Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail

The Australian Government committed to the full delivery of Inland Rail with an additional $8.4 billion equity investment in the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

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Inland Rail will provide a high-capacity freight link between Melbourne and Brisbane through regional Australia to better connect our cities, farms, and mines via ports to domestic and international markets.

With a transit time of under 24 hours, 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. It will reduce the number of trucks on our major highways, helping to make our roads and towns safer.

Inland Rail will boost Australia's GDP by $16 billion over the next 50 years and reduce emissions by 750,000 tonnes.

The Inland Rail project takes advantage of 1,200km of existing rail corridor and will involve the construction of around 500km of new track. This builds on decades of investment by the Australian Government, the States and ARTC in the Australian rail freight network.

Current status

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

Inland Rail is making progress and the projects are in different stages. To view the status of each project, visit

Inland Rail is a once-in-a-generation project

Inland Rail is a strategic investment that will:

  • create a new direct freight link through eastern Australia;
  • connect farms, mines, cities and ports to global markets;
  • boost the economies of our regions and our nation as a whole; and
  • deliver a freight network that will serve Australia for the next century.

Refining the route

Inland Rail uses the existing network as much as possible. However, for the hundreds of kilometres of new track, new corridors will be defined and protected. Each state has its own environment and planning laws in addition to Australian Government approval requirements.

The Australian Government will work closely with state governments on planning and environment approvals and corridor protection for Inland Rail.

Community consultation is also a key component in the planning, approval and detailed design phases.

Visit the Inland Rail website for more information.

For questions relating to the alignment and construction of Inland Rail contact ARTC.

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.

Inland Rail background

The Australian Government is committed to the delivery of Inland Rail. The Inland Rail route has been refined over many years following a number of studies and reviews:

  • 2006
    • North south alignment study (AusLink) identified a broad corridor.
  • 2010
    • Alignment Study done by ARTC at government's request—identified preferred alignment.
  • 2013
    • Funding commitment of $300 million. ARTC was tasked with developing a detailed business case, a 10 year delivery plan and undertaking environmental assessments, planning approval applications and design.
  • 2015
    • Implementation Group established. Chaired by Hon John Anderson AO, with membership by Qld, Vic, NSW, ARTC and the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. The Group recommended the 2010 alignment with some refinement and further work.
  • 2016
    • Infrastructure Australia identified Inland Rail as a priority project, endorsing its potential to generate net economic benefits for the nation.
    • The Australian Government further committed an additional $593.7 million in equity to the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
  • 2017
    • Australian Government Budget commitment to the full delivery of Inland Rail.

The Inland Rail Implementation Group Report provided a report to the Australian Government, Inland Rail: Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail PDF: 6687 KB ReadSpeaker. This report covers the development and independent validation of a robust business case and delivery plan.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation also completed a rigorous and extensive Programme Business Case for Inland Rail. This document is the detailed assessment of why Inland Rail is needed and how it can be delivered.

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 July, 2018