Over $1 Billion to Enhance the Resilience & Reliability of National Rail Network

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) today (May 15th) welcomed funding from the Australian Government to help deliver enhanced resilience and reliability to critical sections of the 8,500-kilometre national rail network.

The investment of more than $1 billion, with Commonwealth contributions of $540 million, will assist ARTC to upgrade major sections of a vast rail network which is vital to moving large volumes of containerised goods and products (including refrigerated food and essential household items) and bulk commodities like grain, minerals, and steel across the country.

Each day, numerous interstate and regional passenger rail services also operate across the breadth of the ARTC network, who will benefit directly from this investment.

The Commonwealth funding is in addition to ARTC’s own commitment of $500 million via the corporation’s Network Investment Program, which was developed in close collaboration with industry and shareholders.

These significant funding commitments build on the $150 million already invested in resilience activities by ARTC over the past two years, to upgrade the existing national network.

Since 2021, the ARTC network and its freight and passenger customers have experienced significant disruptions because of extreme weather events leading to severe flooding and damage to railway infrastructure.

Today’s funding announcement makes possible a suite of strategic and major investments to build greater resilience and reliability into the ARTC network at critical locations.

Investments will include the upgrade of existing crossing loops and culverts, track rehabilitation and re-railing, signalling works, and sleeper replacements.

Importantly, this funding builds on the Australian Government’s continued commitment to Inland Rail, and complementary terminal infrastructure that will ensure the rail network can respond to the challenges of the freight task increase and climate change in the future.

Resilient and reliable rail networks allow more containerised and bulk freight to take on the increased freight task, with the associated social and environmental benefits.

More efficient and productive rail supply chains also help Australian exporters and importers like farmers, miners, manufacturers, and processors to transport their goods and commodities in a cost-effective way to domestic and international markets.

A strong national rail supply chain plays a vital role in helping government to tackle broader cost of living issues.

Comments from ARTC CEO and Managing Director, Wayne Johnson:

“The freight and logistics task in Australia is rapidly growing and rail is central to supporting the national objective to transport large volumes of goods and commodities efficiently to market to help increase economic productivity and growth with a reduced emissions footprint.

“Targeted and strategic investments along key sections of ARTC’s 8,500-kilometre network will have a measurable impact on the ability of the national supply chain to withstand and recover quicker to the challenges of extreme and intense weather events.

“The commitment by the Australian Government, coupled with ARTC’s investment, will deliver outcomes that will improve the networks resilience, reliability, and therefore overall operational performance.

“These investments are underpinned by ARTC’s Network Investment Program, which has been developed with customer and industry insights and input.”


(news source: https://www.artc.com.au/2024/05/15/over-1-billion-to-enhance-the-resilience-and-reliability-of-national-rail-network/?doing_wp_cron=1716122449.1466419696807861328125)