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.
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.
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 may still view the REF online (external link).
What happens next?
We will review and assess all feedback received during the public display period prior to determining whether or not to proceed with the proposal. Should the proposal proceed to construction, we will keep you informed throughout the construction period.
Contact us and sign up for project updates
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