Contracts awarded to deliver $400m NSW major freight rail upgrades

Monica Gameng   |   August 4, 2021
Port Botany (cr: Australian Rail Track Corporation)

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has marked a new milestone on the $400 million Port Botany Rail Line Duplication and Cabramatta Loop Project with the awarding of two major contracts. 

ARTC has awarded the major contracts to John Holland to design and construct the Port Botany Rail Line Duplication project, while the contract to deliver the Cabramatta Loop has been awarded to Fulton Hogan. 

“The project will help meet future demand at Port Botany, where the freight task is predicted to increase by 77 per cent by 2036. 

“The Botany Rail Duplication will duplicate the remaining 2.9 kilometre section of single line track between Mascot and Botany, while the 1.65 kilometre Cabramatta Loop will allow freight trains up to 1,300-metres in length travelling in either direction on the Southern Sydney Freight Line to pass each other. 

“Not only will this increase freight capacity, it will also encourage more freight movements to be made by rail – helping to shift freight away from road transport and reduce the rate of growth in truck movements and traffic congestion,” ARTC CEO Mark Campbell said 

Both projects will also provide a much-needed boost to the economy as the two major contractors as well as their subcontractors are anticipated to employ more than 620 personnel at peak construction period. 

SG041_PS113386_project-description-overview-3-768x1086 (1)Port Botany Rail Line Duplication Project (source: Australian Rail Track Corporation)

Key features of the Port Botany Rail Line Duplication project include: 

  • Track duplication – constructing a new track within the rail corridor for a distance of about three kilometres 
  • Track realignment and upgrading – moving some of the track sideways to make room for new track 
  • New crossovers – constructing new crossovers to allow trains options to move between tracks 
  • Bridge works – constructing new rail bridges at Mill Stream, Southern Cross Drive, O’Riordan Street and Robey Street 
  • Embankment/retaining structures – constructing new embankment and retaining structures 

This project will also deliver ancillary works such as bi-directional signalling upgrades, drainage work and protecting/relocating utilities 

“We will draw on our significant experience in operational rail environments to improve freight access to Sydney at this critical time. Our teams are looking forward to working with the community to create jobs and strengthen connections for our primary producers,” John Holland Executive General Manager – Rail Steve Butcher said. 

J010765-ARTC-Key-Features-Figure_2b_001_crop-1-scaled-e1622511358332Cabramatta Loop Project alignment (source: Australian Rail Track Corporation)

On the other hand, key features of the Cabramatta Loop Project include: 

  • New rail track – a 1.65-kilometre-long section of new track adjacent to the existing track, with connections to the existing track at the northern and southern ends 
  • Track alignment – moving about 550 metres of existing track sideways to make room for the new track 
  • Bridge works – constructing two new bridge structures adjacent to the existing rail bridges over Sussex Street and Cabramatta Creek 
  • Road works – reconfiguring Broomfield Street for a distance of about 680 metres between Sussex and Bridge streets 

Ancillary works will also be delivered including communication, signalling and power upgrades, works to existing retaining and noise walls, drainage works and protecting/relocating utilities. New signalling will be installed at several locations within the rail corridor as well. 

“We're proud of our track record of working in and connecting communities right across Australia and delighted to have been awarded the Cabramatta Loop contract. 

“We look forward to working with ARTC to deliver this important piece of rail infrastructure and the benefits it will provide to people and businesses in NSW,” Fulton Hogan GM Eastern Construction Andrew McRae said. 

Both companies are expected to mobilise on site in the second half of 2021 and major construction on the Port Botany Rail Line Duplication and Cabramatta Loop projects are anticipated to commence in the first quarter of 2022. 

Source: Australian Rail Track Corporation (1, 2, 3); Railway TechnologyInside Construction 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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