Understanding Inland Rail

Inland Rail is a 1600km freight rail line connecting Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. It will allow double-stacked trains to run from Beveridge in Victoria to Ebenezer in Queensland, then single stacked trains through to Kagaru.

There are many reasons to build Inland Rail including the benefits it provides through jobs support, enhanced supply chains, reduced emissions and road safety outcomes. Read more on the timeline about how the alignment was identified and why Inland Rail is a critical investment in Australia's freight future.

Funded by the Australian Government, the project is being delivered by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), in partnership with the private sector.

It will build on existing regional and rural rail connections that provide access to the ports of Melbourne, Port Kembla, Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth via Parkes.

Strong regional and national benefits

Inland Rail will provide a strategic infrastructure corridor for eastern Australia, creating the opportunity to optimise development of local and regional road and rail links by state and local governments.

The project will deliver a competitive freight service and increase national productivity.

Regional businesses and farmers will be able to take advantage of new opportunities for export growth and get their produce to market when and where it is required. Supply chain costs are a significant component of the price consumers pay for goods with up to 10% of the final cost coming from transportation costs. Inland Rail has the potential to deliver cost savings per payload tonne which can benefit the end user.

To maximise outcomes we provide a range of resources to help people to connect with the benefits from Inland Rail and prepare for operation.

A service offering backed by industry

As Australia's population grows so do the demands on our freight network – total domestic freight task is projected to grow 26% between 2020 and 2050. Inland Rail needs to meet the future demands of Australia's freight challenge and be competitive with road, cost efficient and reliable.

The Inland Rail Service Offering was developed by ARTC in consultation with Australia'a major freight stakeholders to ensure it will deliver the necessary requirements to conduct their business operations.

Inland Rail will have 98% reliability, flexibility for faster and slower services, and make sure freight is available when the market needs it most.

Data from the CSIRO Supply Chain Mapping Project identified a potential transport cost reduction of $80.77 per payload tonne by switching existing road based supply chains to Inland Rail.

Planning and building

The Inland Rail alignment and design is informed by extensive planning and multiple studies and analysis undertaken over many years.

Agreement to construct Inland Rail in the states of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland is facilitated through Intergovernmental Agreements between the Australian Government and the respective state governments and can often stipulate specific requirements for the use of existing corridors or new greenfield construction.

Robust state approval processes are applied to Inland Rail's design and delivery to manage and mitigate social and environmental impacts.