Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) Chief Executive Officer David Marchant has told MINING DAILY that Hunter Valley miners must urgently look at purchasing extra rolling stock to avoid a shortage over the next two years.
“The biggest gap that may pose a challenge for the Hunter Valley is going to be above rail rolling stock,” Marchant said.
“There will be a need over the next two years for 28 more full fleets of coal trains.”
According to Marchant, the Hunter Valley’s coal industry will have to consider pooling together to purchase the rolling stock.
“The leads times for rolling stock have dropped off a little, but you would really want to see some movement towards procurement over the next couple of months,” Marchant said.
“Given the variability between different mines over the next few years in the Hunter Valley, and given the nature of the commercial arrangements, it may be a good idea for mines to consider a pool arrangement.
“The issue needs to be addressed if the tonnages envisaged are going to take place. Either that or the coal companies are going to have to contractually commit to rail operators individually to back up the acquisition of the rolling stock.
“The criticality of that is starting to get quite tight.”
An in depth analysis of the Hunter Valley Supply chain will be featured from page 16 in the April issue of Australian Mining.