Development of Southern Sydney Freight Line at Environmental Impact Stage

Australian Rail Track Corporation this week commenced the Environmental Impact Assessment for the new Southern Sydney Freight Line from Macarthur to Sefton.

The Southern Sydney Freight line is to be constructed along the existing rail corridor adjacent to the existing track. The new dedicated freight line will connect the existing ARTC rail network at Macarthur with the metropolitan freight only network at Sefton and provide direct independent access to Enfield, Chullora and Port Botany.

The dedication of a single track freight line along the existing southern rail corridor will eliminate the present limitations on freight being carried to the Port of Botany arising from freight trains having no access to the Railcorp commuter passenger rail lines during commuter peak times. Its completion will also release additional capacity back into the passenger commuter system.

The introduction of a dedicated freight rail line will form an important part in the development of the operations of Port Botany and for future export growth. ARTC has commenced finalising concepts for the project and is examining the environmental impact of the various proposals under requirements of New South Wales Planning legislation.

Community consultation will be conducted by ARTC with local communities, looking at both the impact of the completed rail line proposal and to ensure that the project causes minimal disruption in the long and short term.

ARTC will keep local communities informed of the development of the project and following on from initial community consultation will exhibit the impact statement at advertised local outlets where details of the work will be displayed.

The new freight line is a single track with no overhead wires extending over a length of 35 kilometres adjacent to the existing track, with its location within the rail existing corridor chosen to minimise impact on the community.

A community newsletter will be distributed to local communities with a hotline contact number for any inquiries and further information.

Issued: 9 February 2005

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