Growth in Rail | NSW Ports
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Major Initiatives

Growth in Rail

Supporting NSW’s growing trade volumes

Rail is a fundamental part of our strategy to sustainably support container growth. Through strategic planning and investment, we are committed to growing rail capacity to ensure efficient freight rail connections. This will, in turn, keep supply chain costs low and reduce the cost of goods to families and businesses, while keeping our exports competitive.

Our long-term goal is to move 3 million TEUs per year by rail, which is about 40% of future forecast container volumes. Every one million TEU transported by rail reduces truck movements at the port by 900 trucks per day.

While Port Botany and Port Kembla are already well connected to a network of metropolitan and regional intermodal terminals we have a significant program of works underway to help us achieve our goal. This is supported by rail infrastructure investment by Government.

On-dock rail

Investment in our on-dock rail capacity at Port Botany is a central part of our strategy to increase the number of containers being moved by rail. On-dock rail creates efficiencies and saves money for importers and exporters by removing the need for double handling of containers on trucks.

Port Botany is the only port in Australia with on-dock rail at all three of its container terminals. Together with our stevedores, we are committed to increasing this capacity to 3 million TEU through a staged investment program at the port.

Stage One: $190 million investment at Patrick Terminals – Sydney AutoStrad

The first stage involves $190 million investment at Patrick Terminals – Sydney AutoStrad, with $120 million from NSW Ports to deliver on-dock rail infrastructure and $70 million from Patrick Terminals to deliver automated rail operating equipment.

The project commenced in 2019 and will double the existing rail capacity at Patrick Terminals – Sydney AutoStrad to 500,000 TEUs and Port Botany’s overall rail capacity to 1.5 million TEUs when it’s complete in 2023. 

Key benefits:

  • 33% faster train turnaround times reducing costs for importers and exporters.
  • More rail services and rail windows for cargo owners, including regional trains.
  • A reduction of at least 10 million truck kilometres travelled in Sydney per year.

Did you know?

Currently Port Botany handles 2.8 million TEUs and has the highest volume of containers transported by rail of all ports in the country, at 440,000 TEUs per year.

Intermodal connectivity

Intermodal terminals are a critical part of the freight logistics supply chain. With 80% of containers moving through Port Botany travelling no further than 40 kilometres of the port, intermodal terminals provide the greatest opportunity to help facilitate an increase in rail growth.

Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre

We are investing $250 million to develop the Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre as a key logistics hub for Sydney. The intermodal terminal and associated logistics warehouses are connected by dedicated freight rail to Port Botany. Together with Cooks River, Moorebank and other intermodal terminals, Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre will service Greater Sydney's need for import goods and help connect Port Botany to regional areas.

Other initiatives

Port Botany Freight Line Duplication

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)'s $400 million project, to complete the duplication of the Port Botany rail freight line (2.9km) and construct a new passing loop at Cabramatta on the dedicated freight line, will further support increased volumes of containers being moved by rail to and from Port Botany.

Funded by the Australian Government, the project will increase the resilience of the freight rail network and provide the capacity required to meet the forecast rail demand generated by the supply chain activities of regional NSW and existing metropolitan intermodal terminals, including Enfield Intermodal Terminal and Moorebank Intermodal Terminal, and future intermodal terminals in Western Sydney.

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Maldon to Dombarton / SWIRL

The Maldon Dombarton Rail Link (also known as South-West Illawarra Rail Link or SWIRL) is an important piece of infrastructure, which will deliver higher volumes of freight by rail to and from Port Kembla.

Combined with an Outer Sydney Orbital, the Maldon-Dombarton Rail Link will provide direct freight and passenger rail access from Port Kembla into the heart of the Western Parkland City and the new Aerotropolis precinct, adding to the strength of Port Kembla as the best location for a second NSW container port to serve the growing needs of the State.