AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Southern Sydney Freight Line back on track

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) announced last week that work would recommence on one of the highest priority freight rail projects for Australia, the Southern Sydney Freight Line (SSFL), after work was temporarily suspended in November last year. </span> <p>By Jennifer Perry<br /><br />ARTC chief executive David Marchant said work on the SSFL’s first section of track between Leightonfield and Sefton would be laid between March and July next year and should be finished by mid-2011.</p><p>ARTC is currently constructing six Easy Action lifts at stations along the route, and relocating utility services within the rail corridor, with work to be completed between February and October 2011.</p><p>The impact of a range of “unforseen factors” late last year meant ARTC had to re-evaluate the original delivery programme for the SSFL.</p><p>However, Marchant said ARTC had used the temporary suspension of construction to prepare the rail corridor for a more “speedy” and efficient delivery.</p><p>ARTC expects to construct the rest of the line between Macarthur and Leightonfield in two stages Marchant said,.</p><p>ARTC will also relocate services along the corridor and will work in conjunction with RailCorp to relocate signal services.</p><p>“By staging construction and working in close cooperation with RailCorp on signal work and moving services such as high voltage power lines, we will have a clean and clear construction site which means we can minimise any impacts on passenger services,” Marchant said.</p><p>“By moving ahead on the works around stations and work that’s been underway along roads near the rail line, we can also improve local traffic flows.”</p><p>The 36km dedicated freight line between Macarthur and Sefton in southern Sydney will allow passenger and freight services to operate independently, overcoming the long standing impediment of curfews placed on freight rail that have resulted in inefficient movement of intermodal trains through Sydney.</p><p>Marchant said the $300m SSFL would also improve the efficiency of rail freight services on the major rail corridor linking Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.</p><p>The Federal Government has also proposed a Northern Sydney Freight Line (NSFL) – an $840m project ARTC is developing with RailCorp and Transport NSW, with the Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation (TIDC) undertaking project assessment.<br /><br />&nbsp</p>