The New South Wales Government has greenlit two freight rail projects designed to ease traffic congestion on busy Sydney roads; the Botany Rail Duplication and Cabramatta Loop projects.

The current single freight rail track between Mascot and Botany will be duplicated, and a new passing loop will be added to the freight line between Cabramatta and Warwick Farm stations, allowing for freight trains up to 1,300m in length.

New South Wales Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance, said the Botany Rail Duplication and Cabramatta Loop projects will improve current supply and help meet Sydney’s future freight demand.

“As the state’s largest container port, the efficient operation of Port Botany is critical,” Mr Constance said. 

“Forecasts predict a whopping 77 per cent increase in the amount of freight it handles from 14.4 million tonnes in 2016, to 25.5 million tonnes by 2036.

“For every extra freight train travelling on the Botany line, up to 54 trucks can be taken off Sydney’s roads.”

New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, said the fast-tracked assessment will enable construction works to commence between late-2020 and early-2021.

“These projects are crucial because more freight is moved on rail lines and congestion is busted with fewer trucks on our roads,” Mr Toole said.

“This project will not only provide new rail infrastructure, but will inject around $400 million into the economy and create around 500 local jobs during construction.”

Both projects are being delivered by the Australian Rail Track Corporation, with the Cabramatta Loop Project expected to be completed by mid-2023, and the Botany Rail Duplication expected to be completed by late-2024.

The two projects are the latest projects to be determined through the New South Wales Government’s Planning System Acceleration Program, that is aiming to keep people in jobs and the economy moving through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Infrastructure Australia assigned priority project status to the Port Botany Rail Line Duplication project and the Cabramatta Passing Loop in early-2020.

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