Work will begin in February and will encompass construction of a third track between Epping and Pennant Hills as well as new passing loops near Gosford that will allow passenger trains exiting the Epping - Chatswood line to pass slower-moving freight trains. Currently passenger traffic has priority on the corridor which often leads to long delays for freight trains if they miss their allocated paths.
The upgrade will increase capacity on the line from 29 freight trains at present to 44 once the work is completed in 2016, taking an estimated 200,000 trucks off Australia's roads.
The Australian federal government is contributing $A 840m to the project, with the government of New South Wales picking up the remaining $A 214m.