Botany Rail Duplication Project

Project Overview

In May 2018 the Australian Government announced a funding commitment to duplicate the remaining section of single line freight track between Mascot and Botany, known as the Botany Rail Duplication Project. The project will aim to:

  • Alleviate constraints and increase the capacity of Sydney’s freight rail network to meet existing and future demands
  • Provide increase operational efficiency, flexibility and reliability for freight customers support current NSW government targets to increase the rail mode share
  • Support connection to, and operation of, intermodal terminals to meet their targeted freight capacity.

Together, with the Cabramatta Loop Project, Botany Rail Duplication aims to provide the capacity to meet predicted growth in the containerised freight task and support rail services between Port Botany and metropolitan freight intermodal terminals.

The Botany Rail Duplication Project will complement future upgrades taking place in and around the airport and port precinct which aim to improve traffic flow and help reduce congestion on nearby roads. As such, ARTC is working closely with Transport for NSW in developing the design and planning for the Sydney Gateway Project.

About the Project

The Botany Rail Duplication Project includes the following key features:

  • Track duplication – constructing a new track predominantly within the rail corridor for a distance of about three kilometres
  • Track realignment and upgrading – moving some sections of track sideways (slewing) and upgrading some sections of track to improve the alignment of both tracks and minimise impacts to adjoining land uses
  • New crossovers – constructing new rail crossovers to maintain and improve access at two locations (totalling four new crossovers)
  • Bridge works – constructing new bridge structures at Mill Stream, Southern Cross Drive, O’Riordan Street and Robey Street (adjacent to the existing bridges), and re-constructing the existing bridge structures at Robey Street and O’Riordan Street
  • Embankment/retaining structures – construction of a new embankment and retaining structures adjacent to Qantas Drive between Robey and O’Riordan streets and a new embankment between the Mill Stream and Botany Road bridges.

Ancillary work would include bi-directional signalling upgrades, drainage work and protecting/relocating utilities.

The project is subject to State planning approval. The project is considered a State significant infrastructure project, and is subject to State planning approval. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been developed, and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has placed the EIS on public exhibition until 13 November 2019. The Department has a key role in assessing a project and recommending approval to the Minister for Planning.

The below image illustrates the key features of the project.

Project need

Efficient access to Port Botany is critical for the economic growth and prosperity of Sydney, NSW and Australia. The amount of container freight handled by Port Botany is predicted to significantly increase in the future. This will put more pressure on roads and the existing rail line.

Existing constraints

The Botany Line forms part of the Metropolitan Freight Network and is the only rail connection linking Port Botany to the major freight destinations in western and south western Sydney and beyond. Transporting more freight to and from Port Botany by rail will place additional demands on the existing Botany Line, particularly the single line section of track, which is already an existing constraint to this section of the wider freight network.

The single track between Mascot and Botany:

  • Constrains the ability for freight trains to enter and depart from Port Botany concurrently, acting as a bottleneck.
  • Restricts freight movements during maintenance activities
  • Poses a freight reliability risk, if a train was to break down or be involved in an incident, all services to/from Port Botany would stop, resulting in freight on roads until services commenced again.

The Botany Duplication Project is needed to improve operational efficiency, flexibility and reliability for freight customers who use the existing Botany Line and to meet the anticipated future increase in freight train movements. The Botany Duplication Project is expected to allow for increased freight movement on the Botany Line from the current average of about 20 trains per day (per direction) up to around 45 trains per day (per direction) by 2030, based on current and predicted operational requirements identified by ARTC.

Planning for the future

Over the last twenty years, Australia’s need for a more strategic approach to managing and investing in land freight networks has become apparent. The project is influenced by industry strategic planning and policies to provide the infrastructure necessary to service demand for freight accessing Port Botany, intermodal terminals and key supply chains in a reliable, safe and efficient manner. If infrastructure cannot service future demands, planning and policies for freight related activities by the NSW government and private industry cannot be met.

Botany Rail Duplication Project is a key initiative that supports the NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023, and the following key Government strategies:

The project is consistent with the following key strategies:

  • NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 – The amount of container freight handled by Port Botany is predicted to significantly increase – from 14.4 million tonnes in 2016 to 25.5 million tonnes in 2036, representing an increase of 77 per cent. The strategy includes an aim to increase the share of freight moved by rail – from 17.5 per cent in 2016 to 28 per cent by 2021.
  • Navigating the Future, NSW Ports’ 30 year Master Plan – Over 80 per cent of containers moving through Port Botany are delivered to locations within a 40 kilometre radius of the port. The strategy set a target of 40 per cent of total freight volumes to be transported to/from the port by rail over the next 30 years. This represents a substantial increase compared with the current 14 per cent share of freight moved by rail. NSW Ports recognises that maximising the capacity of Port Botany requires a combined investment in, and optimisation of, both road and rail networks, and that investment in just one mode will not suffice
    The below image illustrates the project benefits in line with the above strategic context.

