Australian Rail Track Corporation

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Australian Rail Track Corporation
Statutory corporation
Founded1 July 1998
Headquarters Mile End, South Australia
Area served
All mainland Australian states
Key people
Warren Truss (Chairman)
John Fullerton (CEO)
RevenueIncrease2.svg A$828.6 million (2014/15) [1]
Increase2.svg A$134.6 million (2014/15) [1]
Total assets A$3.61 billion [1]
Owner Australian Government
Number of employees
1,100+ [1]

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. [2] [3]



ARTC Asset Management South and West offices in Wagga Wagga ARTC Asset Management.jpg
ARTC Asset Management South and West offices in Wagga Wagga

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. [4] [5] [6] 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. [4] 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. [7]


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. [4] This was later extended for another 10 years, and in May 2008 for another 45 years. [8] [9]

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. [10] Included was construction of the five-kilometre Wodonga Rail Bypass which eliminated 11 level crossings in that city. [11]

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. [12] [13] [14]

Western Australia

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. [7]

New South Wales

In September 2004, the Government of New South Wales-owned RailCorp leased its interstate and Hunter Valley lines to the ARTC for 60 years. [15] [16] [17] The lines covered by the lease are:

As part of this agreement the ARTC agreed to the following investment programmes: [17]

The Rail Infrastructure Corporation also contracted operational responsibility of the remainder of its country branch lines to the ARTC from September 2004. [20] From January 2012 this was transferred to the John Holland Group operating as the Country regional Network. [16] [21] [22]

In July 2011, responsibility for the Werris Creek to North Star line was transferred from the Country Rail Infrastructure Authority to the ARTC. [23]

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. [24] [25]


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. [26]

In February 2014, the Federal and Queensland governments agreed to investigate further incorporating Queensland into the national rail network. [27] 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.

Owned corridors

Leased corridors

Related Research Articles

Rail transport in Australia Transportation system in Australia

Rail transport in Australia is a component of the Australian transport system. It is to a large extent state-based. As of 2018, the Australian rail network consisted of a total of 36,064 kilometres (22,409 mi) of track built to three major track gauges: it had 14,814 kilometres (9,205 mi) of standard gauge ), 15,625 kilometres (9,709 mi) of broad gauge, and 4,225 kilometres (2,625 mi) of narrow gauge lines. Additionally, about 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) of 610 mm / 2 ft gauge lines support the sugar-cane industry.

Rail transport in Victoria

Rail transport in Victoria, Australia, is provided by a number of railway operators who operate over the government-owned railway lines. The network consists of Victorian broad gauge lines, and an increasing number of standard gauge freight and interstate lines; the latter brought into existence as a result of gauge conversion of the former. Historically, a few experimental 762 mm gauge lines were built, along with various private logging, mining and industrial railways.

Railways in Adelaide Regional rail network

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History of rail transport in Australia

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Southern Sydney Freight Line

The Southern Sydney Freight Line (SSFL) is a freight only railway line in the south-western suburbs of Sydney, Australia. The line was built to segregate freight trains from the Sydney Trains network. It forms part of a dedicated freight only corridor between Port Botany and Macarthur. The line is managed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

Dry Creek–Port Adelaide railway line

The Dry Creek to Port Adelaide railway is an eight-kilometre east–west line running through Adelaide’s north-western suburbs. The line is managed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and is an important link between Port Adelaide, Pelican Point and the main interstate rail routes which link Adelaide with Melbourne, Perth, Darwin and Sydney. Prior to 1988, a limited local passenger service operated, stopping at five intermediate stations along the line. Since May 1988, the line has been freight-only.

Rail gauge in Australia Narrow, standard and broad gauges are still in use

Rail gauges in Australia display significant variations, which has presented an extremely difficult problem for rail transport on the Australian continent for over 150 years. As of 2014, there are 11,801 kilometres (7,333 mi) of narrow-gauge railways, 17,381 kilometres (10,800 mi) of standard gauge railways and 3,221 kilometres (2,001 mi) of broad gauge railways.

Sydney Freight Network Railway line in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

The Sydney Freight Network is a network of dedicated railway lines for freight in Sydney, Australia linking the state's rural and interstate rail network with the city's main yard at Enfield and Port Botany. Its primary components are the Southern Sydney Freight Line (SSFL) and a line from Sefton to Enfield and Port Botany. The Network has been managed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) since 2012. Prior to the completion of the SSFL, it was managed by RailCorp as the Metropolitan Freight Network.

The Serviceton railway line is a railway serving the west of Victoria, Australia, that links the state capital of Melbourne to the cities of Ballarat and Ararat, and once extended to the South Australian border as part of the Melbourne–Adelaide railway. In this role it has been replaced by the Western standard gauge line.

Inland Rail

Inland Rail, also known as Inland Railway and previously Australian Inland Railway Expressway, is a 1,727-kilometre (1,073 mi) railway line under construction in Australia. Once complete, it will connect the ports of Melbourne and Brisbane along a new route west of the mountainous Great Dividing Range, bypassing the busy Sydney metropolitan area and allowing for the use of double-stacked freight trains. The route will also connect to the Sydney–Perth rail corridor, reducing journey times between Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.


