Lithgow trains back after fire repairs

The state's main west rail line will be back to full capacity from Saturday after crews worked more than 150,000 hours to rebuild the track infrastructure from extensive damage caused by bushfires and flooding.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said restoration of the line through the Blue Mountains would allow Intercity electric services to Lithgow to resume and ensure the freight industry kept goods moving.

"We know just what a vital transport link this line is for both passenger and freight services - and our crews have put in a superhuman effort to repair the devastation caused by the summer bushfires and flash flooding soon after," Mr Toole said.

"More than 200 employees worked to replace more than 50 kilometres of fibre optic cables and 37km of high voltage power lines damaged in the fires.

"Seventy-five power poles, a signal control hut, a substation and thousands of small pieces of safe-working systems were also destroyed in the fire. The high-voltage power supply had to be rebuilt, and more than 540 dead or severely burned trees have been removed.

"It's been a huge task but it's great to know services on the Blue Mountains Line are now back on track - and ready to support essential travel for those returning to work and school and from June 1, those looking to enjoy a break in the bush."

Sydney Trains Acting Chief Executive Stewart Mills said a limited number of passenger and freight services resumed on 20 January, but electric passenger trains like the Intercity services were unable to operate until further repairs to the 25-kilometre rail corridor between Mount Victoria and Lithgow had been made.

"I'd like to thank every person who has worked so hard to rebuild, test and commission infrastructure critical to the safe operation of passenger and freight trains between Mount Victoria and Lithgow," Mr Mills said.

NSW TrainLink Chief Executive Pete Allaway said the full resumption of the line was welcome news for essential workers in the region - and those starting to plan travel when restrictions on travel to regional NSW eased.

"When recreational travel in NSW resumes, our services will be here to provide a comfortable trip for commuters, and allow visitors to experience the Blue Mountains, the Central West and beyond,"Mr Allaway said.

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