Key Issues

Our Approach

To ensure we best engage with and represent our 150 plus member organisations, we split rail into four sectors; passenger, freight, contractors and suppliers.


Each of these sectors is led by an Executive Committee that reports to our Board and has developed their own strategies and implementation plans to guide our priorities.  The diagram below illustrates this approach.


COVID-19 Update

Working with Members – Committee Meetings and Weekly Teleconferences

The ARA is committed to supporting our members during these challenging and rapidly changing times. Our Committees and Working Groups are continuing to meet utilising video and teleconferencing facilities.  

Rail Pipelines

The New South Wales and Victorian Governments have mapped their significant infrastructure projects occurring in rail to develop a pipeline of projects.
The New South Wales pipeline can be viewed here.
The Victorian pipeline can be viewed here.
These pipelines will assist the rail industry to plan for upcoming projects in rail.

2019 Federal Election

In 2019 and beyond, rail is more important than ever.
As Australian cities continue to grow and our freight task increases, the pressure on our road network also increases. Avoiding and reducing congestion is one of the biggest benefits that can be achieved from moving passengers by rail and moving freight from road to rail.
Properly planned and funded rail, integrated with other transport modes can ease congestion, reduce travel times, increase commuters’ access to transport, making cities more liveable and our economy more productive.

Smart Rail

The Smart Rail Route Map is a 30-year framework which defines the rail industry direction, development initiatives and research programs required to underpin the successful integration and support of next-generation digital and telecommunications technologies.

National Rail Safety Data Strategy

The National Rail Safety Data Strategy 2018 – 2022 (the strategy) has been developed as a partnership between the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR), the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) and rail industry representatives to achieve consistent, quality and accurate national rail safety data that is readily available to stakeholders to make rail safety decisions.  

Management of Locomotive Exhaust Emissions

The Australasian Railway Association publishes data provided to it by freight rail operators to meet the operators’ obligations under the Code of Practice for Management of Locomotive Exhaust Emissions.  The Code focuses on two key priorities; greenhouse gases and diesel particulates. 

Diesel engines create several emissions of concern to the community, including diesel particulates (PM), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and greenhouse gases (GHG).

Drug and Alcohol Management

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) conducted a review into drug and alcohol management in the rail industry. This review provided six recommendations that the rail industry supported in full.

Transport Ministers voted on ONRSR’s drug and alcohol recommendations when they met in Darwin on 18 May 2018. To support a legislative change, all Transport Ministers must vote in support for a recommendation.

Young Rail Professionals

Rail has entered an exciting period as a result of unprecedented investment and expansion. This transformation provides rail with the unique opportunity to embrace change and improve age diversity in the rail workforce.

Safety & Standards


Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board

Harmonising the rail industry through progressive improvement, not delayed perfection

The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) is responsible for developing and managing a series of documents classified as the 'Australia Code of Practice'. These are industry standards, rules, codes of practice, guidelines and handbooks for the Australian rail industry.