The Cabramatta Loop Project is one of a number of initiatives proposed to increase the capacity of Sydney’s rail freight network. The Cabramatta Loop project would comprise the construction and operation of a passing loop on the Southern Sydney Freight Line between Cabramatta and Warwick Farm, to enable freight trains to pass each other. This will improve efficiency and reliability on the freight rail network, helping to meet future freight demand and support the NSW Government’s targets to increase the use of rail transportation.
ARTC is also proposing to undertake the Botany Rail Duplication Project, which would involve duplicating a section of the Botany Line. Further details on this project is available here. In May 2018, the Federal Government announced its commitment to the Cabramatta Loop and Botany Rail Duplication Projects which together will deliver improvements to Sydney’s metropolitan freight rail network .
About the project
The Cabramatta Loop Project includes the following key features:
- Construction of new track approximately 1.65 km long. This new track will enable freight trains up to 1.3 km long travelling in either direction to pass each other. This track will run parallel to, and form part of, the Southern Sydney Freight Line.
- Two new rail bridges will be constructed over Sussex Street and Cabramatta Creek adjacent to the existing rail bridges.
- The road alignment and parking configuration of Broomfield Street in Cabramatta will need to be adjusted to accommodate the new track.
The Cabramatta Loop Project is a State Significant Infrastructure project and is therefore subject to State Government planning approval.
Australia’s freight task is set to experience significant growth over the coming decades. Transporting freight by rail to Port Botany is a key priority to both support the economic growth of Sydney and to increase freight transport by rail.
Efficient access to and from Port Botany is critical to the economic growth and prosperity of Sydney. The existing freight infrastructure cannot support this projected growth. Without significant infrastructure investment, existing transport constraints and challenges will worsen, resulting in increased pressure on already congested roads and rail lines through Sydney, and increasing use of heavy trucks.
In 2015, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development made the recommendation to develop a rail loop aligned with the existing rail corridor between Cabramatta and Warwick Farm stations. This section of rail is part of the broader Southern Sydney Freight Line, which is already operating close to capacity.
The Cabramatta Loop Project is a key ARTC initiative to support the Sydney Metropolitan Freight Strategy 2015-2024 and NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023. Together, with the Botany Rail Duplication Project, the Cabramatta Loop will provide the capacity to meet future growth in the transportation of containerised freight between Port Botany and metropolitan freight intermodal terminals.
Funding to proceed with the Cabramatta Loop Project has been allocated for this State significant infrastructure project.
In 2018, we lodged a State significant infrastructure application which was accompanied by a Preliminary Environmental Assessment to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for the Cabramatta Loop Project. In late 2018, we received the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
Over the past few months we have been:
- Completing field studies focused on areas such as noise, vibration, and transport
- Hosting a project information session for the local community
- Engaging with local government and other stakeholders to better understand local needs and concerns, and
- Meeting and working with landowners and stakeholders along the alignment including businesses, utilities, recreational space users, potential suppliers and industry.
We are now gathering information from the early engagement and technical environmental assessments to feed into the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS will outline potential impacts of the project and management measures for consideration by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (formerly NSW Department of Planning and Environment) and will also capture information gathered from consultation with landowners and other stakeholders.
Once completed, the EIS will be exhibited to the public by the Department of Planning and Environment for a minimum of 30 days. During that time, community members and other stakeholders are invited to provide their feedback and make formal submissions, which will be considered by NSW Department of Planning and Environment. The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces then makes a decision on whether to approve the project.
The below image shows where we are in the planning process.
Community consultation is vital to the success of the Cabramatta Loop Project and we welcome your participation. We are committed to working with the community and stakeholders to get your feedback which will help us with further planning.
We have been engaging with the community since March 2019 where we introduced the project, and received feedback on the project, to be incorporated in the Environmental Impact Statement.
Since the early engagement, we have continued engaging with a range of community members and key stakeholders, which will be ongoing over the coming months.
Conversations during the EIS exhibition will focus on:
- Sharing information around how the proposed works will occur in the local environment
- What this may mean in terms of changes in the way you may travel in your community
- What you can expect to see and hear as a result of the project
- How we will communicate throughout construction.
We are planning:
- A community information session, where technical specialists will be available to talk about the project construction and operation
- One-on-one conversations with businesses, organisations, neighbours of the project
- Neighbourhood conversation booths at Cabramatta Station and Warwick Farm Station.
The public exhibition of the EIS is likely to occur later in 2019 and we will be sharing further information about the process, timings and how community and interested stakeholders can make submissions directly to the Department of Planning and Environment.
Details of the public exhibition of the EIS will be available on this webpage, letterbox flyers to the local community, posters around the stations, and in the local newspapers. You can be notified directly of the public exhibition of the EIS by signing up to project email updates.
Over the next few months, we will be continuing to carry out a series of investigation on site to inform the project design. Some of these include:
- Soil and geology surveys – to understand physical ground conditions like soils and rocks. Work will include geotechnical borehole drilling and test pit investigations
- Utility identification surveys – to identify infrastructure such as gas and water pipelines
- Heritage surveys – investigations for any evidence of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artefacts/heritage
- Land surveys – to identify property boundaries and any easements and to install survey pegs if required.
Some investigations will be carried out within road reserves off the roadway, with signage in place to warn motorists and people in the area.