Inland Rail is a large and complex program that traverses 1,700km across three states. Because of its vast scale and various requirements, the program has been broken up into 13 individual projects.

Each project has its own construction targets and timelines and will progress through our six project management stages at its own pace.

These project stages are outlined below.

Inland Rail project stages

What do these project stages mean?

To understand what stage a project is at and what work will come next, it is helpful to understand what these project stages mean.

01 Concept assessment

During this stage the project’s intended objectives, outcomes and benefits, and route options are identified and assessed, including documenting any known technical issues, regulatory requirements, estimated costs, timings, and potential risks and opportunities.

All projects have completed the concept assessment stage.

02 Reference design

In the course of preparing primary environmental approval applications, we carry out environmental studies and investigations, flood modelling and analysis, and community and stakeholder engagement. We also continue to develop the engineering design to a greater level of detail including investigating road/rail interfaces options, interfaces with utilities, services and other projects and; ultimately select a preferred alignment.

At this stage, we engage suppliers to help us deliver the project.  We undertake land access and property acquisition negotiations, develop procurement documentation and get the project ready to go to market for detailed design and construction contracts.  We also consider the procurement of materials that take a long time to procure.  In parallel, the proposed project primary approval applications are assessed by the relevant government agencies.

Currently, 12 projects are in the reference design stage. Check the individual project pages for more information.

03 Detailed design

At this stage, we are focused on getting ready for construction. Once the contract has been awarded, the detailed design is completed by the chosen contractor.

04 Construction

At this stage, the chosen contractor undertakes the physical construction work.

Currently, one project is in construction stage: Narrabri to North Star (Phase 1)

05 Commissioning

At this stage, we finalise the construction work and bring the new asset into operation.  We confirm that any additional approval conditions have been met for work on the site. The final step in this process is formal handover to the rail operator.

06 Operations

The new rail asset is in operation and all construction crews have demobilised from site.  ARTC takes ownership of the rail line for live train operations and maintenance.

Currently, one project is in the operations stage: Parkes to Narromine, NSW

Inland Rail route history 2006-2020 thumbnail image of cover

Route history of Inland Rail 2006-2020

The Inland Rail Route History 2006-2020 document summarises key decisions that have informed the current route for Inland Rail between Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and southeast Queensland. This document is intended to provide the reader with an understanding of these decisions and the reasoning behind them.

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