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

Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail

Inland Rail is a fast, reliable and high-capacity freight rail line connecting two of Australia’s fastest growing cities, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Delivering the freight rail line is a critical action under the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.

Australia’s population is growing and our transport network will need to support the movement of up to 35% more freight by 2040. Trains will travel through regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, connecting farms and producers to major cities, ports and other forms of transport, for better access to domestic and international markets.

The Inland Rail Project is one of the many ways the Australian Government makes significant investments in land transport infrastructure across Australia, through its Infrastructure Investment Program.

A map showing the Inland Rail alignment is located here: PDF: 2495 KB ReadSpeaker

Timeline

Sections of Inland Rail are in the design phase, under construction and operational.

The first section of Inland Rail became operational between Parkes and Narromine in September 2020. Construction of the second section between Narrabri and North Star in New South Wales commenced in November 2020.

Funding

The Australian Government has committed up to $14.5 billion in equity to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to enable the delivery of Inland Rail.

Benefits

Inland Rail is expected to:

  • Support more than 21,500 direct and indirect jobs at the peak of construction in 2023–24
  • Deliver a boost of more than $18 billion to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from construction and the first 50 years of operation
  • Transport goods between Melbourne and Brisbane in under 24 hours, cutting 8 or more hours off the current coastal rail route
  • Spark investment across 103 local government areas on either side of the line, sustaining jobs and adding up to $13.3 billion in Gross Regional Product to local economies over the first 50 years of operation
  • Carry more goods more efficiently and easing congestion – reducing up to 200,000 heavy truck trips per year from east coast and regional roads by 2049-50.

Read more about Inland Rail at www.InlandRail.gov.au