AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Victorian rail freight infrastructure ‘inadequate’

<p>Rail freight infrastructure in Victoria is substandard and is heavily restricting the competitiveness of rail freight against road freight, according to rail industry sources.</p> <p>Freight Australia, which operates much of the freight track in Victoria, claims there hasn’t been a significant upgrade of the rail network in 50 years.</p> <p>Freight Australia has criticised the state government over its open access regime, saying it discourages investment because it doesn’t allow private operators to recover money spent on infrastructure development.</p> <p>The poor state of Victoria’s rail network is typical of rail freight infrastructure on the interstate track between Melbourne and Brisbane, according to FCL director Greg Gibbins.</p> <p>"The main reason the North&#47South freight corridor is mainly held by road freight is because of the inadequate rail freight infrastructure along the route," Mr Gibbins told the <em>Lloyd’s List DCN</em> Victorian Transport Infrastructure 2004 conference.</p> <p>Low bridge weight allowance, widespread speed limitations and the lack of adequate duplication reduce the efficiency of running rail freight on the line.</p> <p>Lack of automation of track and signal changes also costs freight shipments up to 10 hours in extra travel time on a journey between Melbourne and Brisbane.</p> <p>Mr Gibbins said the money spent on the Adelaide-Darwin railway could have been better spent on improving the Melbourne-Brisbane line, but it is now up to AusLink to deliver genuine improvements.</p> <br />