Road safety and congestion

As Australia’s population grows so do the demands on our freight network — urban freight alone is set to increase by nearly 60% by 2040.

The transportation of bulk commodities (like iron ore and grain) are also increasing, with the total volume moved on road to just over 1,000 billion tonnes. This places additional pressure on our road networks.

Inland Rail will share the growing freight load and reduce our reliance on roads for transporting freight.

It will provide the connectivity that enables producers, farmers and businesses to link to national and global markets, making it faster, cost-competitive and more reliable to move goods around the country.

Without an alternative to long-haul road freight transportation, the number of long-haul trucks travelling between Melbourne and Brisbane will increase significantly leading to increased congestion in our regional communities and cities, higher road maintenance costs, more fuel emissions, and increasing road casualties due to dangerous conditions.

Inland Rail will slow increasing truck movements in more than 20 of our regional towns and ease congestion on some of Australia’s busiest highways such as the Warrego Highway, Ipswich Motorway and the Pacific Highway.

This translates to an annual reduction of around 15 crashes, including fatalities and serious injuries.

Currently, around 74% of all inter-capital freight between Melbourne and Brisbane is carried by road. Once Inland Rail is operational, road and rail will both do their part in sharing the freight task, with rail taking over more of the heavy long-haul freight movement.

A recent Inland Rail supply chain mapping pilot study conducted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) identified a substantial benefit to supply chains and the community in the Parkes to Narromine study area through a reduction of up to 63,000 heavy vehicle trips per year along various segments of the Newell Highway.

In addition to the benefits outlined above, the Inland Rail Business Case forecasts a reduction of 200,000 B-double truck movements per annum from 2050 by shifting the increasing freight volumes from road onto Inland Rail.