Port Botany Rail Line projects recognised as priority

The Australian Government has today welcomed the announcement by Infrastructure Australia that the Port Botany Rail Line Duplication and Cabramatta Passing Loop projects have been recognised as priority projects.

The announcement comes as a separate $75 million upgrade to improve the standard and performance of the existing Port Botany rail line has been successfully completed.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said improving freight reliability at Port Botany is critical for the economic growth and prosperity of Sydney, NSW and Australia with freight forecast to increase by 77 per cent to 25.5 million tonnes by 2036 at the Port.

"It’s great to see job-creating infrastructure and freight initiatives such as these recognised as priority projects by Infrastructure Australia, particularly at a time when getting goods to consumers is so essential," Mr McCormack said.

"The Australian Government has committed $400 million to meet Sydney’s future freight demand by funding the Botany Rail Duplication and Cabramatta Loop projects which have long been identified as key to enabling more freight to be transported by rail through Port Botany.

"With funding already on the table, the Government is once again on the front foot, investing in the freight rail infrastructure needed to keep Australian business moving.

"The duplication and Cabramatta Loop initiatives will improve rail capacity, flexibility and reliability for freight rail customers, encouraging more freight to shift from road to rail and we are getting on with delivering these massive improvements.

"Each freight train can take up to 54 trucks worth of freight off the road, tackling congestion and improving the everyday commute in Sydney."

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the Government was very happy to see these projects given priority status by Infrastructure Australia, given they are estimated to deliver a strong cost-benefit ratio of 2.68. That means every dollar invested by the Government into this project will deliver nearly $3 of economic benefits for Australia.

"These two landmark projects will help Sydney meet its growing population and freight demands and better balance the volume of freight travelling by road and rail," Minister Cormann said.

"They also align with our Government’s commitment to deliver critical rail projects sooner as part of our $100 billion infrastructure pipeline.

"Fast-tracking significant job-creating, economy-boosting projects like these is now more important than ever as we look to chart our way out of the coronavirus-induced crisis and bounce back strongly on the other side."

Duplicating the remaining 2.9-kilometre single freight rail 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 allow freight trains up to 1300 metres in length to pass each other.

It will also allow freight trains travelling in either direction along the Southern Sydney Freight Line to pass each other and provide additional rail freight capacity for the network.

Infrastructure Australia’s recognition of the Botany Duplication and Cabramatta Loop projects comes on the back of the recent completion of the Port Botany Rail Line Upgrade – a separate $75 million Australian Government-funded project that has enhanced the existing rail line to Port Botany.

The upgrade improves connectivity and performance for freight trains operating on the Sydney Metropolitan Freight Network and paves the way for the Port Botany Rail Line Duplication project.

The upgrade has been completed on time and to budget, with additional works delivered as a result of efficiencies during the upgrade project’s delivery.

Additional improvement work to the line included upgrades to one of the key railway junctions in Sydney – Chullora Junction – a main intersecting point for Port Botany and the north and south rail corridors.

The Government continues to roll out its record $100 billion infrastructure investment pipeline in order to lay the foundations for jobs, businesses and communities to recover on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Botany Rail Duplication and Cabramatta Loop will improve rail capacity and service reliability to and from Port Botany, while alleviating constraints and increase the capacity of Sydney’s freight rail network, which supports the logistics and supply chain activities of intermodal terminals such as at Enfield, Moorebank, Minto and Chullora.

The projects will also 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.

The Port Botany Rail Line Stage 3 upgrade installed:

  • 10 kilometres of new rail installed
  • 16 kilometres of concrete sleeper track
  • 37,000 cubic metres of new track ballast, equivalent to the capacity of 15 swimming pools
  • 14 new turnouts, 6 restored turnouts and 3 new catchpoints
  • 3 kilometres of new piped drainage
  • 1 kilometre of retaining walls
  • 5 kilometres of new track bed

For more information visit: https://www.artc.com.au/projects/botany-rail-duplication-project / https://www.artc.com.au/projects/cabramatta-loop-project/.

Media contact:

Deputy Prime Minister – Tess Salmon 0467 740 017

Minister Cormann – Antony Perry 0484 312 671