The Inland Rail is predicted to take thousands of trucks off the road.THE Inland Rail, which will pass through the North West, will take thousands of trucks off the road, slash transit times and promote regional development, a new report into the performance of the nation’s rail networks has highlighted.
The TrainLine2 report provides a high-level overview of the rail industry, including freight and passenger movements, and was launched in Perth yesterday by deputy prime minister Warren Truss.
Australasian Railway Association chief executive Bryan Nye said it showed that movement of goods and people by rail in Australia continued to grow, with more than a billion tonnes of freight and 850 million passengers carried last year.
“The national freight task is predicted to almost triple by 2050 and by that same year the Australian population will have doubled, with populations of Sydney and Melbourne approaching eight million people each,” Mr Nye said.
“If Australia is expected to meet this challenge, rail will have an increasingly important role to play in this space.”
He highlighted the big surge in the movement of freight on rail, with an increase of 57 per cent in the past five years.
While rail freight was going from strength to strength in Western Australia, along the east coast it was a different story, but the Inland Rail, between Brisbane and Melbourne and passing through Moree and Narrabri, would start to redress this imbalance.
Just 30 per cent of freight between the two centres was currently moved by rail, Mr Nye said, but the multi-million dollar line through western NSW would open up this area, taking seven hours off transit times between the two capital cities, removing thousands of trucks from major highways, easing the Sydney bottleneck, and boosting regional development along the 1700km route.
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