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The first stage of a rail upgrade that the federal government hopes will wipe 300,000 trucks off Sydney's roads each year has been completed.
Transport Minister Anthony Albanese on Tuesday said the upgrade and reconfiguration of the rail yard at Port Botany had wrapped up.
It's the first milestone in $172 million project to transform the movement of freight across the Sydney Basin.
Mr Albanese also announced that Downer Australia had started work on expanding the Enfield rail yard to accommodate more trains.
"(It) will eliminate dockside bottlenecks and speed up the movement of freight into and out of what is the nation's second largest container port," he said in a statement.
"It will also add additional capacity, increasing the number of containers which can be transported along the line from 700,000 to around 1,000,000 a year ...
"With more freight on the back of trains, there will over time be up to 300,000 fewer trucks coming and going from the Port each year."
Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) CEO John Fullerton said capacity on the Port Botany Rail Line would lift by more than 30 per cent.
"Once the entire project is completed in 2014, the line will be able to cope with the growth which is expected in the years ahead," he said.
The upgraded Port Botany Rail Line, and the works at Enfield, will connect with the new Southern Sydney Freight Line, which is expected to commence operations in early 2013.
It will also connect into the Main North South Line between Melbourne and Brisbane.
This article first appeared on news.ninemsn.com.au
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