THE Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has awarded two contracts for the $A 400m Port Botany Rail Line Duplication and Cabramatta Loop project in Sydney, Australia. John Holland has won the contract to design and construct the Botany Rail Duplication, while Fulton Hogan is the successful contractor for the Cabramatta Loop.

“The project will help meet future demand at Port Botany, where the freight task is predicted to increase by 77% by 2036,” says ARTC CEO, Mr Mark Campbell. “The Botany Rail Duplication will duplicate the remaining 2.9km section of single-track line between Mascot and Botany, while the 1.65km Cabramatta Loop will allow freight trains of up to 1300m 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. This will further bolster the economy, with more than 620 people employed by the two major contractors and their subcontractors at the peak of construction. Each extra freight train travelling on the Port Botany Rail Line will take up to 54 trucks off Sydney’s roads.”

The Botany Rail Duplication includes a new 2.9km track within the existing rail corridor, track realignment and upgrade; new crossovers to allow trains options to move between tracks; and the construction of new rail bridges at Mill Stream, Southern Cross Drive, O’Riordan Street and Robey Street.

The Cabramatta Loop includes a new 1.65km section of track; a realignment of 550m of existing track; two new bridge structures next to the existing rail bridges over Sussex Street and Cabramatta Creek; and road works to reconfigure Broomfield Street in Cabramatta.

ARTC is delivering both projects on behalf of the Australian government. The awarded contracts follow an intensive tender and evaluation process throughout 2020 and the first part of 2021. CPB Contractors, Laing O’Rourke and John Holland were shortlisted to design and construct the double-track project, while Downer EDI, Fulton Hogan, and John Holland were shortlisted for construction of the Cabramatta Loop.

Following site mobilisation in the second half of 2021, major construction works on both the Botany Rail Duplication and Cabramatta Loop are scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2022.