There are many forms of transport in Australia. Australia is highly dependent on road transport. There are more than 300 airports with paved runways. Passenger rail transport includes widespread commuter networks in the major capital cities with more limited intercity and interstate networks. The Australian mining sector is reliant upon rail to transport its product to Australia's ports for export.
Road transport or road transportation is a type of transport by using roads. Transport on roads can be roughly grouped into the transportation of goods and transportation of people. In many countries licensing requirements and safety regulations ensure a separation of the two industries. Movement along roads may be by bike or automobile, truck, or by animal such as horse or oxen. Standard networks of roads were adopted by Romans, Persians, Aztec, and other early empires, and may be regarded as a feature of empires. Cargo may be transported by trucking companies, while passengers may be transported via mass transit. Commonly defined features of modern roads include defined lanes and signage. Various classes of road exist, from two-lane local roads with at-grade intersections to controlled-access highways with all cross traffic grade-separated.
Mining in Australia has long been a significant primary industry and contributor to the Australian economy by providing export income, royalty payments and employment. Historically, mining booms have also encouraged population growth via immigration to Australia, particularly the gold rushes of the 1850s. Many different ores, gems and minerals have been mined in the past and a wide variety are still mined throughout the country. Most of what is mined is exported with relatively little processing done within Australia.
Road transport is an essential element of the Australian transport network, and an enabler of the Australian economy. There is a heavy reliance on road transport due to Australia's large area and low population density in considerable parts of the country.
The economy of Australia is a large mixed-market economy, with a GDP of A$1.69 trillion as of 2017. In 2018 Australia became the country with the largest median wealth per adult. Australia's total wealth was AUD$8.9 trillion as of June 2016. In 2017, Australia was the 13th-largest national economy by nominal GDP, 20th-largest by PPP-adjusted GDP, and was the 25th-largest goods exporter and 20th-largest goods importer. Australia took the record for the longest run of uninterrupted GDP growth in the developed world with the March 2017 financial quarter, the 103rd quarter and marked 26 years since the country had a technical recession.
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area, or exceptionally unit volume; it is a quantity of type number density. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and most of the time to humans. It is a key geographical term. In simple terms population density refers to the number of people living in an area per kilometer square.
Another reason for the reliance upon roads is that the Australian rail network has not been sufficiently developed for a lot of the freight and passenger requirements in most areas of Australia. This has meant that goods that would otherwise be transported by rail are moved across Australia via road trains. Almost every household owns at least one car, and uses it most days.
Rail transport in Australia is a crucial aspect of the Australian transport network. Rail in Australia is to a large extent state-based. As at 2018, the Australian rail network consisted of a total of 36,064 kilometres (22,409 mi) of track on three major track gauges.
A road train or land train is a trucking vehicle of a type used in rural and remote areas of Australia, the United States and in Europe to move freight efficiently. It consists of two or more trailers or semi-trailers hauled by a prime mover.
A car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transportation. Most definitions of car say they run primarily on roads, seat one to eight people, have four tires, and mainly transport people rather than goods.
Australia has the second highest level of car ownership in the world. It has three to four times more road per capita than Europe and seven to nine times more than Asia. Australia also has the third highest per capita rate of fuel consumption in the world. Melbourne is the most car-dependent city in Australia, according to a data survey in the 2010s. Having over 110,000 more cars driving to and from the city each day than Sydney. Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane are rated as being close behind. All these capital cities are rated among the highest in this category in the world (car dependency).The distance travelled by car (or similar vehicle) in Australia is among the highest in the world, being exceeded by USA and Canada.
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 2,080 km2 (800 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of 5 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.
There are 3 different categories of Australian roads. They are federal highways, state highways and local roads. The road network comprises a total of 913,000 km broken down into:
Victoria has the largest network, with thousands of arterial (major, primary and secondary) roads to add.
Victoria is a state in south-eastern Australia. Victoria is Australia's smallest mainland state and its second-most populous state overall, making it the most densely populated state overall. Most of its population lives concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its state capital and largest city, Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city. Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south, New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea, to the east, and South Australia to the west.
The majority of road tunnels in Australia have been constructed since the 1990s to relieve traffic congestion in metropolitan areas, or to cross significant watercourses.
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide have extensive commuter rail networks which have grown and expanded over time. Australian commuter rail typically operates with bidirectional all day services with Sydney, Melbourne, and to a lesser extent Perth’s systems operating with much higher frequencies, particularly in their underground cores. Sydney Trains operates the busiest system in the country with approximately 1 million trips per day. Metro Trains Melbourne operates a larger system albeit with a lower number of trips.
