Major improvements for freight transportation through the economic gateway of Port Botany are closer to reality with major firms shortlisted by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to design and construct the Botany Rail Duplication and Cabramatta Loop projects.
“Improving freight performance at Port Botany is critical for the economic growth and prosperity of Sydney, NSW and Australia with the amount of container freight handled by the Port set to significantly increase by 77 per cent to 25.5 million tonnes by 2036,” ARTC CEO and Managing Director John Fullerton said.
“Each freight train can take up to 54 trucks worth of freight off the road, tackling congestion and improving the everyday commute in Sydney,” Mr Fullerton said.
“The Australian Government has committed $400 million to meeting this future freight demand with the Botany Rail Duplication and new Cabramatta Loop projects long been identified as key projects to enable more freight to be transported by rail from Sydney.
“These two landmark projects will strike the balance between rail and road by duplicating the remaining 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 (SSFL) between Cabramatta Station and Warwick Farm Station to allow for freight trains up to 1,300 metres in length.
“Once completed, the Cabramatta Loop Project will 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.”
The NSW Ports’ 30-year Master Plan shows 80 per cent of containers moving through Port Botany are delivered to locations within a 40 kilometre radius of the port, and port rail shuttles are essential to help move more of the freight task to and from outer Western and South Western Sydney freight precincts.
Three contractors have been shortlisted to bid for the Botany Rail Duplication Project including CPB Contractors, Laing O’Rourke and John Holland. Downer EDI, Fulton Hogan, and John Holland have been shortlisted to bid for the Cabramatta Loop Project.
“These major projects aim to 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,” Mr Fullerton said.
The formal tender process for both projects will be undertaken in 2020.
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