Inland Rail is a smart move for Australia.

Inland Rail is bringing widespread and long-term benefits to Australia.

It will better link producers, farmers and businesses to national and global markets, reduce our reliance on road freight, and generate new opportunities for industries and our regions.

Inland Rail is needed to:

  • keep pace with the freight demands of our growing population
  • reduce our reliance on roads for moving freight
  • better link businesses, farmers and producers to markets
  • generate new opportunities for regional Australia.
Aerial view of the freight train moving along the farmland, North Star, New South Wales

Icon depicting faster more reliable freight

Faster, more reliable freight movements

Icon depicting less road congestion

Safer, less congested roads

Icon depicting regional opportunities

Opportunities for regional Australia

Inland Rail will:

Share the growing freight load

Australia’s population is predicted to reach 45 million by 2060¹. We need a reliable and efficient rail network to meet our increasing freight needs and take the load off our already congested roads. Inland Rail will future-proof Australia’s freight network for generations to come.

¹ ABS Data 2018

Provide better access to and from our regional markets

Inland Rail will better link producers, farmers and businesses to national and global markets. Almost 70% of freight carried on Inland Rail will be for domestic use – that includes household goods and groceries produced in Australia and consumed in our major cities.

Offer better transit time and reliability

Transit time between Melbourne and Brisbane will be less than 24 hours with 98% reliability, making it time competitive with road.

Reduce distances and costs

Rail distance between Melbourne and Brisbane will be cut by 200km. Costs for freight travelling between Melbourne and Brisbane could be reduced by $10 per tonne in comparison with the current coastal route.

Create jobs

Inland Rail will create more than 21,500 direct and indirect jobs during construction.

Boost the Australian economy

Inland Rail will inject more than $18 billion into Australia’s GDP during construction and the first 50 years of operation.

Improve road safety

Inland Rail will reduce the burden on large B-double trucks to do the heavy lifting of transporting goods around the country. Truck volumes will be reduced in more than 20 of our regional towns and congestion will ease on some of Australia’s busiest highways.

Lower emissions

Moving freight by rail is four times more fuel efficient than moving freight by road. Inland Rail will cut carbon emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year from 2050.

Improve national freight network connections

Once Inland Rail is fully operational, the North West Connection at Parkes will link Brisbane, Melbourne and the East-West line to Perth and reduce freight rail distance between Brisbane and Perth and Brisbane and Adelaide by approximately 500km.

Provide an alternative north-south freight link

Providing a second link between Queensland and the southern states will make Australia’s national freight rail network less vulnerable to disruptions, like extreme weather events.

Increase the capacity of coastal transport networks

Reducing congestion along the busy coastal rail route will increase capacity for other passenger and freight services, particularly around Sydney’s busy passenger rail network.

Promote supply chain investments

Inland Rail is a catalyst for complementary private sector investments, such as fleet upgrades, new metropolitan and regional terminals, and integrated freight distribution precincts – as demonstrated in a 2020 EY Australia report.

The Case for Inland Rail

In 2014-15, the Australian Rail Track Corporation worked with PwC to develop a detailed business case for Inland Rail. The Case for Inland Rail document provides a summary of the key aspects of the Inland Rail Business Case.

Download The Case for Inland Rail

Close up view of truck bogey, on track, Parkes, New South Wales.

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