Demand for rail freight in the Newcastle to Sydney corridor, using the Main North Rail Line, is projected to continue growing over the coming decades.
Stage 1 improvements to the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor have increased the corridor’s capacity by 50%, from 29 to 44 freight trains each day. This will accommodate growth in demand for rail freight up until 2028. In the longer term, the Sydney metropolitan rail network will again become a point of bottleneck for the rail freight network, mainly because of priority given to passenger rail services.
A second package of infrastructure improvements in the corridor would build on the earlier package to deliver a significant increase to core period (5 am to 10 pm) rail freight capacity, along with improved average transit times for freight services. This would also improve freight and passenger service reliability along the Main North Rail Line between Strathfield in Sydney and Broadmeadow in Newcastle.
The candidate projects for the second package include Rhodes to West Ryde quadruplication and additional track capacity between Thornleigh and Hornsby (known as the Thornleigh to Hornsby Third Track project).
The NSW Government has completed a preliminary design for Rhodes to West Ryde quadruplication and Thornleigh to Hornsby Third Track. The scoping and timing of this work is currently being developed in conjunction with a response to the Sydney rail network capacity initiative, which is separately listed on the Infrastructure Priority List.
Proponent to complete business case development (Stage 3 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).