Major rail upgrades transform Sydney's freight network

Major works to duplicate the Botany Rail line and develop a new Cabramatta Loop are now complete following successful commissioning of both projects, marking the end of 2.5 years of construction.

The lines are now operational, marking significant milestones for the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and construction partners John Holland and Fulton Hogan.

Final works included installation of turnouts, signalling works, and testing and commissioning of new signalling infrastructure.

The combined projects are expected to significantly improve freight capacity and help reduce the number of trucks on local Sydney roads.

The Botany Rail Duplication project has duplicated the remaining 2.9-kilometre section of single line track between Mascot and Port Botany, including the construction of four new and replacement rail bridges.

The Cabramatta Loop Project has provided a 1.65-kilometre section of new track adjacent to the existing track, allowing freight trains travelling in opposite directions to pass each other, and the construction of new bridge structures and track realignment.

Through Australian Government funding of $442 million, these transformative rail projects will together help meet future demand between Port Botany and metropolitan freight intermodal terminals, where the freight task is predicted to increase by 77 per cent by 2036.

Both upgrades form part of ARTC’s network, a vital part of the nation’s transport supply chain, connecting places and ports to people and products.

Quotes attributable to Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King:

“Port Botany’s unique location and connectivity makes it a major gateway for Australia and the world, and now it will benefit from a major upgrade to its freight line, helping to move freight more efficiently and effectively in and out of the port.

“The Australian Government is committed to delivering a more reliable, efficient and sustainable rail freight network to support the modal shift from road to rail.

“That’s why we have invested in these upgrades, they are a vital boost to Sydney’s freight network to help meet the growing demand.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Kingsford Smith Matt Thistlethwaite:

“Port Botany moves the largest number of containers by rail of all Australian ports, with 86 per cent of regional New South Wales’s exports arriving by rail through Port Botany.

“Not only will this vital upgrade help to take trucks off local roads, it will also benefit the New South Wales and Australian economies.”

Quotes attributable to ARTC CEO and Managing Director Wayne Johnson:

“Successful completion of the Botany Rail Duplication and Cabramatta Loop projects is a significant boost for Australia’s freight network and will improve reliability and punctuality for freight customers.

“The upgrades will put more freight onto rail, help with congestion on Sydney roads with reduced heavy vehicle movements, contributing to a more efficient transport system and city. Each extra freight train travelling on the Port Botany Rail Line will take around 50 trucks off Sydney’s roads benefiting local road users.

“I would like to acknowledge the continued support and added investment by the Australian Government which has enabled these major upgrades to be completed.

“I would also like to thank our project teams along with our construction partners John Holland and Fulton Hogan who worked tirelessly to safely deliver these vital upgrades in complex urban environments, close to other road and rail infrastructure. We also thank Transport for NSW for their supportive coordination achieving this significant task.”

Project benefits – Botany Rail Duplication:

  • Alleviate constraints and increase the capacity of Sydney’s freight rail network to meet existing and future demands.
  • Provide increased operational efficiency, flexibility and reliability for rail freight customers in and around Sydney Airport and Port Botany and beyond.
  • Support connection to, and operation of, intermodal terminals to meet their targeted freight capacity.

Project benefits – Cabramatta Loop Project:

  • Alleviate constraints on, and increase the capacity of, Sydney’s freight rail network to meet existing and future demands.
  • Support the operation of intermodal terminals, including Enfield, Chullora and Moorebank.
  • Encourage a shift in freight from road to rail, helping to reduce the rate of growth in truck movements and associated traffic congestion.