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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


Grower and Industry Information Sets Inland Rail Future Direction

The views of grain handlers and growers are being sought to help in planning the future conditions of the Inland Rail for Moree Plains.

The Shire-wide Transport and Intermodal Study is in the detailed consultation phase and Moree Plains Shire Council has engaged the CSIRO to undertake significant work on developing a transport model, TraNSIT, to illustrate the Shire’s roads in detail. Over the next two weeks, the focus will be on data gathering to assist with transport model calibration, so it accurately reflects Moree Plains’ current transport situation.

Council’s Director of Planning and Community Development Angus Witherby explained that well-known local Rebecca Reardon is working with Council to help the project team collate information and assisting the study team gain access to local input and industry expertise about the future possibilities.

“It is great to have Bec Reardon on-board to help facilitate this part of the project, as it is a tremendous opportunity to better understand the needs of growers and grain handlers, and ensure that Council is making provision for the best range of possible opportunities that are ahead of us”.

“I encourage those who are approached for information to assist openly as it will enable quality research and data to be collected. We understand business and operator privacy and all information will be held in the strictest commercial confidence,” said Mr Witherby.

The CSIRO model will form the heart of the transport project, allowing the project team to test impacts of network changes and improvements. It will also be the basis for analysis of the impacts and benefits of an expansion of intermodal facilities. Future scenarios will be tested, to plan for future conditions when the Inland Rail is fully operational.

The study team will be working closely with local growers, Council’s Road Network Consultative Group and with the Moree Intermodal Transport Taskforce in developing future scenarios around Inland Rail.

Consultants WSP have been appointed as lead consultant to undertake the road technical studies, including route selection for a connector from the Gwydir to Newell Highways, enhancing road freight access to the existing grain handlers and reviewing improvements to the Carnarvon Highway. They will also look at preferred options for expansion and development of intermodal facilities including a wide range of complementary options. These include warehousing and distribution, fuel farms, value adding industries and, potentially, rolling stock servicing. WSP will be working with specialist firms in the development of business cases and costing of the projects.

The Transport and Intermodal Study is being funded by the Federal Government’s Murray Darling Basin compensation fund, with the money being auspiced by the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. Council is also contributing both cash and in-kind professional support.

The Study is on a very tight timeframe, with the technical studies due for completion by the end of May this year.

 Inland Rail