Trams have historically operated in many Australian towns and cities, with the majority of these being shut down before the 1970s in the belief that more widespread car ownership would render them unnecessary. Melbourne is a major exception and today has the largest tram network of any city in the world. Adelaide also retained one tram service - the Glenelg tram, since extended from 2008 onwards to Hindmarsh and the East End. Trams had operated in a number of major regional cities including Ballarat, Bendigo, Brisbane, Broken Hill, Fremantle, Geelong, Hobart, Kalgoorlie, Launceston, Maitland, Newcastle, Perth, Rockhampton, Sorrento, Sydney and St Kilda.
A modern light rail system opened in Sydney in 1997 with the conversion of a disused section of a freight railway line into what is now part of the Dulwich Hill Line. A second CBD and South East Light Rail line in Sydney is currently under construction and is due to open in 2019. A light rail system opened on the Gold Coast in 2014. A line opened in Newcastle in February 2019 and a line in Canberra opened in April 2019.
Sydney is the only city in Australia with a rapid transit system. The Sydney Metro network currently consists of one 36 km driverless line, connecting Tallawong and Chatswood. The line will eventually connect with the Sydney Metro City & Southwest to form a 66 km network with 31 metro stations. The Sydney Metro West is also currently in planning stages.
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth's commuter systems are all partially underground and reflect some aspects of typical rapid transit systems, particularly in the city centres.
The following table presents an overview of multi-modal intra-city public transport networks in Australia's larger cities. The only Australian capital cities without multi-modal networks is Darwin, which relies entirely on buses, and Hobart, which has sections of derelict railway. The table does not include tourist or heritage transport modes (such as the private monorail at Sea World or the tourist Victor Harbor Horse Drawn Tram).
|City||Overview||Integrated network name||Buses||Urban rail/Commuter rail||Light rail||Watercraft||Rapid transit|
|Adelaide||Public transport in Adelaide||Adelaide Metro||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Brisbane||Public transport in Brisbane||Translink||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Canberra||Public transport in Canberra||Transport Canberra||Yes||Yes|
|Darwin||Public transport in Darwin||Yes||Limited|
|Gold Coast||Public transport on the Gold Coast||Translink||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hobart||Transport in Hobart||Metro||Yes||Yes|
|Melbourne||Public transport in Melbourne||Public Transport Victoria||Yes||Yes||Yes||Limited|
|Newcastle||Transport in Newcastle||Newcastle Transport||Yes||Limited||Yes||Limited|
|Perth||Public transport in Perth||Transperth||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sydney||Public transport in Sydney||"Transport"||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
The railway network is large, comprising a total of 33,819 km (2,540 km electrified) of track: 3,719 km broad gauge, 15,422 km standard gauge, 14,506 km narrow gauge and 172 km dual gauge. Rail transport started in the various colonies at different dates. Privately owned railways started the first lines, and struggled to succeed on a remote, huge, and sparsely populated continent, and government railways dominated. Although the various colonies had been advised by London to choose a common gauge, the colonies ended up with different gauges.
The Great Southern Rail, operates four trains: the Indian Pacific (Sydney-Adelaide-Perth), The Ghan (Adelaide-Alice Springs-Darwin), The Overland (Melbourne-Adelaide),and The Great Southern (Brisbane-Melbourne-Adelaide). NSW Government owned NSW TrainLink services link Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Dubbo, Broken Hill, Armidale, Moree and Griffith to Sydney. Since the extension of the Ghan from Alice Springs to Darwin was completed in 2004, all mainland Australian capital cities are linked by standard gauge rail, for the first time.
There are various state and city rail services operated by a combination of government and private entities, the most prominent of these include V/Line (regional trains and coaches in Victoria); Metro Trains Melbourne (suburban services in Melbourne); NSW TrainLink (regional trains and coaches in New South Wales); Sydney Trains (suburban services in Sydney); Queensland Rail (QR) operating long distance Traveltrain services and the City network in South-East Queensland, and Transwa operating train and bus services in Western Australia.
In Tasmania, TasRail operates a short haul narrow gauge freight system, that carries inter-modal and bulk mining goods. TasRail is government owned (by the State of Tasmania) and is going through a significant below and above rail upgrades with new locomotives and wagons entering service. Significant bridge and sleeper renewal has also occurred. The Tasmanian Government also operates the West Coast Wilderness Railway as a tourist venture over an isolated length of track on Tasmania's West Coast.
Six heavy-duty mining railways carry iron ore to ports in the northwest of Western Australia. These railways carry no other traffic, and are isolated by deserts from all other railways. The lines are standard gauge and are built to the heaviest US standards. Each line is operated by one of either BHP, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group and Hancock Prospecting.
