba and Mt Victoria.

Four-car trains travelling more frequently are being used to move commuters from the city to Springwood.

Many have complained about a lack of seats, particularly on the homeward run when people heading to Parramatta, Blacktown or Penrith crowd on to the express trains which are headed for the Mountains.

A Transport for NSW spokesman said Sydney Trains had secured the track infrastructure at the landslip and was now working to stabilise the ground. A large metal stanchion, which holds up the overhead power lines, had to be removed before further work could take place.

Infrastructure including the track bed, ballast and safety equipment was washed away. Workers are now trying to reconstruct the track and repair signalling and overhead wires.

The minister for regional transport and roads, Paul Toole, said the landslip set back efforts to repair the bushfire damage.

"At the end of last year, 25 kilometres of track was significantly damaged by bushfires between Mount Victoria and Lithgow, with thousands of kilometres of communication, electrical and signal wiring lost," Mr Toole said.

"Sydney Trains' engineers worked tirelessly to develop temporary systems to allow limited rail connectivity and to safely operate a limited number of freight and passenger trains from January 21.

"Unfortunately with the recent landslip at Leura, these services have been temporarily suspended once more."

Transport for NSW said commuters should check latest information and plan their journey through trip planning apps or at http://transportnsw.info.