Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail

The Australian Government has committed $9.3 billion in grant and equity financing to  the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) for the full delivery of the project, with the first train to run between Melbourne and Brisbane in 2025

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About Inland Rail

Inland Rail is a strategic investment in Australia’s freight future that will support the freight market for the next century and beyond.

The 1,700 kilometre Inland Rail line is a safe, reliable and efficient freight transport solution, directly connecting Melbourne and Brisbane through regional Australia, in under 24 hours. It will prepare the nation for our growing freight task, better connecting our regional communities with domestic and international markets.

Australia’s capacity to remain competitive in the modern, global economy relies on its ability to move produce from paddock to port and deliver freight that is available when the market wants it. With Australia’s freight task expected to approximately double by the year 2030, we must act now to effectively meet the freight transport needs of the nation.

Travelling through Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, almost two thirds of the the Inland Rail project will take advantage of existing rail corridor, building on decades of investment by the Australian Government and the States in the Australian rail freight network.

When completed, Inland Rail will provide a strategic infrastructure corridor for eastern Australia, creating opportunities for both regional and urban communities.

Inland Rail will offer freight customers 98 per cent reliability, flexibility for faster and slower services, and freight that is available when the market wants.

The construction of Inland Rail will support thousands of crucial jobs in regional and urban areas, reduce emissions by 750,000 tonnes and boost Australia's GDP by $16 billion over the next 50 years. It will reduce the number of trucks on our major highways, helping to make our roads and towns safer.

Current status

ARTC has divided the route into 13 projects across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland for design and construction purposes.

With construction to commence this year, Inland Rail is making progress and the projects are in different stages. To view the status of each project, visit

Delivery of Inland Rail

Inland Rail will be delivered by the Australian Government through the ARTC. Building on the equity investment, the Government will utilise an innovative Public Private Partnership (PPP) funding arrangement to deliver the funding required to complete the project.

This funding approach will enable the Government to leverage private sector expertise in the design, finance, build and maintenance of the most technically complex section–Toowoomba to Kagaru (Brisbane)–which includes the construction of approximately 8.9 kilometres of tunnels through the Toowoomba Range.

The funding approach was subject to extensive market testing and will manage risk and drive value for taxpayers in delivering this nationally significant project.

Opportunities to participate in the delivery of Inland Rail will be communicated through an open approach to market. For construction-related procurement activities contact ARTC.

Inland Rail governance arrangements

Governance arrangements have been established to support the Government’s investment in Inland Rail and provide strategic oversight and risk management for ARTC’s delivery of the project. These governance arrangements include issuing a Statement of Expectations to ARTC.

Are you ready for Inland Rail?

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) is developing a strategic planning tool to help local communities along the Inland Rail coridor between Melbourne and Brisbane to maximise the potential benefits unlocked by the project.

The RAI tool will examine the regional priorities and analyse the opportunities for potential growth, innovation and collaboration. The use of the tool by regions and local governments along the corridor can lead to:

  • assessment of regional capacity to draw benefits from Inland Rail
  • a case for investment in complementary regional infrastructure
  • prioritisation of regional growth opportunities
  • regional collaboration.

Inland Rail Supply Chain Mapping Pilot

The department is working closely with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) on a new project that identifies complementary investment opportunities in regional Australia along the Inland Rail corridor.

The Inland Rail Supply Chain Mapping Pilot Project will look at the supply chains in the Parkes to Narromine region and provide information to help empower local business and communities to maximise the benefits of Inland Rail by identifying these opportunities.

The pilot will use the CSIRO Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool (TraNSIT) to analyse existing freight supply chains. TraNSIT has been used previously to test the impacts of road upgrades and calculate transport benefits for industry and across government.

The results from the TraNSIT analysis will help to:

  • estimate the expected transport related regional benefits of Inland Rail
  • prioritise future complementary investments.

The pilot will also work closely with the NSW Government and local councils to ensure the project complements local land use planning and freight network strategies.

Around two thirds of Australia’s export earnings come from regional industries such as agriculture, tourism, retail, services and manufacturing. Inland Rail will ensure this contribution grows.

Inland Rail Submissions

While the formal submissions process has closed, you are welcome to provide input to Inland Rail by contacting the Inland Rail team.

Intermodal terminal developments consultation

The Australian Government sought submissions from key logistics and freight stakeholders with an informed view of the freight and terminal markets in Brisbane and Melbourne. This consultation process is now closed. Responses were accepted from 18 June to 6 July 2018.

Contact us

Australian Rail Track Corporation

Phone: 1800 732 761
Post: ARTC Inland Rail
GPO Box 14

Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities Inland Rail

Phone: 02 6274 6683
Post: Inland Rail Unit, Stakeholder Engagement section
Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities
GPO Box 594


Last Updated: 9 October, 2018