Trans-Australian Railway Centenary Heralds Inland Rail
- Trans-Australian Railway from Port Augusta-Kalgoorlie, is still as vital as ever
- Iconic line commemorated with the unveiling of new statue
- Inland Rail project is this generation’s Trans-Australian Railway
Today marks the commemoration of exactly 100 years since the completion of the iconic Trans-Australian Railway, which connected Western Australia to the east of the country for the first time.
The centenary was celebrated in Ooldea, South Australia today – the location where railway workers from either end of the line met at 1.45pm (AEDT) on Wednesday 17 October 1917. Less than a week later on Monday 22 October 1917, the first passenger train departed Port Augusta for Perth, fulfilling the promise to Western Australia at Federation to have a rail connection to the rest of the nation.
ARTC Chief Executive and Managing Director John Fullerton said the Trans-Australian Railway remained a vital link and a hub for innovation in the national freight network a century on.
“100 years after its connection, the Trans-Australian Railway is still bringing jobs, innovation and prosperity to the desert.
“Around 80 per cent of freight travelling East-to-West in Australia travels on the Trans-Australian Railway. Inland Rail will allow for freight volumes of that magnitude to be replicated on rail from Melbourne to Brisbane, for the first time.
“ARTC continues to invest in the Trans-Australian Railway through the Adelaide-Tarcoola Re-railing Upgrade of approximately 600 kilometres of track. The project is creating steel manufacturing jobs, flashbutt welding jobs in Port Augusta, as well as in construction and project management jobs.
“ARTC’s Advanced Train Management System is currently being trialled between Whyalla and Port Augusta. ATMS is the next step in the evolution and modernisation of the Australian rail freight industry to be truly world-class. As the preferred train management solution for the Inland Rail project, ATMS is a significant leap forward in technology to manage rail movements and it’s being developed in Adelaide.
In May 2017, the Federal Government announced an additional $8.4 billion equity investment into the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to deliver Inland Rail.
- The Trans-Australian Railway is operated by ARTC
- ARTC is responsible for the safe and reliable transit of approx. 5,000 trains that run on the line every year
- The Trans-Australian Railway carries 8 million tonnes of freight annually
- Approximately 80 per cent of all the freight that travels between Melbourne/Sydney and Perth travels along this stretch of rail line
Media contact: Laura Brice, ARTC, 0438668073