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Cargo shipments from Newcastle coal port delayed by Ulan rail outage: sources

Delays to some thermal coal shipments from Newcastle port are likely after the closure of the Ulan railway used by a string of mines in the Western coal field in the Australian state of New South Wales, market sources said Wednesday.

Train movements on the Ulan rail line were suspended Wednesday to allow for engineering checks on a rail bridge that left up to six coal trains stranded on the western side of the bridge, according to sources.

Among the miners with operations connected to the Ulan railway are Glencore for its Mangoola open-cut mine and Ulan mining complex, Peabody Energy’s Wilpinjong mine, and Yancoal Australia’s Moolarben mine, according to company data.

The Ulan branch line joins the rest of the Hunter Valley network for coal exports at Muswellbrook, at the head of the Hunter Valley coal field.

Australian Rail Track Corporation, the operator for the Hunter Valley rail network was contacted for comment, but had yet to reply at the time of publication.

It is the second time since August that rail operations have been suspended on the Ulan line for the Western coal field.

In mid-August, trains on the Ulan line were halted from August 9-13 after engineers discovered a structural defect in a rail bridge at Muswellbrook during routine checks, said a spokesman for Australian Rail Track Corporation at the time.

“Repairs took place to the bridge from Wednesday to Sunday and it reopened on Sunday evening,” said the ARTC spokesman on August 15.

Source: Platts 

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