Nice start, but we need more: QR

Government's $1.2 billion rail investment a welcome start, but more is needed to improve the national network, QR says

The Rudd Government’s $1.2 billion rail investment is a welcome start, but more is needed to improve the poor state of the national network, according to Queensland Rail (QR).

QR says the money, to be spent by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), is an important "down-payment", but it will do little to address congestion on the east corridor.

"The Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane route is a long way from being a modern and efficient rail freight corridor with the required competitive transit times and capacity for high-volume trains," QR Chief Executive Officer Lance Hockridge says.

"It’s encouraging to see money now flowing through to the critical east coast corridor, but let’s hope that there’s more to come."

He says rail has long been the "poor cousin" in terms of infrastructure investment, and the Government must build on its billion-dollar commitment in the coming years.

QR says it will continue to push for greater investment on the east coast corridor, through avenues such as Infrastructure Australia, which will guide road, rail and ports investment from the Building Australia Fund.

"We need major inland freight hubs—to move freight away from congested capital cities like Sydney—with genuine and seamless multi-modal transport across road and rail. This corridor is the freight heartland of Australia," Hockridge says.

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