John Holland, Fulton Hogan awarded $400M ARTC contracts

Train coming out of Port Botany
Train coming out of Port Botany. Image courtesy if ARTC.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has awarded the contract for design and construction of the Port Botany Rail Line Duplication in Sydney to John Holland, with another major contract awarded to Fulton Hogan to deliver a passing loop at Cabramatta.

The two contracts have a combined value of $400 million and form part of the Federal Government’s plans to improve freight movement on Sydney’s rail network and encourage a shift in freight from road to rail.

The Botany Rail Duplication will duplicate the remaining 2.9 kilometre section of single line track between Mascot and Botany, while the 1.65 kilometre Cabramatta Loop will allow freight trains up to 1,300-metres in length travelling in either direction on the Southern Sydney Freight Line to pass each other.

With one train able to move around the same amount of containers as 54 trucks, the project will support the New South Wales Government’s targets to increase the rail mode share.

The ARTC is delivering both projects on behalf of the Australian Government. ARTC Chief Executive Mark Campbell said the project will help meet future demand at Port Botany, where the freight task is predicted to increase by 77 per cent by 2036.

“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,” Mr Campbell said.

“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.”

Executive General Manager – Rail at John Holland, Steve Butcher, said the company was excited to begin working on this important project.

“We will draw on our significant experience in operational rail environments to improve freight access to Sydney at this critical time. Our teams are looking forward to working with the community to create jobs and strengthen connections for our primary producers,” Mr Butcher said.

Andrew McRae, Fulton Hogan’s GM Eastern Construction said, “We’re proud of our track record of working in and connecting communities right across Australia and delighted to have been awarded the Cabramatta Loop contract.

“We look forward to working with ARTC to deliver this important piece of rail infrastructure and the benefits it will provide to people and businesses in NSW.”

The awarded contracts follow an intensive tender and evaluation process throughout 2020 and the first part of 2021. CPB Contractors, Laing O’Rourke and Downer EDI were also shortlisted for the projects.

The Botany Rail Duplication will complement future upgrades taking place in and around the airport and port precinct which aim to improve traffic flow and help reduce congestion on nearby roads, including the Sydney Gateway project. ARTC is working closely with Transport for NSW in developing the design and planning for Sydney Gateway.

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.

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