Trains deliver water to drought-affected NSW coal mines to keep production going and save jobs – by Kathleen Ferguson (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – August 7, 2019)

Trains carrying 725,000 litres of water a day are the latest weapon to keep a drought-affected mine in inland New South Wales in production and keep jobs secure.

The Southern Shorthaul Railroad [SSR] company has started carting water between Centennial Coal’s Charbon and Airlie mines near Lithgow on a 40-kilometre route.

The unorthodox mode of water supply is not only securing coal production, but also jobs. “That would have meant that they would have had to cease coal production in the mine and, for them, that would have meant laying off 140 full-time staff.”

He said his company had gone from hauling monster grain trains in the wake of drought to now carting water, which Mr Jones said had not been done for some time. “There have been water trains run but probably not for a few decades now,” Mr Jones said.

“Water trains would probably go back to the steam era in NSW and I understand maybe Broken Hill have seen some [water-carrying] trains, but not for several decades now.”

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