Fast-tracked rail projects to create hundreds of construction jobs

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Details for two new freight rail projects have been released, with the project set to ease traffic congestion on some of Sydney's busiest roads. 

The plans have been approved by the NSW Government and will see the current single freight rail track between Mascot and Botany duplicated, as well as a new passing loop added to the freight line between Cabramatta and Warwick Farm stations, allowing for freight trains up to 1,300 metres in length. 

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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. 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,” Mr Constance said.

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

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the fast-tracked assessment will enable construction works to commence within the next six months.

“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 of the projects are being delivered by the Australian Rail Track Corporation with the Cabramatta Loop Project and are expected to be completed by mid-2023. The Botany Rail Duplication is poised to be completed by late-2024. 

The two projects are the latest projects to be determined through the NSW Government’s Planning System Acceleration Program that is geared towards keeping people in jobs and stimulating the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, the program has created opportunities for more than 41,000 jobs and $18.2 billion in economic benefit.

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