First track installed for Epping to Thornleigh Third Track project

Media Release

WT178/2015

19 June 2015

Joint release with:

Duncan Gay

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight

Philip Ruddock

Federal Member for Berowra

Andrew Constance

NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure

Sydney's freight rail network has received another significant boost with the first section of the Epping to Thornleigh Third Track project installed, forming part of the $1 billion Northern Sydney Freight Corridor programme.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the installation of the first section—two 85-metre track turnouts at Thornleigh over the June long weekend—is another step towards a stronger national freight rail network.

“The $477 million Epping to Thornleigh Third Track is a key part of the North Sydney Freight Corridor programme, with the addition of six kilometres of new track set to increase freight rail capacity across the national network,” Mr Truss said.

“Last week, I announced the completion of the $400 million North Strathfield Rail Underpass, which will fix the problem of commuters having to wait for up to seven minutes for a freight train to pass.

“Projects such as these continue the Government's commitment to improving productivity, reducing business costs and ensuring freight gets to domestic and international markets quickly and reliably.”

Federal Member for Berowra Philip Ruddock said the addition of a third track will safeguard the effectiveness of the Sydney to Brisbane freight rail route.

“As Australia's freight task expands, investing in key transport routes will ensure our businesses remain competitive in a global market,” Mr Ruddock said.

“The Main North Line between Sydney and Newcastle has been identified as a significant bottleneck, impacting on commuters and businesses alike, including those in the Berowra electorate, and I am pleased to see action being taken to meet this challenge.”

New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay said the project is a significant investment in the New South Wales economy, while also helping to separate freight and passenger trains.

“Thousands of people are employed by businesses which rely on this rail link, notably people in the Hunter and Gunnedah basins working in the mining and agriculture industries,” Mr Gay said.

“The Northern Sydney Freight Corridor programme has already created around 1,000 jobs in construction and its related industries, and this project will continue to support New South Wales businesses and jobs more broadly.”

New South Wales Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor programme will remove around 200,000 heavy vehicle movements from local roads each year.

“That is a massive achievement which will ease congestion, improve road safety and lead to cleaner air through the removal of almost 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Epping to Thornleigh Third Track project is expected to finish in June 2016.