A: Inland Rail will offer a solution to an increasing challenge for our growing population.
·By 2040, Australia's domestic freight volume is expected to double as the need to rapidly move goods around the country intensifies. Our existing road and rail networks, already under strain, will simply not cope with this demand.
·The existing north–south freight corridor, which includes track that is largely shared with passenger rail along the east coast, is vulnerable to congestion and sudden disruptions, like extreme weather events. With no alternative route, this is an unreliable service for regional producers and industries and stymies potential economic growth.
·Our continued reliance on road for freight transport presents serious road safety issues and environmental concerns. With more and more trucks competing for road space with private vehicles, we will see increased congestion in our regional communities and cities; which means higher road maintenance costs, more fuel emissions, and increasing road casualties due to dangerous conditions.
·Inland Rail will share the growing freight load, reducing our reliance on roads for transporting freight. It will better link producers, farmers and businesses to national and global markets, making it faster, cheaper and more reliable to move goods around the country and the world.
·Inland Rail will make Australia’s national freight rail network less vulnerable to disruptions, offering a transit time of less than 24 hours with 98% reliability.
·Inland Rail will reduce truck volumes in more than 20 of our regional towns and ease congestion on some of Australia’s busiest highways. Up to 15 serious crashes, including fatalities and serious injuries, could be avoided every year.