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Epping to Thornleigh Third Track

Project profile

The project involved 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 separates 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.

The Epping to Thornleigh Third Track (ETTT) is now complete and the new track is available for freight and passenger services to use.

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.

View the latest newsletter (pdf 1.3MB)

Project status

The project was completed in June 2016 and freight services are now using the new six kilometre track.

Community celebrated through new art work at Cheltenham Station

New artwork celebrating the rich history of Cheltenham was unveiled at Cheltenham Station on Monday 31 October 2016.

The artwork entitled ‘Journey’ comprises of three large lanterns decorated with a collection of images including old railway tickets, advertisements, newspaper clippings, maps, documents and historic photos of local places, people and buildings. 

Together these images create an opportunity to reflect on the history of the local area while also demonstrating its evolution and growth over many years. 

Special thanks to Hornsby Shire Council, Lesley Snelgrove, Nicole White, Joanna Joyce, Dawn Ferguson, Cheltenham Girls High School and the Beecroft Cheltenham Historical for their contribution to the artwork.

New artwork celebrating the rich history of Cheltenham was unveiled at Cheltenham Station on Monday 31 October 2016.
New artwork celebrating the rich history of Cheltenham was unveiled at Cheltenham Station on Monday 31 October 2016.

Urban design and landscaping consultation

Following community consultation and approval by the Department of Planning and Environment, the urban design and landscaping plans for the project are being implemented.

For information on the urban design and landscaping plans for the project download the ULDP (pdf 94.9MB) and the Urban Design and Landscape Plan addendum.(pdf 27.4MB)

Managing freight noise

An Operational Noise and Vibration Management Plan (ONVMP) for the project was prepared in accordance with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) guidelines and the planning approval conditions for the project. The ONVMP predicted the noise and vibration impacts for the project and determined the appropriate mitigation measures.

Consultation on the ONVMP has been undertaken and the mitigation measures approved by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment have been completed for the project. The approved ONVR Main Body and Appendices can be downloaded:

The ETTT ONVR was independently reviewed by a third party acoustic specialist and endorsed by Department of Planning and Environment to ensure the identified impacts and proposed mitigation measures are in accordance with the EPA guidelines.

High Noise Locomotive Paper

As a commitment of the ONVR, this High Noise Locomotive Paper details the potential benefits of targeting high noise locomotives.

Noise mitigation measures

noise wall

Noise barriers and property treatment have been installed for targeted properties to mitigate operational noise associated with the project.

Modern rail lubricators which activate when a freight train is approaching have been installed at Beecroft along with a noise monitoring station that will help Transport for NSW and the freight operators identify noisy bogeys.


A real-time noise montoring station has been permanently installed within the rail corridor. The noise monitoring results will be available to view in real time.

Noise and vibration compliance monitoring will be undertaken by Transport for NSW, one year, five years and ten years after completion. The reports will be available on the Transport for NSW website. If the assessment indicates that noise and vibration objectives have not been met, further feasible and reasonable measures will be investigated in consultation with affected property owners.

For enquiries about operational noise on the new third track you can contact Transport for NSW on 1800 648 490 or email

For enquiries about operational noise on the rest of the network please call 131 500.


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Last updated: 23 March 2017