Lower Hunter Freight Corridor

Reviewed

Project overview

The Lower Hunter Freight Corridor will provide for a future dedicated freight rail line between Fassifern and Hexham, bypassing Newcastle urban area. Separating rail freight from the passenger rail line is a NSW Government initiative to reduce network congestion on the rail network across Newcastle, and improve travel times and reliability for both rail freight and passenger rail services.

Transport for NSW have confirmed the corridor as a result of public consultation on the recommended corridor option.

Key benefits

When built the Lower Hunter Freight Corridor would:

  • Separate rail freight and passenger rail services between the congested Fassifern and Hexham sections 
  • Support growing demand as freight and passenger rail services in Northern Sydney, Newcastle, and the Sydney-Newcastle corridor continue to grow.
  • Remove most rail freight from Newcastle’s urban area
  • Reduce network congestion and improve travel times and reliability for both rail freight and passenger rail services 
  • Support economic growth across the Lower Hunter region.
  • Relieve congestion and journey delays to road and active transport users around level crossings at St James Road, Adamstown and Clyde Street, Islington
  • Relieve pressure on regional roads and highways by moving more freight via a dedicate freight rail corridor
  • Reduce the number of heavy vehicles on the roads
  • Enable freight to move efficiently and safely.

Community Consultation and Outcomes 

Between 12 July and 27 September 2021, Transport for NSW undertook a consultation and engagement program and invited submissions from stakeholders and the community on the proposed alignment for the Lower Hunter Freight Corridor.  

A total of 571 submissions were received during the consultation period about the Lower Hunter Freight Corridor. Transport for New South Wales would like to thank everyone who provided their feedback. The key five issues raised in submissions about the Lower Hunter Freight Corridor included: Social, noise, biodiversity, property and acquisition; and alternative options.

Next Steps

Transport has considered the issues raised in submissions on the Lower Hunter Freight Corridor and responded to these issues in this submission’s report. 

As a result of the submissions, Transport has made some refinements to the corridor alignment that are to be included in a revised Strategic Environmental Assessment.

Transport for NSW have worked together with Biraban, Mindaribba and Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Councils, the Saretta Art & Design Project Team with Professor John Maynard and Pambalong knowledge keepers to develop an interactive Story Map outlining the Aboriginal Cultural Values within the Lower Hunter Freight Corridor footprint on country that travels across the lands of the Awabakal and Wonnarua people. 

View Yarns Parai - Stories on Country

Documents

View a map of the Lower Hunter Freight Corridor (PDF, 3.57 MB).

Frequently Asked Questions

View Yarns Parai - Stories on Country

Transport for NSW hosted  an online celebration on Tuesday 12 October 2021, together with Saretta Fielding and John Maynard to celebrate the work that has been completed as part of this cultural study. 

Landowner information

In Dec 2022 the NSW Government confirmed the alignment of the Lower Hunter Freight Corridor:

Transport for NSW is contacting with landowners affected by this confirmed future transport links.

To find out if a property is affected by a future transport link visit the NSW Government’s planning portal and search for a property address.

All land within a confirmed future transport link has been rezoned to SP2 Infrastructure – Reserved Infrastructure Corridor.

Property and land impacts

The way landowners currently use their property or land can continue. If landowners wish to change how they use their property, then the rezoning might impact that.

If they need to apply for development consent, some matters may now need to be referred to Transport for NSW for review by the consent authority prior to any approval being granted. This may mean that certain developments will be prohibited.

Acquisition of land

There is no need for Transport for NSW to acquire land until close to the time the transport infrastructure is required. In the meantime landowners can continue to live in and use their land.

We acknowledge that this may impact landowners short and long term planning and property decisions. Landowners can contact us at any time if they would like to talk about their personal circumstances.

When land is required, all acquisitions will be under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991.

The property valuation and acquisition process will be fair, consistent and transparent with the market value of the property or land assessed at the time of acquisition, and as if the land is not affected by the future transport link.

For more information on the property acquisition process please visit the NSW Government’s property acquisition website.

Owner initiated acquisition

Landowners have an opportunity under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (NSW) to apply for early acquisition before the land is required for future transport infrastructure projects.

To apply for early acquisition, landowners must be able to show that they would suffer ‘hardship’ (as that term is defined in the Just Terms Act) if the acquisition of their land is delayed.

Eligible landowners may choose to begin this request at any time once their land has been designated for future acquisition.

Owner-initiated acquisition in cases of hardship information is available on the NSW Government’s property acquisition website including:

Landowner support

Transport for NSW has been in contact with affected landowners since July 2021. We will continue to stay in touch with landowners as future transport link infrastructure projects are developed and before the acquisition process commences.

Personal Manager will be provided as a support person to all landowners. The Personal Manager will act as landowners’ primary point of contact.

Early engagement and ongoing support from the Personal Manager will assist landowners in having a clear understanding of the acquisition process and the options available to them.

This will ensure property owners make informed decisions, tailored to their unique circumstances.

Further landowner resources are available on the NSW Government’s property acquisition website.

Keep in touch

If you would like to receive further information or project updates, please register to join our distribution list by calling 1800 837 511 or emailing corridors@transport.nsw.gov.au

Fixing Country Roads is a freight program to improve freight connectivity across Regional NSW.