Hunter coal ops
Aerial view of Hunter Valley coal operations, including several mines and power plants. Wikimedia Commons

More than 200 passenger train services were canceled and coal movement to Port of Newcastle was blocked, as environmental activists continued to stage protests in the Hunter Valley rail corridor for more than a week.

Environmental activist group Blockade Australia has been targeting Newcastle's freight railways in the New South Wales Hunter region to draw attention to the environmental crisis. The region has been the target of protestors for several years.

Transport for New South Wales said more than 200 commuter trains were disrupted and replaced with buses due to the ongoing protests since last week, ABC News reported.

Blockade Australia spokesperson Brad Homewood said the disruption was "relatively minor" and that non-violent protest action was their only choice.

Since the protest began, NSW police have arrested 20 persons.

Officers attached to Hunter Valley Police District arrested a 22-year-old woman for obstructing train service and posing safety risks.

NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley said additional police forces have been deployed in the region. Strike Force Tuohy, which was established in 2021, has also been investigating the illegal activity on the rail line, Catley added.

The protesters have been indulging in daring stunts, which prompted NSW Premier Chris Minns to react that he feared someone might lose their lives.

While a 67-year-old activist suspended himself above the Kooragang Rail Bridge near Newcastle, a woman halted a train carrying coal.

"I'm very fearful that it'll lead to someone losing their life," Minns said. "New South Wales Police enforcing the law to save lives and ensure that the economy and the Hunter can continue to tick."