Australia’s freight task is set to experience significant growth over the coming decades. The existing freight infrastructure cannot support this projected growth, with increasing pressure on already congested roads and rail lines through Sydney, and increasing use of heavy trucks.
The Australian and NSW Governments have identified clear objectives to increase the share of freight moved by rail – from 17.5 per cent in 2016 to 28 per cent by 2021 (NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 – Transport for NSW).
Construction of a new track between the suburbs of Cabramatta and Warwick Farm is one of a number of initiatives proposed to increase the capacity of Sydney’s rail freight network. The project would allow freight trains travelling in either direction to pass each other and provide additional rail freight capacity.
In addition to the project, ARTC is also proposing to undertake the Botany Rail Duplication Project, which would involve duplicating a section of the Botany Line.
The Australian Government has recognised the need for the Cabramatta Loop and Botany Rail Duplication projects and announced a funding commitment of $400 million in the 2018 budget for both projects.
The below image shows the geographic location of the project.
About the project
Key features of the project include:
- New rail track – providing a 1.65 kilometre long section of new track adjacent to the existing track, with connections to the existing track at the northern and southern ends
- Track realignment – moving about 550 metres of existing track sideways to make room for the new track
- Bridge works – constructing two new bridge structures adjacent to the existing rail bridges over Sussex Street and Cabramatta Creek
- Road works – reconfiguring Broomfield Street for a distance of about 680 metres between Sussex and Bridge streets.
Ancillary work would include communication, signalling and power upgrades, works to existing retaining and noise walls, drainage work and protecting/relocating utilities. In addition, minor works in the form of new signalling would be installed at a number of locations within the rail corridor.
The Cabramatta Loop Project is a State Significant Infrastructure project and is therefore subject to State Government planning approval.
The below image illustrates the key features of the project.
Efficient access to and from Port Botany is critical to the economic growth and prosperity of Sydney. Over the next 20 years, container freight, air freight, air travel and general traffic in and around the Port Botany area are expected to grow significantly. This will put more pressure on roads and other infrastructure and impact local communities. Without significant infrastructure investment, existing transport constraints and challenges will worsen.
The amount of container freight handled by Port Botany is predicted to significantly increase. The Australian and NSW Governments have identified clear objectives to increase the share of this freight that is moved by rail. Transporting more freight to and from Port Botany by rail will place additional demands on the existing rail line, with freight that cannot be accommodated on rail placing demands on the surrounding congested road network.
The Southern Sydney Freight Line (SSFL) is already operating close to capacity, limiting its ability to adequately service future demands for rail freight transport. The single track section of the SSFL between Cabramatta and Warwick Farm constrains the ability to increase the share of freight moved by rail on the line. Additional demand arising from the predicted growth in container freight has the potential to exacerbate this situation, impacting on reliability and restricting the efficient movement of freight across the broader Sydney rail network.
The primary objective of the project is to increase capacity to meet the forecast demand for container freight transport on the Southern Sydney Freight Line. Secondary objectives are to provide:
- Increased reliability for freight customers
- Increased operational efficiency and flexibility
- Increased rail market share for containerised freight.
The project would allow freight trains travelling in either direction to pass each other and provide additional rail freight capacity.
It is intended the project would:
- Alleviate constraints on, and increase the capacity of, Sydney’s freight rail network to meet existing and future demands
- Support the operation of intermodal terminals, including Enfield, Chullora and Moorebank
- Encourage a shift in freight transport from road to rail, and support a reduced rate of growth in truck movements and associated traffic congestion.
The project is one of a number of initiatives proposed to increase the capacity of Sydney’s rail freight network. In addition to the project, ARTC is also proposing to undertake the Botany Rail Duplication Project, which would involve duplicating the Botany Line.
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 Cabramatta Loop 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, landscape and visual amenity and traffic 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
- Meeting and working with landowners and stakeholders along the alignment including businesses, utility providers, recreational space users, 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, which is now complete, outlines potential impacts of the project and management measures for consideration by NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE). It also captures information gathered from consultation with the community and other interested stakeholders.
The EIS is now on public exhibition by DPIE until 26 September 2019. Community members and other stakeholders are invited to provide their feedback and make formal submissions, which will be considered by DPIE. We will then respond to the feedback and issues raised by the community in a Submissions Report. The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces 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.
You can also read a summary of the EIS here.
A hard copy of the EIS can be viewed at:
- Fairfield City Council, Administration Centre, 86 Avoca Road, Wakeley
- Whitlam Library, 165 Railway Parade, Cabramatta
- Liverpool City Council, Administration Centre, 33 Moore Street, Liverpool
- Liverpool Library, Library Plaza, 170 George Street, Liverpool
How to make a submission
All formal submissions on the EIS need to be made directly to DPIE. Submissions can be made:
Online (preferred) – Please visit www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major-projects
Post – If you cannot lodge your submission online you can write to:
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 application name is ‘Cabramatta Loop Project’ and application number is ‘SSI-9186’.
Please note, your submission must reach the DPIE by 26 September 2019.
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, which has been incorporated in the EIS.
Now that the EIS is on public exhibition, we would like to invite community members and interested stakeholders to come and talk to the team, and ask questions about the project.
Community Information Session
Where: Cabravale Leisure Centre
30 Broomfield St, Cabramatta
When: Wednesday 18 September, 4pm to 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 you’re welcome to attend any time between 4 and 7pm. You don’t need to register to attend. The venue is fully accessible, complimentary parking is available.
If you can’t make this session and have questions, please contact us. We can provide you with access to interpreter services, if required.
Throughout the EIS exhibition, we will be in the area talking to the community and stakeholders about the project. We will be at Cabramatta Station for an informal conversation booth to talk about the project.
Where: Cabramatta Station
When: Tuesday 3 September from 4:30pm to 6:30pm
The pop-up provides an opportunity for you to drop-by and have a quick conversation about the project and the EIS.
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.
To keep up to date, you can sign 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:
- Geotechnical surveys – to understand physical ground conditions. 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 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.
For further information about this project contact:
P: 1300 550 402