Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has shortlisted five contractors to carry out the design and construction work for the Botany Rail Duplication and Cabramatta Loop projects.

ARTC has shortlisted CPB Contractors, Laing O’Rourke and John Holland for the Botany Rail Duplication Project. It has also shortlisted Downer EDI, Fulton Hogan and John Holland for the Cabramatta Loop Project.

ARTC CEO and managing director John Fullerton said: “Improving freight performance at Port Botany is critical for the economic growth and prosperity of Sydney, NSW and Australia with the amount of container freight handled by the Port set to significantly increase by 77% to 25.5 million tonnes by 2036.

“Each freight train can take up to 54 trucks worth of freight off the road, tackling congestion and improving the everyday commute in Sydney.”

The Australian Government will provide A$400m ($276.3m) to meet the demand for freight with the help of the two projects.

The project will duplicate the only single freight rail track section between Mascot and Botany on the Botany line. It will also build a new passing loop between Cabramatta Station and Warwick Farm Station on the Southern Sydney Freight Line (SSFL).

The government-owned ARTC manages 8,500km of rail network spread across five states of Australia.

Last week, Airsight secured a contract to provide its automated defect detection and management platform to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

Last month, ARTC awarded John Holland a contract for the main works of the North East Rail Line upgrade project.

In March, the Government of Australia committed an A$2bn ($1.42bn) investment for the proposed fast rail link between Melbourne and Geelong in the state of Victoria.