The Australian Railway Association (ARA)’s 2020-2022 strategic plan lays out reforms required to support increased modal share for the nation’s growing freight task.
The document outlines the ARA’s vision for rail freight and ports, with a view to rail playing a stronger role in meeting Australia’s freight needs.
ARA’s strategy revolves around creating a strong and resilient freight network that makes the best use of all available modes of transport.
The plan proposes increasing the use of rail freight to reduce road congestion, while building the capacity of the network safely and efficiently.
The strategic plan supports regulatory reform for rail freight productivity and ensures a coordinated and nationally consistent approach to freight policy.
ARA Chief Executive Officer, Caroline Wilkie, said Australia’s national freight task is expected to rise 35 per cent by 2040, and that rail would play a critical part in meeting this demand.
“A truly national approach will be essential to make sure we get the most from rail investment and create stronger connections between our cities and regions,” Ms Wilkie said.
The ARA will continue to promote the importance of an interoperable national rail freight network through the adoption of new technology and support for the ARTC’s efforts to implement its Advanced Train Management System on the interstate network.
Ms Wilkie said the ARA would now advance a dedicated research program, with three research projects to be launched in the 2020-21 financial year.
The research program will inform the strategy’s implementation and identify opportunities for government and industry to facilitate greater modal share for rail freight and drive productivity improvements across the sector.
Dedicated research projects will focus on the impediments to rail freight modal shift; rail freight productivity; and rail freight infrastructure investment.
View the ARA’s strategic plan here.