Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Media Release – Northern Sydney Freight Rail

The Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust supports the movement of freight by rail rather than road.  However the Trust has major concerns regarding the planned widening of the rail corridor between Epping and Pennant Hills.

There currently is no publicly released Environmental Impact Statement for this project.  We estimate that the new freight line will result in the destruction of some 800 trees and significant loss of commuter parking at Beecroft and Cheltenham stations.

The main North line was laid in the 19th century, and is inadequate for a modern freight network.  The new third rail is required only so passenger trains can overtake freight trains struggling up these steep gradients. The severe flange squeal from longer wagons traversing these tightly curved tracks affects residents over a wide area.  Freight train noise has become much more objectionable since electric locomotives were replaced by noisier diesel locomotives, used because the rail link to Brisbane is not fully electrified.

The Trust sees no logic in having the main freight corridors for rail and road passing through some of the steepest, most elevated parts of Sydney and through heavily populated areas.  The BCCT supports the strategic option of a new road and rail Hawkesbury River crossing upstream of existing crossings and directly linking the M7 with the F3.  

Parallel construction of new road and rail links could achieve significant savings and link the freight lines between Brisbane and Melbourne as well as being well positioned to the freight and logistics centres now located at Eastern Creek.

Michael Stove

President, Beecrooft Cheltenham Civic Trust.

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