Why Inland Rail

Inland Rail is a strategic investment in Australia's freight future and supply chain network that will serve the market for the next century and beyond.

As Australia's population increases, so do the demands on our transport network. Our growing population necessitates change in the freight and supply sector to deliver more efficient, reliable and cost-competitive transport of goods, which meet consumer demand.

We all rely on the freight network to deliver essential supplies such as food, medicine, medical equipment and produce. Each year Australia's freight and supply chain networks transports approximately 4 billion tonnes of goods across Australia.

Infographic depicting Australia freight volume. Helping to transport 26% more freight volume by 2050.

Currently 74% of all inter-capital freight between Melbourne and Brisbane is carried by road. Increasing the size and number of trucks on our highways to meet growing freight volumes will have significant safety, environmental and community consequences.

Growing volumes mean the task to efficiently move freight between 2 of Australia’s largest metropolitan areas and one of the nation's busiest transport routes – Melbourne to Brisbane – is critical to the continued productivity and international competitiveness of Australia’s producers and manufacturers.

Trucks use almost 3 times as much fuel as trains to do the same job, road accidents causing death or serious injury are nearly 3 times more likely in comparison to rail, and trucks emit 750,000 more tonnes of carbon emissions each year than trains doing the same job.

A typical 1,800-metre Inland Rail train will have the capacity to carry the same volume of freight as 110 B-double trucks, making Inland Rail an ideal option to move heavy and bulk goods over long distances.

Inland Rail key benefits

Enhanced freight capacity

  • Inland Rail will allow double stacked trains to run from Beveridge in Victoria, to Ebenezer in Queensland, with single stacked trains connecting through to Kagaru.

Support jobs

  • Inland Rail will support thousands of jobs across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
  • Construction has already provided work for more than 4,200 people including more than:
    • 1,600 local workers
    • 660 indigenous workers
    • 300 women.
  • Complementary business investment and expansion, such as Special Activation Precincts (SAPs) in New South Wales, and Intermodal terminals in Queensland will create long-term jobs.

More people are benefitting from Inland Rail every day. Check out the benefits in your community.

Improve connections within the national freight network

  • Inland Rail will provide the essential backbone of the freight rail network, connecting to every mainland capital city and major port through existing lines.

Reduce transport costs

  • The potential savings accessed through Inland Rail are largest for existing road-based supply chains. A CSIRO Study released in 2022, suggested that supply chains could save an average of $80.77 per payload tonne when shifted from road to Inland Rail – based on an alignment Tottenham to Acacia Ridge.

Improve reliability and certainty of transit time

  • Less than 24-hour rail transit time between terminals in Melbourne and Brisbane and reliability matching current road levels.

Reduce distances travelled

  • 200km reduction in rail distance between Melbourne and Brisbane, and 500km reduction between both Brisbane and Perth and Adelaide and Brisbane.

Improve road safety and congestion

  • 15 fewer serious crashes each year, avoiding fatalities and serious injuries.
  • The modal shift from road to Inland Rail will reduce carbon emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year and support reduced road congestion on some of Australia's busiest highways, including the Ipswich Motorway, andthe Hume, Newell and Warrego Highways.