Findings support long term vision

The Melbourne to Brisbane Rail Alliance (MBIRA) has welcomed the release of a CSIRO pilot study that details the potential transport savings that will eventuate from the Inland Rail.

The Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Michael McCormack launched the pilot study, jointly funded by the CSIRO and the Australian Government, which determined that shifting horticulture and processed agriculture from road to rail could reduce transport costs for the agricultural industry by an estimated $70 million per year.

Chair of the MBIRA and Moree Plains Shire Councillor, Sue Price, said, “MBIRA has lobbied since 2007 for the Inland Rail to capitalise on the economic development opportunities that efficient rail access can generate.

“So it is encouraging that the CSIRO’s findings validate the Australian Government’s strategic investment into this piece of nationally significant infrastructure.

“Inland Rail is the catalyst for a multitude of benefits for the nation, including reduced freight transit times, lower transport costs, better supply chain access, improved road safety, increased competitiveness of agriculture, and opening up our export markets to compete in the world market.”

CSIRO conducted the pilot study in 2018 using TraNSIT (Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool), along with extensive industry engagement, to focus on Parkes to Narromine in Central West New
South Wales.

TraNSIT works by analysing every possible combination of transport routes and modes (road and rail) and determining those that optimise vehicle movements between enterprises in the agriculture supply chain.

The pilot study analysis showed if existing agricultural road trips were shifted to Inland Rail, the agricultural industry could save between $64 to $94 per tonne (depending on back- loading).

Additional analysis revealed that if existing coastal rail trips shifted to inland rail, this would result in an estimated saving of $28 to $35 per tonne.

Construction of the one-in-a-generation Inland Rail commenced on the Parkes to Narromine section in December 2018.

Inland Rail will include approximately 1100kms of major upgrades and enhancements to existing track and construction of approximately 600kms of new track.