THE AUSTRALIAN Rail Track Corporation has finished work on the Botany Rail Duplication and Cabramatta Loop Project.

The Botany Rail Duplication project has duplicated the remaining 2.9-kilometre section of single line track between Mascot and Port Botany, including the construction of four new and replacement rail bridges. 

The Cabramatta Loop Project has provided a 1.65-kilometre section of new track, adjacent to the existing track, allowing freight trains travelling in opposite directions to pass each other, and the construction of new bridge structures and track realignment. 

Final works included installation of turnouts, signalling works, and testing and commissioning of new signalling infrastructure. 

The rail projects are expected to help meet future demand between Port Botany and metropolitan freight intermodal terminals, where the freight task is predicted to increase by 77% by 2036. 

The combined projects are expected to significantly improve freight capacity and help reduce the number of trucks on local Sydney roads. 

“Port Botany’s unique location and connectivity makes it a major gateway for Australia and the world, and now it will benefit from a major upgrade to its freight line, helping to move freight more efficiently and effectively in and out of the port,” infrastructure and transport minister Catherine King said. 

“Port Botany moves the largest number of containers by rail of all Australian ports, with 86% of regional New South Wales’s exports arriving by rail through Port Botany,” member for Kingsford Smith Matt Thistlethwaite said. 

“Not only will this vital upgrade help to take trucks off local roads, it will also benefit the New South Wales and Australian economies.” 

The Botany rail duplication will increase the capacity of Sydney’s freight rail network to meet existing and future demands. 

It will also provide increased operational efficiency, flexibility, and reliability for rail freight customers in and around Sydney Airport and Port Botany and beyond. 

The Cabramatta loop project is set to encourage a shift in freight from road to rail, helping to reduce the rate of growth in truck movements and associated traffic congestion. 

ARTC CEO and managing director Wayne Johnson said the work will improve reliability and punctuality for freight customers. 

“The upgrades will put more freight onto rail, help with congestion on Sydney roads with reduced heavy vehicle movements, contributing to a more efficient transport system and city,” Mr Johnson said.  

“Each extra freight train travelling on the Port Botany rail line will take around 50 trucks off Sydney’s roads benefiting local road users.”