The below image illustrates the project benefits in line with the above strategic context.

Project progress

In 2018, we lodged a State significant infrastructure application which was accompanied by a Preliminary Environmental Assessment to the former NSW Department of Planning and Environment (now the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment) for the Botany Rail Duplication Project. In late 2018, we received the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements.

Over the past few months we have been:

  • Completing specialist studies focused on areas such as noise and vibration, traffic and transport, heritage, etc.
  • Hosting a project information session, door knocking, pop-up information sessions in the local community.
  • Engaging with local government and other stakeholders to better understand local needs and concerns
  • Meeting and working with landowners and stakeholders along the alignment including businesses, utility providers, potential suppliers and industry.

We have gathered information from the early engagement and technical environmental assessments to feed into the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS outlines the project benefits, potential impacts of the project and mitigation measures which aim to manage these impacts. It also captures information gathered from consultation with the community and other interested stakeholders.

The EIS is now on public exhibition by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) until 13 November 2019. Community members and other stakeholders are invited to provide their feedback and make a formal submission directly to the DPIE. We will respond to the feedback and issues raised in a Submissions Report. The Minister for Planning then makes a decision on whether to approve the project.

View the EIS

The EIS can be viewed online at the DPIE’s website here.

Hardcopies of the EIS are available to view during the exhibition period at:

  • Mascot Library | 2 Hatfield Street, Mascot
  • Eastgardens Library | 152 Bunnerong Road, Eastgardens
  • Marrickville Library | 313 Marrickville Library, Marrickville.

An electronic copy of the EIS is available to view at Service NSW Botany | 5 Lord Street, Botany.

Community information sessions

We will hold a number of community engagement activities throughout the exhibition period to communicate the findings in the EIS.

Drop in session

You are invited to attend a community information drop-in session and meet the project team who will be there to discuss the project. There is no need to make a booking – just drop in.

Where: Alf Kay Eastlakes Community Centre | 2 Florence Ave, Eastlakes
When: Thursday 31 October 2019 | 4pm – 7pm

We will have copies of the EIS available and a range of other materials to help inform you about the project. This is a drop-in style event, so there is no need to register to attend – just drop in. The venue is fully accessible and complimentary parking is available.

Conversation booth

We will hold a number of conversation booth information sessions throughout the exhibition. These will be:

  • Outside Fresh @ 1 coffee shop | Tuesday 22 October | 7:30am and 10am | Botany Road, Mascot
  • Southpoint Shopping Centre | Thursday 24 October | 3pm-6pm | Bunnerong Road, Hillsdale.

How to make a submission

All submissions on the EIS need to be made directly to DPIE. Submissions can be made:

Planning Services
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
GPO Box 39
Sydney NSW 2001

Your submission must include:

  • Your name and address, at the top of the letter only;
  • The name of the application and the application number;
  • A statement on whether you support or object to the proposal;
  • The reasons why you support or object to the proposal; and
  • A declaration of any reportable political donations made in the previous two years.

Note: The project name is ‘Botany Rail Duplication’ and application number is ‘SSI-9714’.

Please note, your submission must reach the DPIE by 13 November 2019.

The below image shows where we are in the planning process.

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Contact us

Web: www.artc.com.au/initiatives

Phone: 1300 550 402

Email: enviroline@artc.com.au

Mail: Locked Bag 14, Sydney NSW 2001

Our aim is to respond to all queries within 2 working days if your query takes no longer we will contact you to discuss an indicative response timeframe.

Interpretation service

If you need an interpreter, please call TIS National on 131 450 and ask them to call ARTC on 1300 550 402. Our business hours are 0900 – 1700.

Useful links

View the EIS 
Community update (October 2019) 
View Guide to the EIS document (October 2019)
Community update (May 2019) 
Public engagement strategy 

Project contact

For further information about this project contact:

P: 1300 550 402
E: enviroline@artc.com.au

Sign up to project updates

Sign up via the form below to receive information on upcoming community events, works disruption notifications or just for further information on the project.

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