The release of the 2020 Infrastructure Priority List has highlighted the importance of continued rail investment to meet the nation’s growing infrastructure needs.

Australasian Railway Association (ARA) Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie welcomed Infrastructure Australia’s focus on resilience in its presentation of a record 147 infrastructure proposals of national significance.

“Infrastructure Australia’s reference to unprecedented demand, severe drought and other environmental changes brings to the fore the need for investment in robust and sustainable infrastructure,” said Ms Wilkie.

“Deloitte research commissioned by the ARA shows that one Sydney train during peak hour takes 880 cars off the road, reducing congestion, accident and carbon costs,” she said.

Rail additions to the Priority List this year include Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A as a priority project and Sydney-Canberra rail connectivity as a priority initiative.

Earlier this year the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments announced that they would proceed with the Gold Coast Light Rail 3a extension to Burleigh Heads.

“This project will alleviate the increasingly congested road traffic, reduce travel time and improve amenity in transport between Broadbeach and Burleigh Heads ,” said Ms Wilkie.

“The Sydney-Canberra rail connectivity initiative consists of a range of upgrades to the 320km rail line to reduce the current 4 hour train journey time to be competitive with road and air options. Given the forecast population increase on this corridor is 1.5% each year to 2036, this initiative would improve transport options immensely.”

“There are over forty rail projects and initiatives listed in Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List, ranging from large well known mass transit projects like Sydney Metro City and South West, key freight projects such as Inland Rail and key intercity connections such as the Brisbane to Sunshine Coast Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade,“ said Ms Wilkie.

“The ARA supports the record investment being made by State and Commonwealth Governments into rail. This report highlights the benefits of continuing that investment and that the current levels of infrastructure investment need to be the new norm,” she concluded.


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