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After six months of a non-operational train line for electric passenger services there is light at the end of the tunnel.
From Saturday, electric train services will resume on the 25 kilometre line between Lithgow and Mount Victoria.
The return comes after crews worked more than 150,000 man hours on the line with about 200 employees working round-the-clock.
Bathurst MP Paul Toole said employees worked hard to repair the damage the fires had caused.
"[Fires] devastated the line. They wiped out 75 power poles, a signal control hut, a substation and also burnt trees," he said.
"On top of that we also had floods."
He said crews removed 540 burnt trees and replaced 50 kilometres of fibre optic cables and 37 kilometres of high voltage power lines.
"It's been a huge task and the recommencement comes at the right time where we are just starting to open up the regions again for travel," he said.
Mr Toole said COVID-19 had impacted on travel with people only allowed to head out for essential matters.
"Now we are opening up the regions on June 1," he said.
"Social distancing is still in place and will be around on public transport, we still want people to remain vigilant and be safe.
"I'm sure there will be an influx of people, we are also fitting out our TrainLink services with green dots which will indicate where people can sit and stand safely on our trains and buses."
Mr Toole said the line reopening was not only important for electric passenger services but also for freight.
"It's a busy line with people, but the movement of freight out here in the West is critical for the state's economy and this [reopening] is now getting services back to normal," he said.
This article first appeared on www.westernadvocate.com.au
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