Connecting our cities

Inland Rail will connect two of Australia’s fastest growing cities through a cost-competitive and reliable freight rail line that can transport goods between Melbourne and Brisbane in under 24 hours. The rail line travels through regional Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, hooking into the broader national network of roads, rail, air and sea pathways.

The route provides an alternative to the existing east coast rail network, bypassing the heavily congested Sydney network and saving approximately 10 hours on transit times between Melbourne and Brisbane. Inland Rail’s connection into the existing freight network in places like Parkes NSW provide seamless access for freight movements from Perth in the West to Sydney and Newcastle in the East.

The delivery of Inland Rail is targeted and smart infrastructure investment that is aligned with broader initiatives of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.

Through Inland Rail, the Australian Government is taking action to:

  • ensure domestic and international supply chains are serviced by resilient and efficient freight corridors, and
  • building infrastructure capable of connecting regions and communities to major gateways, linking regional producers and consumers.

The new supply chains created by Inland Rail will stretch well beyond the tracks connecting Melbourne and Brisbane.

Building an efficient freight network for the future

Rail has always been an essential part of the freight supply chain and Inland Rail will be a pivotal part of Australia’s transport network.

Australia’s capacity to remain competitive in the modern, global economy relies on its ability to move produce from paddock to port and deliver domestic freight that is available when the market wants it.

Inland Rail complements existing freight transport infrastructure

Inland Rail provides a consistent track standard which enables freight operators to use the same rolling-stock anywhere on the national rail freight network. It will maintain all existing regional freight network connections. Throughout Queensland, Inland Rail will provide a dual gauge connection to allow seamless connectivity with the regional narrow gauge network.

The selected route will use 60% existing corridor and will connect to existing regional rail lines. The connectivity of Inland Rail to existing rail networks is a fundamental driver of how Inland Rail will deliver regional economic benefits.

Road, rail, air and sea


The rail system is the essential link to Australia’s freight supply chain. Transporting freight via rail connects our farms, mines and cities to domestic and international markets. An efficient and accessible rail transport network benefits both communities and industry.


Australia’s vast distances between our farms, cities and ports means that we currently rely on the road for the majority of our freight transport. Most of the commodities produced and consumed domestically are transported via road for its time efficiency and door-to-door delivery ability. Often acting as the final piece to our freight supply chain, road complements all other modes of freight transport.


Air freight accounts for a small yet crucial part of Australia’s overall freight movement. Catering to a small and specific market, air is often reserved for high-value or time-critical goods. As the country’s road and rail infrastructure improves, air will also prosper as a more accessible mode of freight transport.


As an island nation, Australia depends on shipping for both domestic and international freight movement. Sea makes up a small but important element of Australia’s overall freight task as the country’s major ports and related infrastructure provide locations for supply chain activities to occur, servicing both bulk and container facilities, and connecting our overall freight supply network.