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NSW rail network

Overview 

The NSW rail network carried 33 per cent of the total freight task in 2011, or around 136 million tonnes of freight. The movement of coal in the Hunter Valley dominates this activity with all other rail corridors carrying relatively small volumes. 

There are about 9,400 kilometres of nominal route standard gauge rail across NSW, of which around 6,400 kilometres is operational.

Rail freight services run on several networks in NSW:

  • Country Regional Network (CRN) – owned by Transport for NSW and managed by our contracted infrastructure manager, John Holland Rail
  • NSW Interstate, Hunter Valley and Metropolitan Freight Networks – owned by Transport for NSW and leased to and managed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) 
  • Metropolitan Passenger Network – owned by RailCorp and managed by Sydney Trains.

Private sector operators provide rail freight services and apply to the three network managers for access.

The volume of container freight in NSW is forecast to increase from 2 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) to 7 million TEU per year by 2031. To meet the demand and ease congestion on our roads, rail must play a bigger role in the freight task.

We are working to: 

  • Preserve corridors with freight-only rail lines to meet long-term capacity needs
  • Support the development of sustainable intermodal terminals in regional and metropolitan areas
  • Improve connectivity between networks and key freight precincts
  • Lift network productivity and efficiency through network enhancements and upgrades
  • Increase rail performance through the Cargo Movement Coordination Centre.
     

NSW rail networks