Interface Improvement Program

Expressions of Interest for the second round of the Interface Improvement Program have now closed.

The Australian Government has committed $44 million to the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program (II Program) to assist in the development of project ideas that have the potential to boost the benefits that flow from Inland Rail.

The II Program supports the development of ideas for more productive rail-based supply chains and improvements to capacity on key country rail lines that intersect with Inland Rail.

These ideas can come from industry, local operators, governments and the community, or others that are interested in taking advantage of the long term benefits of Inland Rail.

The II Program has two streams:

  • A $20 million Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) to assess the costs and benefits of proposed improvements to the interface between supply chains and Inland Rail.
  • A $24 million Country Lines Improvement Program (CLIP) to assess the costs and benefits of proposed improvements to country lines that intersect with Inland Rail, with a view to potentially accommodating longer, heavier and faster trains.

The program will assist the Commonwealth, State and Local governments to develop a better understanding of those projects that could be considered for delivery in the future.

The aim of the program

The aim of the II Program is to support the development of ideas for increasing the amount of freight on Inland Rail. This can be achieved by reducing transport and handling costs and by improving services either through improving connections between local industries and the rail network or by increasing the productivity of trains. 

Reducing freight transport and handling costs will enable local industries to be more competitive in existing and future markets, and will encourage businesses to invest in new production and manufacturing enterprises in the regions along the Inland Rail corridor. 

By making local industries more competitive, and shifting freight from road to rail for at least part of the journey, the community will benefit through reduced road related social costs such as effects on the environment and safety.

The community will also benefit from the flow on effects of more sustainable and resilient industries that will support local businesses and provide employment.


We are interested to hear from the following groups to identify projects for consideration under the II Program:

  • supply chain managers
  • producers
  • local and state governments
  • local businesses
  • community representatives
  • local and national freight and train operators and investors.

Initially, an expression of interest submission will be considered on the basis of its contribution to meeting the Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) principles or Country Lines Improvement Program (CLIP) principles including supporting regional economic growth, capacity to increase Inland Rail throughput and supporting National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities.

Joint submissions from individuals, community groups, government and/or private sector enterprises are welcome.

Virtual information session

  1. This virtual information session was streamed live on 19 August 2020. An additional session was held on 9 September 2020 and this recording will be available shortly.

  2. This session includes:

    • A run through with Michael Gregory, Program Director at the Department of Infrastructure.
    • Information on how to submit an expression of interest for your project idea, the program aims and information requirements you need to address, examples of project ideas and the advisory support available for feasibility studies and strategic business cases.
    • A live question and answer session with Steve Richards and Phil Bullock from NineSquared who are the assurance and technical advisors for the program.