Western Sydney is expected to experience rapid population growth, and a significant increase in freight volume. The total volume of freight that is coming from or to Western Sydney is expected to increase from 18.5 million tonnes in 2014 to 41 million tonnes by 2041.
Currently there is no freight rail serving the Western Sydney Employment Area, which is located close to the new Western Sydney International Airport (due to open in 2026). Without a freight rail link, this area will rely on road freight to transport goods to and from Port Botany.
Continued reliance on road transport is likely to result in higher transport costs, further congestion impacts on the Sydney road network and restricted access to international markets, via Port Botany.
The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit found that freight transport in our fast-growing cities is impacted by congestion leading to increased costs. If this is not addressed, delays in our urban supply chains will become more common and costs will increase as our cities grow.
Corridor preservation for a Western Sydney Freight Line and Intermodal Terminal access has been included on the Infrastructure Priority List as a High Priority Initiative since 2016. On 30 June 2020, the NSW Government announced and protected the final corridor for the western end of the freight line. Work on finalising and protecting the eastern end of the corridor is underway.
Potential options to address the initiative include high-capacity freight connections and potential intermodal facilities to improve freight connectivity between Western Sydney and the Sydney Metropolitan Freight Network.
The initiative aims 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.
Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).