MUSWELLBROOK residents can expect to enjoy a "quieter" Simpson Park following the completion of the Rail Noise Abatement Project.
Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen joined representatives from council, Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and the building contractor, Bridge and Civil Pty Ltd, for the official handover on Tuesday, October 29.
The $1.95 million funding came from the NSW Government's Resources for Regions program, which was established under Restart NSW to finance infrastructure projects in mining-related communities.
Three walls were constructed along the rail corridor - one at Simpson Park (125m) and two, approximately 220m in length, behind the Campbell's Corner precinct.
They're designed to reduce the din of passing trains and minimise the effect on existing residents and businesses.
"This is a great example of money coming out of Sydney and being spent in Muswellbrook," Mr Johnsen said.
"This project will have a positive, practical impact on the local community.
"And, it adds to the whole amenity of the town."
A decrease of between seven and 13 decibels is estimated.
Muswellbrook Shire Council will undertake further monitoring now that construction is complete, according to general manager Fiona Plesman.
"We're noticing an immediate [noise] reduction, especially at Simpson Park," she said.
"It's a lot more pleasant as a recreational area.
"I think the walls will make a big difference.
"But, we're interested in seeing - and hearing - the community's reaction to them.
"We've also had no problems with graffiti so far.
"People seem to be very respectful of the project."
Ms Plesman took time to praise the ARTC and Bridge and Civil Pty Ltd, too.
"It was on budget and on time," she said.
"And, put up quickly and smoothly.
"It was a pleasure to work with them.
"We'll now look at applying for funding to extend the rail noise abatement walls along all three rail lines and into the CBD."