Can you describe the rail
Peter: The Inland Rail, a 1,700
km ( 1,056 miles) rail line between
Melbourne and Brisbane, will
address the growing freight task by
helping to move freight transport
off the congested road network. It
also aims to stimulate growth for
interstate and regional/bulk rail
freight, lower freight transport
costs, improve road safety by easing
congestion, free up train path
capacity for other services and act
as an enabler for regional economic
development along the Inland Rail
Inland Rail is a priority infrastructure
project for the Australian Government.
With a projected budget of $10 billion,
the government is reaching out to
the private sector to identify possible
options and opportunities to fund
the project. The Australian Rail Track
Corporation (ARTC) has been tasked
with preparing a 10-year delivery
strategy for Inland Rail, of which it is
three years into.
What are the major benefits of
this rail project?
Peter: The Inland Rail is expected to
increase Australia’s GDP by $16 billion
and create up to 16,000 new jobs at the
peak of construction. It will not only
improve connections within the national
freight network, it will also provide
better access to and from our regional
markets by making it easier for freight
to move from farms, mines and ports
to national and overseas markets. We
project a reduction in freight travel costs,
along with better transit time, improved
reliability and increased road safety.
The project will improve sustainability
and amenity for the community by
reducing carbon emissions and road
congestion, while increasing the capacity
for passenger services. Inland Rail will
also serve as a catalyst for complementary
private sector investments, such as fleet
upgrades, new metropolitan and regional
terminals and integrated freight precincts.
What are some of the
challenges you have faced?
Peter: Inland Rail will pass through
three eastern Australian states:
Victoria, New South Wales and
Queensland. Each state jurisdiction
has different planning, development
and environmental legislation
requirements that require approval
and consent. As such, each state will
require inter-governmental agreements
to build and operate Inland Rail.
Australia's freight task is set to experience significant growth over the next several decades.
The current national infrastructure network cannot support this projected growth,
with increasing pressure on already congested roads. Inland Rail will provide a high
performance and direct interstate freight rail corridor between two of Australia's largest
cities—Melbourne and Brisbane. By also connecting southeast Queensland more directly
with Adelaide and Perth, Inland Rail will deliver immediate interoperability with the high
performance east-west trans-continental line. Speaking on behalf of the project is Peter
Dorrough, who was appointed Manager Property Services in 2014 and leads all property
related activities associated with the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail program.
ARTC employees inspecting the Inland Rail.