Duplication of the Port Botany rail line was listed as a ‘high priority initiative’ in Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Priority List released in February 2016.
The NSW Government is currently exploring potential partnerships and funding arrangements with the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), the Australian Government and the private sector to progress the duplication of the Port Botany rail line.
Port Botany is set to become Australia’s largest container port by volume in the next 30 years. In 2015, the port handled a record of more than 2.29 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) containers. Container throughput is forecast to triple to 7 million TEU per year by 2040.
Rail will be critical for managing future container volumes through the port. Capacity and efficiency improvements are needed to support an increased role for rail.
Government and private sector initiatives are underway to encourage the greater use of rail by improving the efficiency of loading at ports and terminals and increasing intermodal terminal capacity. For example, through the Cargo Movement Coordination Centre, we are working to drive increased container lift rates and optimise train turnaround times. New intermodal terminal capacity has been added at Chullora (2015) and Enfield (2016) and the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal is set to commence operations at the end of 2017.
Realising the benefits of these initiatives requires supporting rail infrastructure. Currently the rail line between Port Botany and Enfield includes a 2.84 kilometre section of single-track line. Duplicating this section will:
- Improve the efficiency of the rail connection to the port and provide capacity to meet future demand
- Help reduce road congestion and ease pressure on the M5 corridor
- Support existing intermodal terminals at Minto, Yennora, Chullora and Enfield, and future port shuttle operations from Moorebank to the port.
Duplication of the line between Port Botany and Cooks River includes:
- Construction of new track
- Duplication of three existing single track bridges (Robey Street, O’Riordan Street and Southern Cross Drive) and associated signalling.