CEO of Australian Rail Track Corporation, David Marchant, said today, “the Inland Rail Project should not be seen as a threat to the Adelaide – Darwin rail project.” David Marchant said, “while these two projects serve different freight markets and provide very different opportunities for freight movement by rail in Australia, the combined effect will be to provide a greatly enhanced rail network for Australia.” David Marchant made these comments while welcoming the Federal Government’s announcement last week that it will contribute $300,000 towards a study into Stage 1, from Melbourne to Brisbane, of the proposed Inland Rail Project. The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr John Anderson, has acted quickly in announcing the Federal Government’s support for a more detailed study of Stage 1 of the Inland Rail Project,” David Marchant said.
“Suggestions by some commentators that this project has negative consequences for the viability of the Adelaide to Darwin rail projects are misplaced. If anything the upgrading of the Melbourne – Brisbane rail corridor via the inland route will assist in the market development of the Adelaide to Darwin project.”
“The Alice Springs to Darwin line will require strong links to the rest of the interstate rail network in Australia to assist in ensuring its viability and to maximise the returns on the project to both investors and the community.” “The Melbourne to Darwin link is a long term vision, but it is important that planning starts now. Investigating the upgrading of the inland Melbourne to Brisbane route, much of which is on existing tracks, will ensure that an integrated approach is taken in planning the development of Australia’s strategic rail links.” David Marchant welcomed the study and indicated that ARTC, as the national track corporation, would be providing assistance to the study.