Inland Rail is a smart move for Australia.

Inland Rail is a fast freight backbone from Melbourne to Brisbane that will transform how we move goods around 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

Faster, more reliable freight

Safer, less congested roads

Opportunities for regional Australia

Inland Rail will:

Share the growing freight load

Australia’s population is predicted to grow by 60% over the next 40 years. Our country’s freight needs will grow by a third by 2040, with demand between Melbourne and Brisbane forecast to jump by more than 50% in the next 10 years alone. We need Inland Rail to keep up with this demand. We can’t keep relying on our roads to do the heavy lifting to move our goods.

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 16,000 jobs during construction, and more than 90% will be based in regional Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Boost the Australian economy

Inland Rail will inject $16 billion into our gross domestic product (GDP) over the next 50 years.

Improve road safety

Truck volumes will reduce in more than 20 of our regional towns and congestion will ease on some of Australia’s busiest highways, including the Ipswich Motorway, and the Hume, Newell and Warrego Highways. Up to 15 serious crashes involving fatalities and serious injuries will be avoided every year.

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

In September 2020, work on the Parkes to Narromine section of Inland Rail was completed, connecting the south-western and north-western rail networks in NSW. This important piece of the Inland Rail network includes the 5.3km North West Connection, linking Inland Rail to Brisbane, Melbourne and the East–-West transcontinental line to Perth.

The Parkes to Narromine line will support the transportation of essential goods such as grains and minerals across the country, ultimately improving connections between producers and consumers.

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, such as bushfires and floods.

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 will be a catalyst for complementary private sector investments, such as fleet upgrades, new metropolitan and regional terminals, and integrated freight distribution precincts.

The Case for Inland Rail

In 2014-15, the Australian Rail Track Corporation worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers 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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