Inland Rail - Latest News & Updates


Priority Status: Priority Project

State: QLD to VIC

City: Melbourne to Brisbane

Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Project Plan

  • Inland Rail Cost: $9.89 billion
  • Federal Funding: $9.3 billion
  • QLD to VIC State Government Funding: TBD
  • Project Type: Rail - Inland Rail
  • Length of Job: 1700 km

Inland Rail Construction Details

Stretching approximately 1,700 km from Melbourne to Brisbane, via inland Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, around 40% of the line will be either new or conversion to dual gauge (from narrow gauage) in Queensland. Where narrow gauge is currently servicing line between Brisbane and regional areas, this will remain.

All other sections of the route would utilise existing standard track, or be upgraded as required, in New South Wales and Victoria. Driving the project are the service specifications which require a sub 24-hour travel time between Brisbane and Melbourne, based on a benchmark vehicle as follows:

  • 21 ton axle load
  • 115 km/h double-stacked
  • a train of up to 1,800 m in length

Over time, capacity will be increased to accommodate trains of up to 3,600 m in length (double-stacked) carrying up to 485 containers (TEUs).

Inland Rail Contractor Information

Contract Awarded To: Various - see link:

Inland Rail Jobs & Community Plan

Projected Jobs For Inland Rail: 16000 during construction

Estimates indicate that demand for freight services between Melbourne and Brisbane will increase 165% over the coming decades (from 4.9 million tonnes in 2016 to 13 million tonnes in 2050 - based on 20 foot equivalents units or TEUs). Current freight capacity is incapable of supporting this significant increase.

Currently, the Melbourne to Brisbane freight route runs via Sydney is unreliable and incapable of meeting the transit times that industry requires. This is due to a number of factors, such as:

  • capacity constraints
  • incompatible rail gauge alignments (particularly between Brisbane and Sydney)
  • inefficiencies created through the freight transiting through the Sydney metropolitan area

Faster transit times exist via road between Melbourne and Brisbane (via inland New South Wales) than by rail. Limited overtaking lanes and sections of two-lane single carriageway, however, create inefficiencies on the existing road route. Therefore, rail upgrades are required to combat the potential for increased transit times on-road due to increased usage.

Inland Rail Upgrade Timeline

Inland Rail - Construction: 2018

Inland Rail - Completion Date: 2025



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