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News & Views from the RTBU NSW Locomotive Division

Inland Rail – Tell us what you really think!

Jun 5, 2014Hot Topic

The Federal Government has established an Inland Rail Implementation Group to prepare 10-year plan for the construction of a new Inland Rail route between Melbourne and Brisbane.  The Group is being chaired by former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson, and is scheduled to provide advice back to the Federal Government by the end of 2014.

The proposal, as it stands is for 1,731km route from South Dynon in Melbourne to Acacia Ridge in Brisbane, passing through Seymour, Albury, Wagga Wagga, Junee, Parkes, Narromine, Narrabri, Moree, North Star and Toowoomba. The proposed route includes a jigsaw of sections of existing track, upgraded track, and new ‘greenfield’ track.  More information about the project can be found here.

Interested parties have been invited to provide submissions to the Implementation Group.  This is our opportunity to have a say on a critical project to the future of rail freight in Australia, so RTBU National Office is coordinating a submission on behalf of members.  We need your input to make sure our submission hits the mark.

What do you think the Federal Government needs to do to make Inland Rail a success?

Is the current proposal on the right track, or will it fail to deliver the step-change needed to bring the rail network into the 21st century?

Submissions are due to the Federal Government by the end of June, so have your say now and tell the Federal Government what you really think!

Send your thoughts to RTBU National Policy Officer Stewart Prins by email at, ring Stewart directly on 02 8203 6097, or leave a comment below.

4 Comments to “Inland Rail – Tell us what you really think!”

  • To make the Inland Rail a success they need to stop pandering to vested interests particularly in Queensland and forget about going via Toowoomba and Gowrie and to tunnel the Great Dividing range after leaving Inglewood and joining the current interstate line where practical. If the line is to compete with trucks from Melbourne the transit time needs to be as fast as possible and not to be delayed by going via Gowrie and down the range. Barry.

  • I agree with Barry on the tunnel issue and the Feds need to divert some of the millions in funding for national highways to national railways.

    The current link between Brisbane and Sydney is a goat track which winds and twists all over the countryside keeping the trains to slow speeds that can’t compete with the trucking industry.The inland route proposal which has been tossed around for many years now and if constructed as a high speed double stack railway will indeed make the transport industry a more level playing field when it comes to competition between rail and road.

  • I think any expansion of rail infrastructure in Australia is a wonderful thing. I sincerely hope that designers make this a proper high speed line which would allow both freight and passenger services to compete with road and air. No more wobbly track with 25km/h turnouts. Let’s see some good straight track with 80km/h + turnouts. Passenger and freight trains with speeds above 160km/h.

    Considering it currently takes 18.5 hours to drive from Melbourne to Brisbane (not including rest breaks etc.) I imagine it would be easy to achieve half this time with a properly designed rail line. Combine this with the fact that rail freight is more than twice as fuel efficient than road should makes the idea very compelling. Pretty easy. Shift more stuff in less time for less cost. Makes sense to me.

  • The high speed inland rail route is nothing more than a ‘pipe dream’.

    Look how many years and how many road death’s it has taken for the Pacific Highway to be progressively upgraded. Those upgrades have been paid for with taxes, road & fuel levies.

    The sad fact, is that the roadways are a user taxable resource that can fund expansion & improvement, whereas the Rail permanent way costs considerably more and is utilised by significantly fewer taxable entities.

    Certainly it can be seen that such an outlay would in the long term benefit the commonwealth, but another sad fact is that no government party looks at the long term, but rather at their time in office.

    Has the GST taught us nothing. One party proposed it, the opposition opposed it. The opposition came to power and introduced it and the original party that proposed it, then opposed it. I know it sounds like one of ‘Sir Humphrey’s lines from “Yes Minister”‘ but such is the state of politics in Australia. (read it again and consider the truth).

    On the subject of the route of the proposed corridor, the arguments for and against each further support my theory, with the chosen route passing through (and hopefully getting the Vote of many a supplicant) the areas of greater population (regardless of terrain and therefore ignoring the purpose of the corridor).

    So yet again the political wheel will spin, to curry voter favouritism, through many a populated electorate, whilst ignoring the needs and benefits of the proposition, regardless of commonwealth future gains, in the interests of the benefits of a government term of office.

    Grant Cupples

    PS: The inland corridor is a magnificent idea!
    To learn the outcome though, I suggest reading John Whitton’s history, to see how his engineering plans for the NSW railways were hobbled by short sightedness, a lack of understanding of our terrain and as such, government funding (of the day). As a result we find ourselves here today.
    History repeats itself!!!!

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