Projects

The National Faster Rail Agency is working with state and territory governments and the private sector to develop business cases for faster rail projects. Australian Government funding for business cases has been provided on a 50:50 basis with the relevant state government and/or the private sector.

It should be noted that financial support for the development of a business case does not indicate Australian Government support for delivery of a project.

Geelong to Melbourne - Fast Rail

In the 2019-20 Budget, the Australian Government committed $2 billion to help deliver fast rail between Geelong and Melbourne. This investment builds on the Australian Government's landmark $5 billion commitment to deliver the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, which will include investigating options to increase capacity from Sunshine to the Melbourne CBD, enabling faster rail services to Geelong.

A faster rail service between Geelong and Melbourne has the potential to halve travel times, giving more time back to commuters and unlocking new economic and social opportunities for the region.

Faster Rail Prospectus business cases

Following a competitive assessment process, conducted in accordance with the assessment criteria published in the Faster Rail Prospectus, the Australian Government announced on 9 March 2018 that it would provide $20 million in matched funding for the development of three faster rail business cases. The business cases include:

  • Sydney to Newcastle
    The NSW Government examined options to improve travel mode share (car and train) and reduce travel times and congestion.
  • Melbourne to Greater Shepparton
    Consolidated Land and Rail Australia (CLARA) investigated building two SMART cities between Melbourne and Greater Shepparton in response to Melbourne’s expanding population needs and transport congestion. These cities would be connected by High Speed Rail along an identified corridor significantly reducing travel times, enhancing employment and housing opportunities.
  • Brisbane to the regions of Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast
    The North Coast Connect Consortium (NCCC) considered how to improve travel times from Brisbane to the regions of Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast. These regions are one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. Potential works include improvements to the existing rail line or new rail line to improve travel times, congestion and provide job opportunities.

These business cases have been completed and are being reviewed by the Agency.  The Agency will provide advice to Government on the findings of the business cases and next steps in the coming months.

Business cases

In the 2019-20 Budget, the Government committed to fund an additional five business cases for faster rail in priority corridors. The five new faster rail business cases are on corridors that connect capital cities with major regional centres and warrant investigation due to the opportunity to shift commuter demand from road to rail. Investment in faster rail has the potential to stimulate regional growth and provide access to jobs, services, housing and amenities.

The five additional business cases under investigation include:

  • Sydney to Bomaderry (via Wollongong)
    This project will develop a business case to determine the infrastructure and operational issues required to provide fast rail services from Sydney to Bomaderry (via Wollongong). The business case will undertake an options analysis to determine the optimal rail solution, determine requirements for integration with the existing rail network, and provide patronage assessment, economic appraisal and funding and financial analysis.
  • Sydney to Parkes (via Bathurst and Orange)
    This project will develop a business case to determine the infrastructure and operational issues required to provide fast rail services from Sydney to Parkes (via Bathurst and Orange). The business case will undertake an options analysis to determine the optimal rail solution, determine requirements for integration with the existing rail network, and provide patronage assessment, economic appraisal and funding and financial analysis.
  • Melbourne to Albury-Wodonga
    This project will develop a business case to determine the infrastructure and operational issues required to provide fast rail services from Melbourne to Albury/Wodonga. The business case will undertake an options analysis to determine the optimal rail solution, determine requirements for integration with the existing rail network, and provide patronage assessment, economic appraisal and funding and financial analysis.
  • Melbourne to Traralgon
    This project will develop a business case to determine the infrastructure and operational issues required to provide fast rail services from Melbourne to Traralgon. The business case will undertake an options analysis to determine the optimal rail solution, determine requirements for integration with the existing rail network, and provide patronage assessment, economic appraisal and funding and financial analysis.
  • Brisbane to the Gold Coast
    This project will develop a business case to determine the infrastructure and operational issues required to provide faster rail services from Brisbane to the Gold Coast. The business case will undertake an options analysis to determine the optimal rail solution, determine requirements for integration with the existing rail network, and provide patronage assessment, economic appraisal and funding and financial analysis. The business case will consider options to extend the existing line from Varsity Lakes to Coolangatta Airport.