Home' IAQ Yearbook : 2017-18 Contents distance between Melbourne and Brisbane by
200 kilometres, and by 500 kilometres from
Brisbane to Perth and Adelaide.
Rail costs for intercapital freight travelling
between Melbourne and Brisbane will fall by
$10 per tonne and the transit time between the
capital city terminals will be less than 24 hours.
The new rail route will be up to 10 hours faster
than the existing coastal rail network, via Sydney.
Trains will travel up to 115 kilometres an hour,
be almost two kilometres long and have double-
stacked containers. Each train on the Inland Rail
route could take a freight volume equivalent to
161 B-Double trucks.
That is a superior outcome to the existing coastal
route, which suffers from congestion in the
Sydney network and cannot run longer trains or
double-stacked containers because of overhead
wiring and tunnels on parts of the track.
As Inland Rail increases the competitiveness of
Australia's rail freight network, more freight,
across industry, is likely to move from road to rail.
Two million tonnes of agriculture freight are
expected to switch from road to rail. In total,
8.9 million tonnes of agriculture freight will be
more ef ciently diverted to Inland Rail.
'Inland Rail will drive a renaissance of rail
freight across Australia,' says Winder. 'Industry
knows rail is most ef cient for long-haul freight
movements, but there have not been enough
competitive options for producers. Inland Rail
will change that.'
Inland Rail will help urban and regional
communities in several ways. By increasing
capacity for freight and rail services, Inland Rail
will reduce pressure on Australia's busy coastal
rail route, which creates scope for growth in
passenger services, particularly into Sydney.
As freight shifts from road to rail, road congestion
on some of Australia's busiest highways will
ease. Up to 200,000 trucks will be removed from
roads each year thanks to Inland Rail.
Environmental bene ts include an estimated
reduction of 750,000 tonnes in carbon emissions
(compared to trucks hauling the same freight), as
200,000 trucks are removed from road. 'Inland
Rail will add to [the] sustainability of Australia's
transportation system,' says Winder. 'Rail has an
important role in a lower-carbon future.'
Faster and cheaper rail freight has ow-on
bene ts to communities. 'Inland Rail will provide
more options to move more goods to more
communities across Australia,' says Winder.
'That adds to the long-term sustainability of
communities, particularly those in remote areas,
and if the frequency of extreme weather events
increases in coming years.'
FIXING A TRANSPORT BOTTLENECK
Inland Rail has been years in the making. The
project began in 2006 with the North-South Rail
Corridor Study and was followed in 2010 by the
Inland Rail Alignment Study.
The Federal Government committed $8.4 billion
to deliver Inland Rail in the 2017--18 Federal
Budget, on top of the previously funded $900
million. This followed the establishment of the
Inland Rail Implementation Group (IRIG) in 2014,
and the Inland Rail business case delevoped by
Pricewaterhousecoopers in 2015.
Australian Rail Track Corporation, a Federal
Government--owned statutory corporation, has
been tasked with delivering Inland Rail based on a
10-year delivery schedule, under the guidance of
the Australian Government's Inland Rail Steering
Committee. ARTC manages 8500 kilometres of
rail network across ve states. About 120 ARTC
staff are working on the Inland Rail project.
Early construction works on Inland Rail will start
later this year. The proposed route requires
approximately 1100 kilometres of major
upgrades and enhancement through Victoria
and New South Wales and about 600 kilometres
of new track.
ARTC is developing environmental impact
statements (EIS) and identifying land
acquisitions. This is laying the groundwork
for construction of new parts of the track and
upgrades of existing track. The rst Inland Rail
train is expected to run on track in 2024/25 --
a milestone in the history of Australian rail and
the transport sector, and a pivotal moment for
To learn more about Inland Rail, visit
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