Spanning 1,700km, Inland Rail is a freight rail infrastructure project that will change the way goods move around our country.
Construction began in 2018, to build new freight connections between Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
As each new section takes shape, it’s delivering a faster and more reliable way to deliver goods to our growing population and connect Australian businesses to more regional and global markets.
Better freight connections that benefit our nation
Inland Rail is a fast freight backbone that will transform how goods are moved around Australia and connect regional businesses, producers, and manufacturers to more markets, more efficiently.
The project has already awarded more than 1,600 contracts to local businesses big and small right across Australia, totalling more than $2 billion.
“Coming out of drought and into the rain, people start to see hope again. Then you have contracts for Inland Rail come ... and towns like ours really start to thrive.”
Local communities are already benefiting from Inland Rail and capitalising on more than 21,500 jobs which will be supported during the peak of construction.
Inland Rail will transform how everyday goods are transported across our vast country and help cut rail freight travel time between Melbourne and Brisbane (our fastest growing cities) by almost a third.
The project will also create more reliable freight connections and help keep store shelves stocked, all while reducing Australia’s carbon emissions and heavy reliance on trucks.
“It’ll help provide quicker freight transit times along Australia’s east coast.”
Building momentum in Queensland
More than half the jobs during the construction of Inland Rail will be in Queensland. That’s 11,800 jobs at the peak of construction across a range of different industries.
The project will also give the Queensland economy a massive boost, injecting $7.8 billion into the gross state product. To date, Inland Rail has awarded more than 630 contracts to local Queensland businesses, worth more than $1.5 billion.
“The scale of the project is unprecedented. It’s a once in a generation project to be working on.”
Delivering opportunity in
New South Wales
Further south, regional New South Wales communities are already benefitting from Inland Rail’s construction.
With more than 7,500 direct and indirect jobs supported during construction, regional New South Wales workers like Craig Whitfield, are already gaining new skills and opportunities.
“Working on a project like this is one of the best opportunities I’ve had in my life.”
The construction of Inland Rail is not only providing more opportunities for workers. It’s also boosting the New South Wales' economy, injecting $3.4 billion into the overall gross state product.
Regional producers now have access to new supply chain opportunities, helping them connect to more markets, more efficiently.
“The project is building the infrastructure agriculture needs. The knock-on effects of Inland Rail are potentially huge.”
To date, more than 650 contracts have been awarded to New South Wales businesses worth more than $450 million. Importantly, Inland Rail is locally sourcing construction material, driving more jobs and growth in the state including:
- 365,000 rail clips from Blacktown
- 356,562 tonnes of ballast from Parkes
- 200,000 concrete sleepers from Mittagong
- 26,625 tonnes of pre-cast culverts from Tamworth.
“We’re proud to be contributing locally sourced materials for this national project.”
Future proofing freight in Victoria
Victoria will enjoy some of the largest long-term benefits of Inland Rail. The project is not only set to increase employment but boost the gross state product by $8 billion.
Inland Rail is enabling national logistics suppliers to move an even larger range of goods and is encouraging industry investment in better facilities for the future.
“COVID really showed the logistics industry the importance of domestic rail transport. The reliance on rail freight keeping supply into our supermarkets was huge.”
Importantly for all Victorians, transporting more freight by rail reduces large truck congestion and improves safety on busy roads, such as the Hume Highway. One 1,800m-long, double-stacked freight train could carry the same amount of freight as 110 B-Double trucks.
Moving freight by rail not only has safety benefits, it is also four times more fuel-efficient than road transport and has a much lower carbon footprint.
Australia’s population continues to grow. As a result, our freight demands are set to increase by a third by 2040, when it’s estimated we’ll need to move approximately 14 million tonnes of freight between Melbourne and Brisbane. That’s almost double the amount of freight our roads and current rail network can handle now.
With a country as big as ours, we need to future-proof our freight infrastructure and Inland Rail is doing just that. It’s transforming the way goods move around Australia, supporting more jobs and new business opportunities that give our country the momentum we need for tomorrow.