ARTC Central Traffic Control at Broadmeadow
|Founded||1 July 1998|
|Headquarters||Mile End, South Australia|
|All mainland Australian states|
| Warren Truss (Chairman)|
John Fullerton (CEO)
|Total assets||A$3.61 billion|
Number of employees
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is a Government of Australia owned statutory corporation, established in July 1998, that manages most of Australia's interstate rail network.
In November 1996, the Australian Government announced a major rail reform package that included the sale of government-owned train operators Australian National and National Rail, and the establishment of the ARTC to manage the sections of the interstate rail network which had been controlled by the two former organisations.
The ARTC was incorporated in February 1998, with operations starting in July 1998 when the lines managed by Australian National's Track Australia were transferred to it.These were the lines from Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta, Tarcoola to Alice Springs, Port Augusta to Whyalla, Adelaide to Broken Hill, Adelaide to Serviceton, and the Outer Harbor line in Adelaide. Its inaugural CEO was David Marchant.
In 2000, the Tarcoola to Alice Springs line was leased to the Asia Pacific Transport Consortium as part of the project to extend the line to Darwin.
In 1999, the ARTC signed a five-year deal with VicTrack, the rail manager for the Victorian government, to lease the standard gauge North East line from Albury to Melbourne and the Western standard gauge line from Melbourne to Serviceton.This was later extended for another 10 years, and in May 2008 for another 45 years.
As part of the lease extension, the run-down and underutilised broad-gauge line from Seymour to Albury, that paralleled the standard gauge line, was leased to the ARTC and converted to standard gauge.Included was construction of the five-kilometre Wodonga Rail Bypass which eliminated 11 level crossings in that city.
In March 2009, the Portland line from Maroona to Portland would be leased to the ARTC for 50 years, with $15 million to be invested in the line.
In 2001, the ARTC was granted rights for 15 years to sell access between Kalgoorlie and Kwinana, Perth, to interstate rail operators under a wholesale access agreement with the West Australian track-lessee Arc Infrastructure.
In September 2004, the Government of New South Wales-owned RailCorp leased its interstate and Hunter Valley lines to the ARTC for 60 years.The lines covered by the lease are:
As part of this agreement the ARTC agreed to the following investment programmes:
The Rail Infrastructure Corporation also contracted operational responsibility of the remainder of its country branch lines to the ARTC from September 2004.From January 2012 this was transferred to the John Holland Group operating as the Country regional Network.
In July 2011, responsibility for the Werris Creek to North Star line was transferred from the Country Rail Infrastructure Authority to the ARTC.
In August 2012, the Government of New South Wales owned RailCorp leased its Metropolitan Goods line from Port Botany to Sefton to the ARTC for 50 years.
In January 2010, the Government of Queensland leased its standard gauge line from Border Loop on the New South Wales border to Acacia Ridge, Brisbane to the ARTC for 60 years.
In February 2014, the Federal and Queensland governments agreed to investigate further incorporating Queensland into the national rail network.This ultimately did not proceed.
The ARTC does not operate any trains, but provides and maintains the infrastructure for train operators to run on. The ARTC controls tracks in all mainland states. These were previously run by six separate state railways in an uncoordinated fashion that gave an advantage to road transport. By combining the infrastructure under one corporation it was expected that a more integrated and coordinated one-stop-shop would be created. It provides its own reporting numbers to trains that operate on its network.
The ARTC does not control any of the narrow gauge track in Queensland or South Australia, nor broad gauge track in Victoria. However it does control the Albion to Jacana freight line which has been partially converted to dual gauge for use as a passing lane, but is considered a main line on the broad gauge network.
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