Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) objective

Effective management of complex enabling works to allow construction of rail infrastructure to proceed unimpeded.


The Southern Sydney Freight Line (SSFL) project created a dedicated 36km bi­directional non-electrified freight corridor between Sefton and Macarthur in the south west of Sydney. The project enabled the separation of freight lines from passenger services. 

In addition to improved local rail services, the Commonwealth and NSW State Governments funded project delivered broader efficiencies through improved rail freight services along the North-South Rail Corridor between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Johnstaff’s role

Johnstaff provided Infrastructure Advisory and Project Management services for the Enabling Works package to facilitate the upgrading of the line. Our role was to identify and relocate or protect over 300 separate services that crossed the route of the new line. 

Addressing the issues

Our team led the identification and verification of the services impacting the construction of the new freight lines, managed the design team throughout all phases of the project and led the extensive consultation process with the third-party service providers (Sydney Water, Telstra, Jemena, Optus) to develop and agree the relocation solutions. We subsequently managed the procurement and complex implementation of the relocation and protection works which were all achieved within the available budget.

Johnstaff managed the challenging works programme through preparation of clear plans and robust logistical arrangements. to ensure service relocations were clearly prioritised and sequenced to meet the main works construction requirements.

map of the project location


  • The robust programme management approach ensured the main rail infrastructure works packages were able to proceed efficiently without delay and undue risk

  • Our team led consultation with key stakeholders impacted by the project including RailCorp, local councils, Sydney Water and adjoining landowners

  • Completion of the Enabling Works in 2011 was critical to the full SSFL opening in January 2013