Multi-million rail upgrade improves critical freight route

A multi-million dollar upgrade of the Main West Rail Line through Central West NSW is providing more efficient access to markets via a critical freight route.

Under stage one of the program, $21.5 million funded the construction of two rail crossing loops between Blayney and Lithgow at Georges Plains and Rydal.

In addition to the four passing loop projects delivered in stage two, a further $2 million has been allocated for the investigation and development of potential future projects on the Main West Rail Line including loops, rail sliding that support loading and unloading freight, and upgrades to sections of track to accommodate heavier trains.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Sam Farraway, said the completion of the loop upgrades and installations marks the end of stage two of the NSW Government’s $43.3 million Main West Rail Line Capacity Enhancement program.

“These passing loops are the equivalent of rail overtaking lanes, which lead to less congestion and reduced waiting times for passenger and freight trains entering a section of track,” he said.

“This upgrade is essential because freight movements along the Main West Rail Line are forecast to grow to 11.5 million tonnes by 2056.”

Farraway said the upgrade is part of the government’s record $14.5 billion spend into regional and transport infrastructure, which will allow freight to reach markets much easier.

“Freight such as grain, cotton, meat and fresh produce will be able to get to market quicker than ever before and with more freight able to be transported by rail, motorists can expect fewer heavy vehicles on the road,” he said.

In the past, the single-track Main West Rail Line saw limited passing opportunities particularly for longer freight trains. According to the government, the new and extended loops alleviate those issues.