Corridor preservation for Western Sydney Freight Line and Intermodal Terminal access

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Corridor preservation for Western Sydney Freight Line and Intermodal Terminal access

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Corridor preservation for Western Sydney Freight Line and Intermodal Terminal access

A graphic of the Australian continent with NSW state shaded and small dot representing Sydney.
Western Sydney, NSW
Fast-growing cities
Corridor Preservation
NSW Government
Near term (0-5 years)
17 February 2016

The national land freight task is expected  to grow by 86% between 2011 and 2031. The 2015 Australian Infrastructure Audit found that freight rail will need to play a growing role in the movement of goods between ports and inland freight terminals. The role of freight rail will be particularly important for containerised freight, with demand for container terminal port infrastructure projected to grow faster than Gross Domestic Product.

In 2018–19, approximately 18% of containerised freight handled at Port Botany was transported by rail. If this  If this level of rail freight continues, congestion on Sydney’s road network will increase as the number of trucks required to meet the growing freight task increases.

In order to facilitate a shift from road to rail for containerised freight movement in Sydney, additional capacity and higher levels of service are required on Sydney’s rail freight network.

Modelling by the NSW Government in 2019 estimates the net cost of protecting and acquiring the first stage of the Western Sydney Freight Line (WSFL) corridor as $0.2 billion ($2019), and modelling in 2021 estimates the net cost of protecting and acquiring the second stage of the WSFL as $0.54 billion (2021 prices).

Potential investment options

The proposed WSFL would be a dedicated rail freight line connecting Western Sydney to the Sydney Metropolitan Freight Network at the Southern Sydney Freight Line (SSFL). It would connect to intermodal terminals to service freight moving through Western Sydney from across New South Wales.

Establishment of a dedicated freight rail line connecting Port Botany to an Intermodal in Western Sydney and then to the Main West Rail Line would also reduce passenger rail congestion on the Main West Rail Line east of St Marys and through Parramatta CBD.

The first stage of the WSFL from Luddenham to Horsley Park, and the site for the proposed Western Sydney intermodal terminal, were gazetted in 2020.  The remaining section of the WSFL corridor through Wetherill Park industrial area is currently under investigation.

The WSFL is aligned with a number of NSW transport strategies and plans including Future Transport Strategy 2056, NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 and the NSW State Infrastructure Strategy 2018–2038. WSFL is specifically referenced in A Plan for Growing Sydney and the Western City District Plan.

The core objective of the proposal is to reduce growth in truck movements on the Sydney road network and reduce delays to freight trains on the main Western Line, where passenger trains have priority. Preservation of the corridor is the first step  to achieving this objective.

Construction of the WSFL may also  require capacity enhancement of the  SSFL between the WSFL/SSFL junction and Sefton Park Junction.

Next Steps

Proponent to complete business case development (Stage 3 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).


Refer to Infrastructure Glossary for terms and definitions.