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Inland Rail

Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail

The Inland Rail will complete the ‘backbone’ of the national freight network between Melbourne and Brisbane via Wagga Wagga, Parkes, Narromine, Moree and Toowoomba.

Key features:

  • Inland Rail is a 1,700km freight line between Melbourne and Brisbane, making it the largest freight rail infrastructure project in Australia.
  • The dedicated freight network will transform the way goods move throughout the country to support Australia’s four richest farming regions (Darling Downs, Queensland; West Moreton, Queensland; Northern New South Wales and Goulburn Valley, Victoria) and provide supply chain benefits and substantial cost savings for producers.
  • Inland Rail has been divided into 13 distinct projects: 7 in New South Wales, 5 in Queensland and 1 in Victoria.
  • The major users of Inland Rail will be producers and their customers across a range of sectors and freight types whose transport options are currently limited and inefficient.
  • Inland Rail will be an open access rail service so any accredited operator can run a train along the rail line.
  • Approximately 16,000 jobs will be created at the peak of construction and another 700 jobs every year once Inland Rail is operational.
  • Inland Rail will support regional community development and Australian businesses as a result of locally sourced resources construction and its operations.
  • Freight customers will have the benefit of reduced transit times and greater service reliability between Melbourne and Brisbane; Adelaide and Perth and Brisbane; and from regional centres to capital cities.
  • The project will reduce environmental and asset maintenance costs as a result of removing a large number of heavy vehicles off the road network and reducing real distances travelled.
  • The Inland Rail will free up pass for passenger and local freight trains on the real network north and south of Sydney.

In one of the biggest investments ever earmarked for regional Australia, the Federal Government will fund the project, investing $8.4billion as announced as part of the 2017-2018 Federal Budget.

The Federal Government through Australian Track Rail Corporation (ARTC) is delivering this multi-billion dollar infrastructure in partnership with the private sector. The Inland Rail will transform the way goods are moved between Brisbane and Melbourne, and between the eastern states, Adelaide and Perth; support Australia’s most productive agricultural regions; provide supply chain benefits and substantial cost savings for producers.


The Moree Advantage – Perfectly Positioned

“As one of the founding members of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance, Council has been working tirelessly over the last four years to make sure our community is “Inland Rail ready” Mayor Cr Katrina Humphries.

Why Moree?

With freight volumes set to double by 2030 and triple by 2050, Moree will form an integral part of the intermodal freight solution:

  • Junction of three main highways
  • Heart of Australia’s premier agricultural region
  • Moree already has industrially zoned land with highway and rail access
  • Reliable air services to Sydney and Brisbane
  • Gateway to the New England for Inland Rail

Current Progress

The Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section is one of 13 projects that comprises Inland Rail and will see about 185km of upgraded track and 3km of new track constructed to enable heavier axle loads and double–stacked trains, and improve transit times. This project crosses the three local government areas of Gwydir, Narrabri and Moree Plains.

The N2NS alignment

This project utilises existing rail corridor and track between N2NS. The upgrade work for this project will involve:

  • Reconstruction of the existing track
  • Re-establishing and/or expanding drainage works next to the track
  • Level crossing works
  • Replacing existing culverts and bridges
  • Establishing passing loops (as required)
  • Minor changes to track alignments at Bellata, Gurley and Moree Stations.

Progress on N2NS

ARTC has completed a preliminary environmental assessment and made an application to the New South Wales Government for approval to construct and operate the N2NS section of Inland Rail as State Significant Infrastructure.

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been prepared and delivered to the New South Wales Government.

The State Significant Infrastructure application, the EIS and accompanying documents are now available for public comment and can be viewed:

  • Electronically on the Department of Planning and Environment’s website
  • In person, at Moree Plains Shire Council, Level 2, the Max Centre, 30 Heber Street Moree Plains Shire Council
  • In person, at the Moree Community Library, 36 Balo Street Moree
  • In person, at the Dhiiyaan Aboriginal Centre, 38 Albert Street Moree.

These will be available until Friday 15 December 2017 and anyone can make a submission during the public exhibition period ending Friday 15 December 2017.

A number of consultation meetings will be held during the public exhibition period.

For more information, visit

John Carleton, Executive Projects Manager
Phone 02 6757 3222
email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Latest News for Inland Rail


Inland Rail EIS On Display For Moree Plains Community

The next stage of the transformational Inland Rail project between Brisbane and Melbourne is underway with the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Narrabri to North Star section released for public display and comment.

