Botany Yard Signalling Project

Project overview

The amount of freight passing through Port Botany is scheduled to significantly increase over the coming years. Investment in both road and rail around Port Botany is required to support this growth.

The existing Botany Yard signalling system currently allows uni-directional signalling and partial bi-directional along the arrival and departure tracks. This configuration limits operational efficiency of the line as trains occasionally are required to wait for longer periods to enter and depart the Port. The reconfiguration of the Botany Yard signalling system to enable bi-directional signalling will improve the operational efficiency and flexibility of train movements in Botany Yard.

The objective of the project is to improve the operational efficiency of train movements in Botany Yard consistent with the overarching objectives of the NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 and Sydney Metropolitan Freight Strategy 2015-2024. The Botany Yard Bi-Directional Signalling Project is just one of the Australian Government initiatives to improve the movement of freight on Sydney’s rail freight network.

About the project

Key features of project include:

  • New signalling infrastructure to accommodate bi-directional train movements including new cable routes, signal huts and signal posts
  • Removal of an existing dis-used siding connection
  • Motorising manual points at Gelco siding.

The project is subject to planning approval under Part 5, Division 5.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. A Review of Environmental Factors (REF) has been prepared to consider the environmental impacts of the proposed project. ARTC is both the proponent and the determining authority for the project.

The below image illustrates the key features of the project.

BYS key features
Botany Yard – Key features

Project need

The signalling work will enable additional bi-directional train movements in Botany Yard, which will improve the flexibility of train movements, providing an overall positive benefit to the efficiency of the yard and broader NSW freight rail network. Gelco siding is currently manually operated. This means that a driver is required to wait for approval to enter the siding and then manually operate track levers to enter and exit. Motorising the points at Gelco siding will also reduce the time it takes for trains to enter and exit the track.

The project aims to meet the objectives of the following key Government 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 –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.

Project progress

A Review of Environmental Factors (REF) was prepared to assess the potential environmental impacts of the proposal. The REF was on public display from 18 May until midnight 31 May 2020. The REF explains the proposed work, options considered, potential impacts and the management measures to minimise potential impacts. While the formal period for community submissions has now closed, you can view the REF here.

Following the assessment undertaken as part of the REF and the consideration of submissions received on the REF in the Submissions Report, ARTC have determined the project should proceed, subject to conditions.


What happens next?

ARTC is currently working to engage a construction contractor. The timing of construction and completion of the project is dependent on engaging a construction contractor. The project is anticipated to begin in 2021 and be completed over three years. Nearby residents will be notified in the lead up to and during construction.

Contact us and sign up for project updates

If you have any questions, would like to view a hard copy of the REF, or would like to receive project updates, please contact:

  • phone 1300 550 402
  • email

Register for project updates by including your contact details in the online form on the right-side column.

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