TEN years ago today the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) took up the New South Wales
State Lease, becoming a single interstate rail freight access platform between Australia’s major
capitals, ports and intermodal terminals.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss
said while celebrating the 10 year lease milestone, ARTC will also celebrate a decade of growth and
modernisation of the interstate rail network.
“Signing the lease in 2004 was a key part of the vision that ARTC would become a ‘one-stop-shop’
for rail freight operators across the country,” Mr Truss said.
“It enabled, for the first time, a single body to drive co-ordinated, planned and targeted investment
into modernising the interstate rail freight network.
“Ten years on and a more reliable, efficient and safe rail network now supports freight travelling up
and down the east coast of Australia – helping keep the country’s economy moving and the national
logistics chain strong.
“Looking to the future, ARTC is now considering whether there is a commercial case to expand its
operations in Queensland, and the Australian Government is investing in further development of the
interstate network through our commitment to constructing the Inland Rail over the next 10 years.”
ARTC Chief Executive Officer John Fullerton said that since the ARTC take-up in 2004, the New
South Wales rail network had been significantly upgraded.
“Mainlines are now 100 per cent concrete sleepered, and old signal boxes have been consolidated
into two Network Control Centres,” Mr Fullerton said.
- modern computerised CTC signalling has been introduced;
- level crossings have been removed or upgraded;
- drainage and ballast has been improved;
- multiple new passing lanes and crossing loops have been built; and
- massive structures like the Murrumbidgee rail bridge have been renewed, removed or upgraded
“Importantly, the Southern Sydney Freight Line is now operational and Sydney’s Metropolitan
Freight Network has been integrated into ARTC’s network in line with the lease agreement.
“As a consequence, rail freight customers now enjoy 24/7, dedicated interstate rail freight access to
“Massive investment into the Hunter coal chain has also seen billions of dollars in rail infrastructure
delivered to support coal growth tonnages that now amount to more than 150 million tonnes a year.
“Thanks to our customers and staff we have come a long way and we are determined to continue
growing the volume of freight on rail to support Australia’s burgeoning freight task.”
ARTC currently has responsibility for the management of more than 8,500 route kilometres of
standard gauge interstate track in South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and
New South Wales.