New freight rail projects to boost productivity


Rudd Government announces new Sydney rail freight projects as construction work begins on a vital route to increase productivity

The Rudd Government has announced new Sydney rail freight projects as construction work begins on a vital route to increase productivity.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese says the Government has allocated $15 million to accelerate planning and design work on a dedicated freight line between North Strathfield to Gosford.

Works will also being later this month on a $27 million upgrade to the Port Botany Rail Line, which once complete will increase the average train load to the Port from 40 to 60 containers.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) yesterday began work on the $309 million Southern Sydney Freight Line project, which Albanese says will clear "the single largest bottleneck on the interstate rail network".

The project will create a dedicated freight line from Macarthur to Chullora, which will give 24-hour access to Port Botany.

"Currently, freight trains face frustrating delays on the Sydney network because of the priority given to passenger trains and because of limited track capacity," Albanese says.

The money will also be spent on passenger amenities and access as well as noise walls along the corridor, with the project to be completed by early next year.

Albanese says the Gosford project will give access to four freight trains an hour for 22 hours a day.

He says the investment is part of a government commitment to make rail more competitive and to reduce the number of trucks on the road.

"Over the next six years, we will invest more than $3.2 billion in the interstate rail network, with almost half that funding expected to be spent within the next 18 months," Albanese says.

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