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Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program

Project profile

The Northern Sydney Freight Corridor (NSFC) Program is a joint Australian and NSW Government initiative to improve the capacity and reliability of freight trains between Strathfield and Broadmeadow, Newcastle.

The program will increase capacity for interstate container freight and remove the most serious bottleneck on the East Coast interstate, which connects Australia’s three largest cities (Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane).

The NSFC Program currently comprises four key projects:


Well planned rail freight can stimulate new business activities, create jobs and increase the productivity and competitiveness of Australia’s industries.

Enhanced capacity of the rail freight network through the NSFC Program will allow rail to be more competitive with road transport for certain types of freight by:

  • improving freight train access through northern Sydney to the metropolitan freight network, Port Botany and container freight terminal
  • reducing freight transport operating costs
  • easing peak hour restrictions on freight services
  • improving reliability of passenger services on the Main North Line.

Transporting freight by rail also has a lesser impact on the environment and can reduce road congestion, road vehicle accidents and the resultant injuries and fatalities. Each freight train is equivalent to approximately 150 semi-trailers and transporting freight by rail generates one third of the greenhouse gases produced by road transport.

The NSFC will remove more than 200,000 heavy vehicle road trips per year within 15 years. It will also reduce diesel use by almost 40 million litres and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 100,000 tonnes each year.


The North Strathfield Rail Underpass Project and the Gosford Passing Loops Project was completed in 2015. The Epping to Thornleigh Third Track Project was completed in June 2016.

The Hexham Passing Loop Project was completed in 2012 by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

More information regarding construction activities and the environment and planning approvals process is available on each project page.

Last updated: 17 January 2017