NSW adds freight rail overtaking lanes

The state will make overtaking for large freight trains easier

NSW adds freight rail overtaking lanes
NSW is about to build four more rail passing loops

The New South Wales government has announced a $43.3 million main west rail line upgrade to provide more efficient access to market for producers through a critical freight route.

The upgrades include overtaking lanes through the completion of four passing loop upgrades as part of the end of stage two of the 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," NSW regional transport and roads minister Sam Farraway says.

"This upgrade is essential because freight movements along the main west rail line are forecast to grow to 11.5 million tonnes by 2056.

"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."

The NSW government says the entire $14.5 billion project will make life easier for road users and freight operators.

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The most recent passing loop was completed at Bumberry near Parkes along with three other projects also delivered in 2021 in regional NSW.

Previously there has been limited passing opportunities on the single-track main west rail line, particularly for longer freight trains, with the new and extended loops planned to create more capacity on the busy line.

Along with the four passing loops, a further $2 million has been allocated for the development of potential future projects on the line including loops, rail sidings for unloading and loading freight and upgrades to accommodate heaver freight trains.

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

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