Moree Plains Shire Council Mayor Katrina Humphries said the high-capacity freight rail line between Melbourne and Brisbane would benefit the State through improved reliability for freight transport, improved service standards and lower shipping costs.

The Narrabri to North Star section of the Inland Rail will involve upgrading approximately 188 kilometres of existing track, track formation, bridges and culverts, realignment of sections of the track and construction of five new passing loops within the existing rail corridor.

The Moree Plains community is encouraged to view the EIS which is on display as part of the planning approval process, at Moree Plains Shire Council’s customer service centre, the Moree Community Library and the Dhiiyaan Aboriginal Centre, which are all located in Balo Street, Moree.

Council’s Executive Projects Manager John Carleton explained that the EIS describes the project, the potential impacts and how Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and NSW Planning and Environmental Department propose to manage these impacts during construction of the Inland Railway between Narrabri and North Star.

“This is a great opportunity for the community to have a look at the project and make comment on the environmental assessment,” said Mr Carleton.

The EIS will be publicly exhibited from Wednesday 15 November 2017 until Friday 15 December 2017 at the following locations during opening hours:

  • Moree Plains Shire Council Administration Centre, Level 2, 30 Heber Street Moree
  • Moree Community Library, 36 Balo Street Moree
  • Dhiiyaan Aboriginal Centre, 38 Albert Street Moree

The ARTC / Inland Rail will be holding community Information Sessions at Balo Shopping Square, 85 Balo Street Moree as follows:

  • 9am - 12pm, Wednesday 22 November 2017
  • 3pm - 6pm, Tuesday 28 November 2017

The EIS is available on the NSW Department of Planning and Environment website

Information on the Inland Rail can also be found online through the ARTC website 



Critical Step Forward for Moree Plains’ Inland Rail Intermodal

Moree Plains Shire Council Mayor Cr Katrina Humphries, in conjunction with Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, is delighted to announce that Council has been successful in securing grant funding to undertake a comprehensive transport study for the Moree Plains Shire.

The total project value is $425,000; comprising some funding and in-kind contributions by Council, with the lion’s share being made available by the Federal Government.

The project will allow Council to engage specialist assistance to prepare a Strategic Transport Plan for the Shire which will be targeted at ensuring the whole Shire is ‘Inland Rail ready’ by the time the rail line is upgraded in 2020.

The key elements of the project are to:

  • enhance access to, and operation of, existing local intermodal facilities to take immediate advantage of recent upgrades to rail lines;
  • address road access issues to existing and future intermodal facilities;
  • identify rail upgrades that would facilitate longer trains;
  • undertake preliminary design work; and
  • put in place a planning framework for a new, major, intermodal opportunity including identifying critical ‘last mile needs’.

As part of the project, a masterplan will be prepared, addressing potential sites for a fully integrated multi-modal transport, logistics and business hub reviewing both public and private land. The strategic opportunities of each potential site will be reviewed, together with the infrastructure needs to service the selected sites. This includes new and upgraded roads, rail access and also infrastructure such as power, water and sewer, and telecommunications. A full business case will also be developed including the potential for complementary industrial development. A recommended framework for facility delivery will be developed including private sector investment options.

A detailed transport model, based on the CSIRO transport model TraNSIT, which is currently being built for the region, will be developed for the Shire to allow the testing of various infrastructure options and to support the development of cost-benefit analyses. The model will provide a key method of testing the economic and transport impacts and benefits of key infrastructure links.

The final element of the Study is the development of a comprehensive communications and marketing plan, to ensure that the investment community is fully engaged with the opportunities available.

The ‘shovel ready projects’ developed from the study will be targeted at a variety of existing and forthcoming infrastructure funding opportunities.

Mayor, Cr Humphries said, “We’ve always been committed to the Inland Rail. This grant is going to help us immensely to pull together a Study which will allow players in the agricultural, logistics, distribution and other industries to understand the business case offered by this Shire.

“It will also identify the places where additional investment is needed to truly unlock the potential of the Shire’s place on the inland rail. This will also allow us to seek further funding to invest in these opportunities ourselves or offer opportunities for the private sector to get involved.

Mayor Humphries commented, “Make no mistake, this grant is a game-changer for our Shire!”

This project will go well beyond the typical piecemeal approach to transport and logistics planning and will ensure that the entire Moree Plains region has a well informed and developed strategic approach to future logistics requirements and utilisation of the improved rail access so as to unlock the full agricultural potential of the Shire.

The project will develop logistics as a key economic driver for the future growth of the Moree Plains region and will create additional economic opportunities beyond simply meeting current freight demand. This will include attracting new industry to the region and value adding to current industry sectors.