The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has opened the St Helier-Muswellbrook rail line for goods transportation after a $28m revamp.

The project is part of the ongoing Hunter Valley Rail Corridor modernisation to increase its coal carrying capacity.

Work on the St Helier-Muswellbrook section involved duplicating a 2km rail track south east of Muswellbrook, building three ‘under-bridges’, track realignment at the Muswellbrook Yard and bi-directional signalling.

The Hunter Valley project is being funded by a $580m federal grant and the ARTC. The investment in the corridor so far has come up to $1.2bn.

The project is aimed at increasing freight to export markets by more than double from 97 to 200 million tonnes per year.