The NSW government has given planning approval for the Botany Rail Duplication and the Cabramatta Passing Loop.
Both projects will be delivered by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) with shortlisted contractor expected to be invited to tender shortly, Peter Winder, group executive Interstate Network at ARTC.
“These two landmark projects will encourage a shift in freight share from road to rail, to help rail carry more of Sydney’s freight growth and associated traffic congestion and support growth in the containerised freight task and port-shuttle rail services between Port Botany and intermodal terminals such as at Enfield, Moorebank, Minto and Chullora.”
The project will allow for freight trains up to 1,300 metres in length to pass between Cabramatta and Warwick Farm and enable Port Botany to handle increasing freight loads by rail, said Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance.
“As the state’s largest container port, the efficient operation of Port Botany is critical. Forecasts predict a whopping 77 per cent increase in the amount of freight it handles from 14.4 million tonnes in 2016 to 25.5 million tonnes by 2036.”
The dual projects were one of a number of NSW rail projects that received fast-tracked planning approvals. According to Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole the projects will allow more freight to be carried by rail.
“These projects are crucial because more freight is moved on rail lines and congestion is busted with fewer trucks on our roads,” he said.
“This project will not only provide new rail infrastructure but will inject around $400 million into the economy and create around 500 local jobs during construction.”
The Cabramatta Loop will be completed by mid-2023 and the Botany Rail Duplication will be completed by late 2024.
Australian Logistics Council CEO Kirk Coningham welcomed the announcement.
“Duplicating the remaining 2.9-kilometre single track section of the Botany Line between Mascot and Botany and constructing a new passing loop on the Southern Sydney Freight Line at Cabramatta will inject greater efficiency and capacity into the freight network and help to meet NSW’s growing freight demands,” he said.
“The delivery of these projects by the Australian Rail Track Corporation will further encourage freight owners to transport more containers by rail and will build on significant investments NSW Ports has already made to increase port-side rail capacity.”