This plan aims to implement changes to improve delivery of rail infrastructure and improve the safety and productivity of rail operations. An additional focus will be to create opportunities for manufacturers of rail equipment to supply rolling stock and components.
The actions have two main focuses:
- to ensure we have the skills and labour required to build and operate the rail network; and
- to improve the efficiency and safety of Australia‘s rail system by continuing to align or harmonise operating rules, infrastructure and operational standards and systems across the nation’s rail network.
The plan will be a collaboration between governments and the rail industry as each has a part to play in delivering the actions.
Australia will be spending more on rail in the next decade than submarines. Rail manufacturing employs 5,000 workers directly, with a further 7,000 in the extended supply chain.
This rapid increase in public investment creates both opportunities and challenges. Rail can reduce congestion in metropolitan areas and improve freight productivity across the nation. One of the challenges is having a rail construction capability which is able to match the demand created by the proposed new projects. There is also an opportunity to leverage the investment to improve operational effectiveness and safety, as well as provide economic opportunities in the rail manufacturing sector.
As new infrastructure projects are completed and move to operations and as rail operators update their fleet, there will be a greater need for passenger car sets as well as locomotives and rolling stock. This provides an opportunity for local manufacturers to be able to build those passenger car sets and other rolling stock or to supply components.