VicTrack, the trading name of Victorian Rail Track Corporation, is a Victorian Government state-owned enterprise which owns all railway and tram lines, associated rail lands and other rail-related infrastructure in the state of Victoria, Australia, with the exception of the heritage Puffing Billy Railway that is owned by the Emerald Tourist Railway Board.

One Nation was an Australian Government program of infrastructure development carried out under the Keating Government from 1991 to 1996. Much of the program was implemented as a means of stimulating the economy in the aftermath of the early 1990s recession.

Freight railways in Melbourne

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The Western standard gauge railway line is a standard-gauge railway line in western Victoria, Australia. Completed in 1995, it forms part of the Melbourne–Adelaide rail corridor and serves as the principal interstate rail link between Victoria and the western states. The line replaced a number of former broad gauge routes which were gauge converted, and today sees both intrastate and interstate freight traffic, as well as the twice weekly The Overland passenger service. Major towns on the route include Geelong, Ararat, Horsham and Dimboola.

One Rail Australia Rail freight operator company

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Sydney–Perth rail corridor

Australia's east–west rail corridor is a standard-gauge line that runs for 4,352 kilometres (2,704 mi) across Australia from Sydney, New South Wales, to Perth, Western Australia.

The Sydney–Melbourne rail corridor is an approximately 1,024-kilometre (636 mi) standard gauge railway corridor that runs between Melbourne and Sydney, the two largest cities in Australia. Freight and passenger services operate along the route, such as the NSW TrainLink XPT passenger service. The XPT offers a day and night service in each direction.

The Portland railway line is a railway line in south-western Victoria, Australia. It runs from the main Western standard gauge line at Maroona through Hamilton to the port town of Portland.

The Adelaide-Port Augusta railway line is the primary rail corridor in South Australia for northbound rail traffic out of Adelaide. The line forms part of the Perth–Adelaide and Adelaide–Darwin rail route, and the portion south of Crystal Brook forms part of the Adelaide–Sydney rail route.

New South Wales Metropolitan Rail Area

The New South Wales Metropolitan Rail Area (MRA) is the government-operated railway network centred on Sydney and bounded by Newcastle Interchange in the north, Bowenfels in the west, and Glenlee and Bomaderry in the south. The MRA contains the entirety of the state's electrified rail network. The MRA is owned by RailCorp and maintained by Sydney Trains.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "2015 Annual Report" (PDF). Australian Rail Track Corporation. Australian Rail Track Corporation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  2. "About ARTC". Australian Rail Track Corporation. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  3. "About Defined Interstate Rail Network". Australian Rail Track Corporation. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 Annual Report 30 June 1999 Archived 11 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation
  5. Background – Organisation of Australia's Railways Department of Infrastructure and Transport
  6. "ARTC History". Australian Rail Track Corporation. Archived from the original on 23 January 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  7. 1 2 Annual Report 30 June 2001 Archived 11 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation
  8. Historic Deal Heralds New Rail Infrastructure Investment in Victoria Archived 5 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation 30 May 2008
  9. Annual Report 30 June 2008 Archived 11 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation
  10. "Full steam ahead" ABC News 30 May 2008
  11. "V/Line returns after North East Rail Revitalisation", Railway Gazette International, 29 June 2011, archived from the original on 29 December 2013
  12. Future of Portland to Maroona rail line secured Archived 21 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Port of Portland 16 July 2008
  13. "Rail track upgrade announced for Portland" ABC News 16 July 2008
  14. V/Line Weekly Operational Notice No 11/2009
  15. Memorandum between The Commonwealth of Australia & The State of New South Wales & Australian Rail Track Corporation Limited Archived 11 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation
  16. 1 2 The Agreement in Summary (PDF), Australian Rail Track Corporation
  17. 1 2 Annual Report 2003–04 (PDF), Australian Rail Track Corporation, 30 June 2004, archived from the original (PDF) on 11 April 2013
  18. Southern Sydney Freight Line Project Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation
  19. New Line to Reduce Congestion on Sydney Rail Network Opens Archived 18 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation 21 January 2013
  20. Annual Report 30 June 2005 Archived 11 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation
  21. John Holland to manage NSW regional rail Archived 28 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Rail Express 8 December 2010
  22. Country Rail Network Archived 16 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine John Holland
  23. Annual Report 30 June 2011 Archived 11 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation
  24. ATRC & Transport for New South Wales sign historic agreement to boost rail freight in NSW Archived 20 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine Australian Track Access Corporation 5 August 2012
  25. the ARTC gains control of Sydney Metropolitan Freight Network Archived 4 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine Rail Express 15 August 2012
  26. Queensland standard gauge rail line – leased to ARTC Archived 2 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation 15 January 2010
  27. Truss, Warren; Emerson, Scott (25 February 2014). "ARTC to Investigate Incorporating Queensland into National Rail Network" (Press release). Archived from the original on 25 February 2014.