Rail Freight Access

This measure determines the number of train paths that are allocated to freight trains within the Sydney Metropolitan Network.

A Strategic Target of the NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023, is to maintain the number of train paths required by freight within the shared metropolitan rail network.

It is important that access for freight trains is maintained across the network. Passenger and freight trains share the rail lines across a significant portion of the NSW network. This shared access, together with priority given to passenger services, can result in challenges for moving freight, particularly in the Sydney metropolitan area.

About the data

Dataset name: Rail Freight Access
Data owner: Freight Industry Branch, Rail Program Delivery, Transport for NSW
Operator Coverage: Rail operators, Sydney Trains
Date range: May 2018 onwards 
Frequency: Quarterly

Description: This visualisation shows the number of train paths available for freight at four key locations within the Sydney Metropolitan Network on a weekday. 

This measurement is limited to the four main rail freight lines in/out of Sydney (Main North, Main West, Main South and Illawarra) for both directions (Up – towards Sydney and Down – away from Sydney).

This measure is based on a count of typical freight train paths for each of the four lines at a certain location in Sydney (i.e. Hornsby on Main North, Parramatta on Main West, Hurstville on Illawarra, Macarthur on Main South) including: 

  • Allocated / unallocated paths
  • Schedule type 
  • Train length 

Counts are based on 24 one-hour periods on a Wednesday. This data comprises of services which operate through the locations noted between the times of 00:00:00 and 23:59:59 on a representative Wednesday within the operation of the noted timetable version.

  • A train path is the infrastructure capacity needed to run a train between two places over a given time-period on a given route.
  • Train schedule is defined using the Train Operating Condition Manual
  • An allocated train path means a path that has been allocated to an operator including tabled, mandatory and flexible coal paths. 
  • An unallocated train path means a spare path that is not allocated to an operator and can be used for seasonal freight, on-demand/short notice operations or to maintain reliability of the network.
  • Measure does not include freight train path utilisation (if the path is used or not) and the reliability of used paths.
  • Measure does not represent extent of unmet demand or when demand for paths is greatest.
  • Measure does not specify different type of spare freight train paths. 
  • Short distance paths such as Metropolitan Colliery to Port Kembla are not incuded in this measure. 
  • Measure does not identify whole of corridor paths.