The group advocating a private sector alternative to the Inland Rail project has added a major ally, with German multinational Siemens entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the push.
National Trunk Rail is a proponent of a private sector-funded inland rail line between Brisbane and Melbourne it says is shorter, straighter, flatter and faster than the current project being worked on by the Federal Government.
Siemens, in the MoU announced on Tuesday, has agreed to become a core member of the NTR team.
“We are dedicated to powering Australia’s rail networks into the future,” Siemens Australia chief executive Jeff Connolly said.
“This MoU strengthens our intelligent infrastructure solutions portfolio in rail networks and operators across Australia.”
NTR chairman Martin Albrecht said an alliance with Siemens would be crucial to NTR delivering a 21st century solution to meet the needs of industries that could benefit from an inland rail line.
“The need for an inland freight rail line is now, and a competitive integrated transport supply chain solution will be critical to achieving the national productivity required to deliver sustainable prosperity from Australia’s recently negotiated Free Trade Agreements,” Albrecht said.
Albrecht also welcomed the government’s recent moves to investigate the privatisation of the Australian Rail Track Corporation, and the acknowledgement of the role the ARTC has to play in the potential delivery of an inland rail route.
“NTR is encouraged that the government’s terms of reference will specifically look at the delivery and/or operation of inland rail by a party other than ARTC,” he added.
“NTR stands ready to deliver a superior private sector inland rail solution … should the government open up its vision for inland rail to an efficient private sector solution, without the need for investment of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ funds.”
The NTR team also announced on Tuesday the addition of former Queensland director general of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet Jon Grayson.