Northern Sydney Freight Corridor finally locked in
After a delay of almost four years an intergovernmental agreement has been signed between the Australian and New South Wales Governments that will see work start next February on a series of projects that will improve capacity on the North Sydney Freight Corridor (NSFC) between Strathfield and Hexham.
Coal Train on NSFC at Hawkesbury River; Courtesy GRMS MEDIA
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese today joined NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell at Hornsby Station for the announcement of the $1.1 billion suite of projects, with both pledging to work together to upgrade the corridor from
“After almost three years of detailed planning and preconstruction activities, we’ve today pressed the ‘go’ button on a project which will help keep
“Once completed in June 2016, the new infrastructure will lift the corridor’s carrying capacity by 50 per cent from 29 to 44 freight trains a day, helping to accommodate the threefold increase in interstate freight volumes that’s expected over coming years.”
Jointly funded by the Australian ($840 million) and NSW ($214 million) governments, the
Premier O’Farrell said as well as reducing transport costs, improving the competitiveness of freight rail and boosting national productivity, the project will also deliver benefits to the wider community, particularly commuters.
“In addition to taking trucks off
“It will provide new passing loops and new track which will reduce the impact of freight trains on passenger services providing locations for passenger trains to overtake slower freight trains. This will be a real benefit for commuters travelling into the city from the
“Commuters at Concord West and
A 20-year Memorandum of Understanding also guarantees more freight trains better access to the corridor while continuing to prioritise the reliability of commuter services.
Recent media reports have suggested that, despite the benefits in reduced truck movements and improved pathing for commuter services, the NSW Government has been reluctant to commit to the project because of the Australian Government’s (through
While the works will provide sufficient capacity for the immediate future, in the past industry participants have indicated that ultimately a completely new alignment will have to be provided between Sydney and Newcastle, conservatively estimated at costing around $6 billion, or that a commitment to the Inland Rail Route will be required.
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