Routes and hubs
The 1,700km Inland Rail alignment will link Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The route uses the existing interstate line from Melbourne in Victoria to Illabo in New South Wales, which will be enhanced to accommodate double-stacked trains allowing them to carry up to twice as many containers.
A combination of new and upgraded tracks will then be used via Parkes, Moree, Toowoomba and Calvert, to reach the existing interstate line at Kagaru, and then to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton, south of Brisbane. This route continues through to the Port of Brisbane.
Connecting Inland Rail to the national freight network will provide for more productive rail-based supply chains and improvements to capacity on key country rail lines along the Inland Rail corridor with upgrades to these lines identified as part of the Country Lines Improvement Program to allow for longer, heavier and faster trains.
Logistics and distribution hubs help local businesses access Inland Rail infrastructure. These hubs also deliver sustainable, long-term jobs and opportunities for regions and help connect Inland Australia with major international ports and markets.
Funding has been allocated for business cases with the Victorian and Queensland Governments to consider the development plans and needs for Inland Rail-related intermodal terminals in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Investment is underway along the Inland Rail alignment for the development of business hubs and intermodal terminals to support Inland Rail. Intermodal terminals in regional centres along the rail corridor will also support regional supply chains and help producers gain better access to markets.
The Australian Government and Queensland State Government are collaborating on businesses cases to consider the feasibility of intermodal terminal operations in addition to the existing terminals at Acacia Ridge and Bromelton, as well as improved connections to the Port of Brisbane.
New South Wales
A number of business hubs are being established in New South Wales with the support of local and state governments.
Parkes is the location for the first NSW Special Activation Precinct, offering opportunities for business development and employment growth. Already home to the National Logistics Hub, the Parkes precinct will provide suppliers access to 80% of Australia’s markets within 12 hours by road or rail when Inland Rail starts operating.
Additional business hubs are planned for Gilgandra, Moree and Wagga Wagga, strategically positioned to capitalise on the local strengths and position of each region along the Inland Rail corridor.
- Gilgandra Industrial Precinct – This hub will make the most of construction on the Narromine to Narrabri section of Inland Rail and support the long-term development of local industries.
- Moree Special Activation Precinct – This hub will take advantage of its location in the middle of the most productive grain region in Australia, leveraging the Inland route and Newell Highway.
- Wagga Wagga Special Activation Precinct – This hub will capitalise on the Inland Rail route, focusing on advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, freight and logistics.
The Australian Government is also providing:
- $2.6 million to support the delivery of 5kms of new arrival and departure sidings for the Ettamogah Rail Hub and was completed in May 2021.
- $7.75 million to support the construction of a 1,800m rail siding with slip road infrastructure for the Northern NSW Inland Port in Narrabri.
The Australian and Victorian State Government supported a business case to consider the development of intermodal terminals in Melbourne which would deliver a fit-for-purpose solution to meet the operation of Inland Rail.
The business case explored possible terminal locations that had been identified in the Victorian Freight Plan: Delivering the Goods 2018 including Beveridge and Truganina.
In the 2022-23 Budget, the Australian Government committed up to $3.1 billion for the $3.6 billion Melbourne Intermodal Terminal Package that will deliver two new intermodal terminals in Melbourne at Beveridge and Truganina to strengthen supply chains and generate new opportunities for freight and exporting businesses using Inland Rail.
To support access to the Melbourne market, the Australian Government has invested in a business case for improving connections to the Port of Melbourne and the Port Rail Shuttle Network initiative which will also improve the movement of freight between the Port and freight hubs in metropolitan areas.