A train service between Melbourne and Sydney will be stopped after a coronaviral outbreak linked to the NSW bushfires.
Key points:Blue Ridge train service from Melbourne to Sydney will stop on Thursday after coronaviruses were detectedBlue Ridge Railway is one of the longest-running rail lines in Australia, connecting two cities with its main branch at the Sydney Opera HouseThe Blue Ridge railway, which links Melbourne to NSW, will be closed for maintenance and testing for coronavidesVaries by city, Blue Ridge has been operating since the 1890sThe Blue Mountains railway, the longest line in Australia with a track running from Melbourne in NSW to Sydney, will not be able to run this week due to the coronavids, NSW Transport Minister Chris Hipkins said.
“Blue Ridge will be a test bed for the coronas and we will be using that to inform the public and to develop our response plan,” he said.
The Blue Mountain railway connects two cities in Melbourne, Sydney and Melbourne, and runs for a total of 965 kilometres.
“As a precautionary measure, Blue Mountain trains will be removed from service and the railway will be put back into operation with new track to the west and a new track from the east,” Mr Hipkins told the ABC.
“It will be shut down for maintenance over the next week and the NSW Department of Transport will be involved in this process.”
The Blue Pine railway runs from Perth to Sydney and connects the city with the city’s western fringe, which has seen some of the worst bushfires in recent memory.
“The Blue Creek is a service that connects the western fringe to the northern fringe,” Mr Kincaid said.
In total, the Blue Mountains, Blue Pine and Blue Ridge lines are estimated to have run more than 930 kilometres between them.
Blue Ridge Rail is one the longest running railways in Australia.
The train travels at a speed of approximately 55 kilometres per hour.
“We are all looking for answers about what is the impact of the coronave, whether it is positive or negative and what is going on on the rails in terms of how we can ensure we get our services back up and running,” Mr Hincaid told the Nine Network.
“These are not isolated cases.
They are part of a global issue.
This is a global pandemic and there is no doubt about that.”
In a statement, Mr Hipkin said the department would “take the opportunity to explore and develop new and innovative ways of managing the public health impacts of this global pandemic and the response and prevention measures that we have implemented to date”.
“We will work with all stakeholders to determine the best way forward and, once that is determined, we will share it with the public,” he added.
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