A common carrier railway was proposed to serve the port of Oakajee just north of Geraldton, but this was later cancelled after a collapse in the iron ore price.
In Queensland 19 sugar mills are serviced by ~3,000km of narrow gauge (2 ft / 610 mm gauge) cane tramways that deliver sugar cane to the mills.
There are several pipeline systems including:
Projects under construction or planned:
Between 1850 and 1940 paddle steamers were used extensively on the Murray-Darling Basin to transport produce, especially wool and wheat, to river ports such as Echuca, Mannum and Goolwa. However, the water levels of the inland waterways are highly unreliable, making the rivers impassable for large parts of the year. A system of locks was created largely to overcome this variability but the steamers were unable to compete with rail, and later, road transport. Traffic on inland waterways is now largely restricted to private recreational craft.
In 2006, the Australian fleet consisted of 53 ships of 1,000 gross tonnage or over. The use of foreign registered ships to carry Australian cargoes between Australian ports is permitted under a permit scheme, with either Single Voyage Permit (SVP) or a Continuous Voyage Permit (CVP) being issued to ships.Between 1996 and 2002 the number of permits issued has increased by about 350 per cent.
Over recent years the number of Australian registered and flagged ships has greatly declined, from 75 ships in 1996 to less than 40 in 2007, by 2009 the number is now approaching 30. Marine unions blame the decline on the shipping policy of the Howard Government which permitted foreign ships to carry coastal traffic.
There have also been cases where locally operated ships have Australian flag from the vessel, registering it overseas under a flag of convenience, then hiring foreign crews who earn up to about half the monthly rate of Australian sailors.Such moves were supported by the Howard Government but opposed by maritime unions and the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The registration of the ships overseas also meant the earnings of the ships are not subject to Australian corporate taxation laws.
|Statistics for the shipping industry of Australia|
|Total: 53 ships (1,000 gross register tons (GRT) or over)|
|Totalling: 1,361,000 GRT/1,532,874 tonnes deadweight (DWT)|
|Roll-on / roll-off ships||5|
|Liquefied gas tanker ships||4|
|Chemical tanker ships||3|
|Petroleum tanker ships||6|
|General passenger ships||6|
|Source:This article contains material from the CIA World Factbook which, as a US government publication, is in the public domain.|
Qantas is the flag carrier of Australia. The Australian National Airways was the predominant domestic carrier from the mid-1930s to the early 1950s. After World War II, Qantas was nationalised and its domestic operations were transferred to Trans Australia Airlines in 1946. The Two Airlines Policy was formally established in 1952 to ensure the viability of both airlines. However, ANA's leadership was quickly eroded by TAA, and it was acquired by Ansett Airways in 1957. The duopoly continued for the next four decades. In the mid-1990s TAA was merged with Qantas and later privatised. Ansett collapsed in September 2001. In the following years, Virgin Australia became a challenger to Qantas. Both companies launched low-cost subsidiaries Jetstar and Tiger Airways Australia respectively.
Overseas flights from Australia to Europe via the Eastern Hemisphere are known as the Kangaroo Route, whereas flights via the Western Hemisphere are known as the Southern Cross Route. In 1954, the first flight from Australia to North America was completed, as a 60-passenger Qantas aircraft connected Sydney with San Francisco and Vancouver, having fuel stops at Fiji, Canton Island and Hawaii. In 1982, a Pan Am first flew non-stop from Los Angeles to Sydney. A non-stop flight between Australia and Europe was first completed in March 2018 from Perth to London.
There are many airports around Australia paved or unpaved. A 2004 estimate put the number of airports at 448. The busiest airports in Australia are:
There are 305 airports with paved runways:
There are 143 airports with unpaved runways:
sourced from CIA World Fact Book https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html
The environmental impact of transport in Australia is considerable. In 2009, transport emissions made up 15.3% of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions. Between 1990 and 2009, transport emissions grew by 34.6%, the second-highest growth rate in emissions after stationary energy.
Australia subsidises fossil fuel energy, keeping prices artificially low and raising greenhouse gas emissions due to the increased use of fossil fuels as a result of the subsidies[ citation needed ]. The Australian Energy Regulator and state agencies such as the New South Wales' Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal set and regulate electricity prices, thereby lowering production and consumer cost.
A dual gauge railway is a track that allows the passage of trains of two different track gauges. It is sometimes called a "mixed gauge" track. A dual gauge track consists of three rails. There will be two vital rails, one for each gauge close together and a third rail, a "common" rail further away. Sometimes, four rails are required using two outer and two inner rails to create the dual gauge. Dual gauge is not to be confused with a "third rail" or "check or guard rails".
