Sydney's rail network receives major upgrade

Media Release

WT168/2015

10 June 2015

Joint release with:

Andrew Constance

NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure

Craig Laundy

Federal Member for Reid

Australia's freight network has received a major boost with the opening today of the $400 million North Strathfield Rail Underpass as part of the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor project.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said investment in the New South Wales rail network would pay dividends for all Australians, with the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor programme already creating over 1,000 jobs for the state's economy.

“This section of rail forms a key transport link between Brisbane and Melbourne and with approximately 15 per cent of interstate freight being moved by rail, investing in this project makes good economic sense,” Mr Truss said.

“The Main North Line has been identified as a significant bottleneck to freight movements, with the delays costing Australian businesses time and money.

“This investment will allow goods to get to domestic and international markets in a faster and more reliable manner, improving Australia's competitiveness in the process.”

Federal Member for Reid Craig Laundy said the delivery of the underpass would help unlock the economic potential of the area.

“Access to a reliable public transport system is a bonus for many residents and this project will deliver major productivity improvements for commuters and business operators alike,” Mr Laundy said.

“By improving this corridor commuters will enjoy a better run to their places of work. It will also stimulate new business activities by improving access to a major transport route.”

New South Wales Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said the North Strathfield Rail Underpass project would play an important role in the growth of Sydney.

“The New South Wales rail network has a number of significant capacity challenges in coming years, and this project forms part of our investment in ensuring Sydney and Central Coast residents have a fast and reliable rail service,” Mr Constance said.

“This project will reduce congestion by grade separating the location at which freight trains cross the path of passenger trains on the Main North Line at Concord West.

“Through the delivery of a grade separated rail line—including a tunnel almost 150 metres long and 3.2 kilometres of new track—this project will provide welcome relief for commuters and motorists alike.

“Within the next 15 years, more than 200,000 yearly heavy vehicle road trips will be removed from local roads. It will also have slashed greenhouse gas emissions and reduced the use of diesel fuel by almost 40 million litres each year.”

The $400 million project was jointly funded by the Australian and New South Wales governments, with $316 million and $84 million contributed respectively.