Epping to Thornleigh Third Track

Project profile

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

The new (third) track will separate northbound freight from all-stops passenger train movements along the steep incline between Epping and Thornleigh. This will help provide additional capacity for northbound (interstate container) freight trains, particularly during the daytime when passenger trains currently have priority.

Key features

The key features of the project include:

  • construction of approximately six kilometres of new track on the western side of the existing track between Epping and Thornleigh
  • an access upgrade to Cheltenham Station to make it compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1982. The new design will include construction of a small concourse (on the southern side of the existing overbridge) to allow space for ticketing facilities, two new lifts and stairs to provide access to the existing platforms.
  • modifications to the pedestrian underpass and commuter car park (retaining existing numbers of parking spaces) at Beecroft Station
  • construction of a new rail bridge crossing the M2 Motorway and Devlins Creek
  • extension of Pennant Hills Station concourse, including a new lift and stairs and modifications to Yarrara Road footpath and roadway, and a replacement footbridge south of the station
  • widening of a number of cuttings along the alignment to accommodate the new third track
  • modifications to existing services within the rail corridor and in some public areas.

View the Epping to Thornleigh Third Track map (jpg 514KB).

Project status

The NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure approved the Epping to Thornleigh Third Track Project on 17 July 2013 under Part 5.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The approval followed public exhibition of the Environmental Impact Statement in late 2013, and consultation with the community and preparation of a Submissions Report in response to the 950 submissions received.

The approval is subject to a number of conditions (Conditions of Approval) that outline project control measures that must be undertaken to mitigate potential impacts on the environment and community. These Conditions of Approval, Environmental Impact Statement and Submissions Report can all be viewed on the environment page.

The project is currently in construction and is expected to be completed in 2016.

For information on upcoming construction work and community engagement activities, visit our current works page.


Upgraded Cheltenham Station concourse now open

The upgraded concourse at Cheltenham Station was opened to customers on Monday 31 August 2015.

Customers will now benefit from new lifts and stairs between the concourse and platforms, a modern ticket office, Opal card readers, improved security features including CCTV, new passenger information display boards, and a family accessible toilet.

In the coming months, work will continue in and around the station, including fit out works, reinstatement of the commuter car park on The Crescent and a new kiss and ride area near the Cheltenham Road Bridge. Revegetation and landscaping will also be undertaken around the precinct.

Public art proposals

Work is underway to create art installations at both Cheltenham and Beecroft stations as part of Epping to Thornleigh Third Track Project’s urban design and revegetation plans. The selected artists are now working with the community to develop art pieces that draw inspiration from the local area.

A copy of the artist’s brief can be downloaded here:
ETTT artist's brief (pdf 616KB)

Operational Noise and Vibration Review (ONVR)

An Operational Noise and Vibration Review (ONVR) prepared to assess noise and vibration impacts that will arise from the operation of the new Epping to Thornleigh Third Track has been approved by the Department of Planning and Environment.

The approved ONVR can be viewed on the current works page.

Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Fact Sheet

The NSFC program delivers significant economic, environmental and train passenger benefits. A fact sheet has been prepared outlining these benefits.

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Slideshow Images (Links below display larger version of images:)
Train at Pennant Hills
Beecroft Train Station
Cheltenham Station
Pennant Hills Train Station
Customers at Pennant Hills Station
Artist's impression of the upgraded Cheltenham Station