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February 8, 2016

Final section of track laid on $336m ETTT project in New South Wales

The final section of track has been laid for the A$477.4m ($336m) Epping to Thornleigh Third Track (ETTT) project in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, marking a major milestone on the A$1.1bn ($775m) Northern Sydney Freight Corridor (NSFC) upgrade.

The final section of track has been laid for the A$477.4m ($336m) Epping to Thornleigh Third Track (ETTT) project in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, marking a major milestone on the A$1.1bn ($775m) Northern Sydney Freight Corridor (NSFC) upgrade.

The ETTT project is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments, with A$360m ($254m) and A$117.4m ($82m) committed respectively.

The project involves the construction of 6km of new and upgraded track within the rail corridor between Epping and Thornleigh stations on the western side of the existing tracks.

"When the project is finished, northbound freight trains will enjoy additional capacity."

New retaining walls, electrification works, noise amelioration treatments and landscaping are expected to be completed over the next six months.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said: "The milestone continues the Australian Government’s commitment to delivering a fully functioning rail line by mid-2016.

"The corridor is vitally important to the national economy, shifting about 1.7 million tonnes or 15% of interstate freight by rail. When the project is finished, northbound freight trains will enjoy additional capacity."

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NSW minister for transport Andrew Constance said: "The ETTT project will deliver extensive upgrades to the area’s rail line.

"The new track is going to separate northbound freight from passenger train services between Epping and Thornleigh, this means better services and reliability for commuters in the north-west of Sydney."

The NSFC programme is being implemented in stages, the first of which includes North Strathfield Rail Underpass (NSRU), ETTT, Gosford Passing Loops (GPL) and Hexham Passing Loop (HPL).

NSW minister for roads and freight Duncan Gay said: "The Northern Sydney Freight Corridor upgrade will remove around 200,000 truck movements from NSW roads every year by 2030.

"NSW is the freight ‘through state’ of eastern Australia, by removing more than 2000,00 trucks a year we improve safety, cut congestion and reduce wear and tear on our roads."

The NSFC Programme aims to improve the capacity and reliability of freight trains between Strathfield and Broadmeadow, Newcastle.

It will also increase capacity for interstate container freight and ease the most serious bottleneck on the East Coast interstate, which connects Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

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