About the rail industry

Whether you catch the train, tram or light rail to work or operate a business that depends on a reliable freight network, the rail industry touches the everyday lives of people across Australia and New Zealand.

Sustainable, efficient and safe rail networks are essential to drive our economy and shape our communities.

Rail is the backbone of Australia and New Zealand’s ground transport network, busting congestion and supporting the growth of vibrant cities and towns.

Economic contribution

The rail industry generates almost $30 billion in economic activity each year and supports 165,000 direct and indirect Australian jobs. If the rail industry was a single organisation, it would be the third biggest employer in Australia.

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Environmental benefits

Rail takes vehicles off our roads, providing a sustainable mode of transport to support Australia and New Zealand’s long term growth. Our passenger networks alleviate congestion on busy city roads, while a single short haul freight train carries the equivalent of 41 B-double trucks.

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Freight rail

Meeting Australia’s growing freight task will be essential to ensure the nation’s future growth. The domestic freight task has increased 50 per cent in the 10 years to 2016 and is forecast to grow another 26 per cent by 2026.

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Passenger rail

Passenger rail plays a growing and essential role in connecting our cities
and towns. It is the mode of choice for more commuters and supports healthy and sustainable communities.

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Construction and projects

Rail construction projects over the next five years will outpace the investment in mining at the height of the boom. The rail projects underway and planned across Australia and New Zealand will shape our cities and towns for decades to come.

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Rail manufacturing

Over 900 companies support Australia’s rail manufacturing and supply industry, with manufacturing and assembly capability across the country. Rollingstock manufacturing and repair generates $2.4 billion in Australia each year.

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Consultants and technology providers across Australia and New Zealand assist the rail industry in railway planning, operations, economics, management, strategy and training.

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