The Australian state of New South Wales has an extensive network of railways, which were integral to the growth and development of the state. The vast majority of railway lines were government built and operated, but there were also several private railways, some of which operate to this day.
The rail network in Adelaide, South Australia, consists of six lines and 89 stations, totalling 125.9 km. It is operated by Adelaide Metro, and is part of the citywide Adelaide Metro public transport system.
Australians generally assumed in the 1850s that railways would be built by the private sector. Private companies built railways in the then colonies of Victoria, opened in 1854, and New South Wales, where the company was taken over by the government before completion in 1855, due to bankruptcy. South Australia's railways were government owned from the beginning, including a horse-drawn line opened in 1854 and a steam-powered line opened in 1856. In Victoria, the private railways were soon found not to be financially viable, and existing rail networks and their expansion was taken over by the colony. Government ownership also enabled railways to be built to promote development, even if not apparently viable in strictly financial terms. The railway systems spread from the colonial capitals, except in cases where geography dictated a choice of an alternate port.
Cobham Aviation Services Australia, is a scheduled and charter airline and aviation services provider with its headquarters in Adelaide, South Australia.
The first railway in colonial South Australia was a horse-drawn tramway from the port of Goolwa on the Murray River to an ocean harbour at Port Elliot in 1854. Today the state has 1,600 mm broad gauge suburban railways in Adelaide, a number of country freight lines, as well as key 1,435 mm standard gauge links to other states.
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.
QantasLink is a regional brand of Australian airline Qantas and is an affiliate member of the Oneworld airline alliance. It is a major competitor to Regional Express Airlines and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines. As of September 2010 QantasLink provides 1,900 flights each week to 54 domestic locations.
The Trans-Australian Railway crosses the Nullarbor Plain of Australia from Port Augusta in South Australia to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. It includes a 478-kilometre (297 mi) stretch of dead-straight track, the world's longest, between the 797 km (495 mi) post west of Ooldea and the 1,275 km (792 mi) post west of Loongana.
Transport in Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria, Australia, consists of several interlinking modes. Melbourne is a hub for intercity, intracity and regional travel. Road-based transport accounts for most trips across many parts of the city, facilitated by Australia's largest freeway network. Public transport, including the world's largest tram network, trains and buses, also forms a key part of the transport system. Other dominant modes include walking, cycling and commercial-passenger vehicle services such as taxis. Melbourne is a busy regional transport hub for the statewide passenger rail network, coaches and interstate rail services to New South Wales and South Australia. Freight transport also makes up a significant proportion of trips made on the network from the Port of Melbourne, Melbourne Airport and industrial areas across the city.
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 is 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.
The Queensland rail network, the first in the world to adopt 1,067 mm narrow gauge for a main line, and now the second largest narrow gauge network in the world, consists of:
Transport in Brisbane, the capital and largest city of Queensland, Australia, is provided by road, rail, river and bay ferries, footpaths, bikepaths, sea and air.
The Inland Railway is a railway construction project extending from Melbourne to Brisbane along a route west of the mountainous Great Dividing Range. The railway will transport freight between Melbourne and Brisbane with an anticipated transit time of less than 24hrs. Construction of the railway commenced in 2018 and is scheduled to be completed by 2024-2025. The main proponent of the railway line in 2008 was Everald Compton, through the company Australian Transport and Energy Corridor Limited (ATEC).
Rail transport in Australia involves a number of narrow-gauge railways. In some states they formed the core statewide network, but in the others they were either a few government branch lines, or privately owned and operated branch lines, often for mining, logging or industrial use.
High-speed rail in Australia has been under investigation since the early 1980s. Every Federal Government since this time has investigated the feasibility of constructing high speed rail, but to date nothing has ever gone beyond the detailed planning stage. The most commonly suggested route is between Australia's two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, which is the world's second busiest air corridor. Various corridors have been proposed for a potential high-speed line.
The earliest trams in Australia operated in the latter decades of the 19th century, hauled by horses or "steam tram motors". At the turn of the 20th century, propulsion almost universally turned to electrification, although cable trams lingered in Melbourne. In cities and towns that had trams, they were a major part of public transport assets.
Electrification of Australian railways began with the Melbourne and Sydney suburban lines. Melbourne suburban lines were electrified from 1919 using 1.5 kV DC. Sydney suburban lines were electrified from 1926 using the same system.
Transport in South Australia is provided by a mix of road, rail, sea and air transport. The capital city of Adelaide is the centre to transport in the state. With its population of 1.4 million people, it has the majority of the state's 1.7 million inhabitants. Adelaide has the state's major airport and sea port.
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