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Lower Hunter Freight Corridor on track


The Lower Hunter Freight Corridor, a 30km rail link to alleviate congestion around Newcastle and the Hunter, will go ahead as intended.

Following extensive community consultation over the past 12 months, the NSW Government confirmed on Friday 2 December the project would proceed, with planning already underway.

The development stretches from Fassifern in the south to Hexham in the north, bypassing Newcastle’s urban areas, which will help remove bottlenecks on passenger rail lines around Newcastle while also reducing risks for motorists at level crossings. 

“We’ve seen over the last few years with COVID-19 and natural disasters how critical it is to keep freight moving across our state, ensuring goods and services can be transported to where they need to go,” Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said.

“Freight injects $66 billion into the NSW economy annually.

“It provides a vital service to business and the wider community.

“We know that by planning for the future, we can ensure we move freight around our state more efficiently, helping to reduce costs and ultimately saving customers at the checkout.

“By preserving this corridor, we can deliver a more direct route for freight operators and reduce congestion on current rail lines.

“This will mean better services for passengers using the train network around this region.”

When built, the Lower Hunter Freight Corridor will:

  • 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
  • Relieve congestion and journey delays to road and active transport users around level crossings at St James Road in Adamstown and Clyde Street in 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

Planning for the new link also considers future industrial areas to ensure easy connections for freight as the region grows.

Community engagement on the Lower Hunter Freight Corridor included feedback from more than 570 people and had helped inform the preferred route.

In 2021, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle supported the proposal but wanted to make sure it met the needs of Newcastle and the wider region. 

“We see huge benefits from its development,” she explained.

Mr Farraway said the government had worked with the community, including conservation groups and local Aboriginal representatives, to minimise impacts on sensitive sites.

“Through this process we have identified a corridor, which will better connect the Port of Newcastle with regional NSW, ensuring we can get goods and services from paddock to port efficiently,” he added.

“We are providing the community with certainty as we move towards investigation works and final design.”

The Lower Hunter Freight Corridor can be viewed at

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