Additional info from John Holland’s website, which published a Country Train Notice dated 31/12/19 indicating cancellations on the main west on Saturday (4jan), but resumption of WN17 and 1845 on Sunday (5 Jan).Thanks for this information, but it may be a tad optimistic for a Sunday re-opening.
ARxx, on the old Mudgee line, still showing as cancelled- unsurprising, given fire threat remains in the Capertee area.
I was booked on the Broken Hill Explorer train this coming Monday 6th January; but received a call this morning from TrainLink saying that the service is cancelled, and there is no forecast for a line re-opening. I did appreciate the call, but declined the offer of sitting on a bus all day and night out west.
So, either the damage is far more extensive than I had imagined and/or there are some problems in getting the repairs done due to manpower or equipment sourcing issues. In any event, folks at the top are not saying anything (while presumably at the coal face there are workers doing the best they can with what they have got).
Another little update:
I have family who are booked on the Blue Suede Express (run by the LVR) from Central to Parkes this coming Thursday 9th Jan.
We have received emails saying that the line will still be closed by then, but that they will be running the train anyway, via Cootamundra (with a 5-30 AM departure from Central). Of course, this assumes that the main south is open for business by then. I don't know what the TrainLink Elvis XPT service will be doing about all this.
By the way, if you peruse the TrainLink service disruptions page this morning, it is a real horror show for them. They must be in complete scramble mode.
As we all know, is the Dubbo XPT still out of action for the foreseeable future. And so too all Canberra, Melbourne and Griffith trains are replaced by buses.
In addition, this morning's Casino train is a bus out of Central.
Meanwhile, the up Moree train today is also a bus.
There is going to barely be enough space at Central to keep up with the need for bus parking spots!
I wonder when things settle down, if some political or treasury hard-head takes the opportunity to conclude that running a rail service is just too hard, and that they should just cancel the new train contract and put the 'emergency bus replacement' contractors on the permanent payroll. I am probably being too cynical I know.
Meanwhile, the fires just go on and on.......