Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts

National Rail Program

In the 2017-18 Budget, the Australian Government established the $10 billion National Rail Program, a major, long-term commitment to invest in passenger rail networks in our big cities, and between our cities and their surrounding regional centres.

The 10 year National Rail Program is designed to help make our cities more liveable and efficient as they grow, reduce the burden on our roads, provide more reliable transport networks and support our efforts to decentralise our economy and grow regional Australia.

On 13 December 2017, the Hon Darren Chester MP, former Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, and the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, former Minister for Urban Infrastructure, released criteria for the National Rail Program. The criteria set out how the Australian Government will determine the priorities for investment under the National Rail Program.

The Australian Government is continuing its record investment in urban and regional passenger rail infrastructure to ease congestion in our cities and ensure people can efficiently connect to regional centres. In the 2019-20 Budget the Government has allocated $3.5 billion to the Western Sydney North South Rail Link and $2 billion for fast rail between Geelong and Melbourne.

The Australian Government is also leading the way on fast rail to better connect capital cities to surrounding regional centres. This will help drive economic growth in our regions by allowing people to access the lifestyle, amenity and affordable housing benefits of regional towns while connecting them to larger employment markets and specialist services in capital cities.

The National Rail Program has been fully committed. Projects funded under the National Rail Program include:

  • $3.5 billion for Western Sydney Rail (St Marys to Bringelly).
  • $2.5 billion towards a Melbourne Airport Rail Link (with another $2.5 billion from the Infrastructure Investment Program).
  • $2 billion to help deliver fast rail between Geelong and Melbourne.
  • $1.1 billion to develop further stages of the METRONET in Perth.
  • $475 million to construct a line in the Monash Precinct in Melbourne.
  • $390 million to upgrade the Beerburrum to Nambour line in Queensland.
  • $225 million to duplicate and electrify the Frankston to Baxter line in Melbourne.
  • $220 million to complete the electrification of the Gawler line in Adelaide.
  • $112 million for Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A.

Australian Government funding for further passenger rail projects, including fast rail projects, will be considered under the 10 year rolling Infrastructure Investment Program.