Some 1,800 sleepers will be used as fence posts, to help replace an estimated 3,500 kilometres of fencing that was lost in January’s fires.
RailCorp staff responded quickly to make surplus sleepers available after receiving a request from the Ministry for Police and Emergency Services.
The wooden rail sleepers will be used by volunteers helping farmers in Cooma, Yass and Coonabarabran to repair properties damaged in the fires.
Volunteer organisation BlazeAid is helping farmers rebuild fences. At the Nimmitabel camp near Cooma, co-ordinator Paul Forgeard estimates they have at least 2-3 months work ahead of them, with 200 kilometres of fencing to rebuild. The camp has up to 40 volunteers and people are coming from across Australia to help.
"Many of our farmers are having to make do with old and worn equipment as most of their good machinery has been lost, together with houses, sheds and other infrastructure in some cases," he said. "At the moment we are working with nine farmers but there could be others who haven't registered with us yet."
Prime movers will transport the wooden sleepers from the nearby depots to those areas in need. RailCorp is in the process of replacing all wooden sleepers on the network with concrete sleepers, which last longer and more reliable for rail purposes.
To volunteer with BlazeAid visit http://blazeaid.com.au
For more information, visit www.cityrail.info or call the Transport Info line on 131 500.
Image courtesy of Sue and Darryl's Photography