Rail and road interface connections

In October 2020, the Australian Government committed $150 million in funding for a Grade Separating Road Interfaces project in New South Wales. An additional $300 million commitment for the project was made as part of the 2022‑23 Budget.

The project is a joint venture between the Australian Government and the New South Wales Government and subject to the New South Wales Government agreement to commit an additional $75 million in line with an 80:20 funding split.

This will bring its total contribution to $112.5 million, for a total combined project funding of $562.5 million.

The funding is expected to enable additional grade separations along the Inland Rail alignment in New South Wales.

These additional grade separations for road and rail intersections will:

  • add to the multiple grade separated crossings already in scope along the alignment
  • improve the efficiency of the road network and boost productivity for freight users
  • support economic recovery and jobs in communities
  • improve safety outcomes by reducing the number of level crossings.

The rail and road interface

An interface is the point where freight is exchanged between two modes of transport. In the rail and road context, it’s the area where a rail corridor or terminal intersect with a road.

Interfaces matter because they make a difference to communities and transport effectiveness. When interfaces work well, they support:

  • efficiency – ensuring freight moves seamlessly between different types of transport
  • reliability of delivery – for example reducing the time lost in transfers
  • safety outcomes – for example providing safe crossing points across rail lines.

Efficiency and reliability

Intermodal terminals are where we consolidate, store and transport freight between rail and road at the beginning, middle and end of rail journeys. Read more about existing and planned intermodal terminals for Inland Rail.

Businesses often gather around these terminals and along existing routes and hubs of supply chains.

The Australian Government’s Interface Improvement Program also invests in developing local ideas to improve connections to Inland Rail, some of which include the rail and road interface. See the list of proposals from round 1 and round 2 that are working with business advisors.

Safety outcomes

Inland Rail is an investment in road safety and reduced congestion along the busy Melbourne to Brisbane transport corridor where 74% of the freight is now carried by road transport.

In the 2022-23 Budget, the Australian Government committed $180 million to improve safety at level crossings in regional areas nationwide. This will fund regional level crossing upgrades and a level crossing safety awareness campaign, improve level crossing safety data, and support research and trials of lower cost level crossing technologies and measures.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is focussed on safety as part of their construction of Inland Rail.

For road and rail interfaces across the Inland Rail program, ARTC applies a framework for determining their treatment that is supported by the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator.

Crossings are adjusted to the needs of individual communities. That includes providing opportunities for safe movement by community members, vehicles and livestock.