Network Optimisation Program – Rail

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Network Optimisation Program – Rail

Increasing rates of urban congestion accross multiple corridors in Australian cities.
Early-stage proposal (Stage 1)
Efficient urban transport networks
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Near term (0-5 years)
Proposed By
Infrastructure Australia identified proposal
Date added to the IPL
17 February 2016


The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit found that the cost of road congestion  and public transport crowding in Australia could increase from $19 billion in 2016 to $39.6 billion in 2031 without continued infrastructure investment. Although its root causes vary, this is a widespread problem across multiple corridors in Australian cities.

Addressing these problems through a program approach would enable the consistent use of data to maximise the productivity of smaller investments and enable a consistent definition of service levels across jurisdictions.


This proposal would involve a program  of works focused on addressing capacity constraints and improving service levels  on urban and regional rail networks, just as the National Optimisation Program – Roads proposal proposes to do for road networks. These works could use data and technology to improve network operations, including signalling, timetabling, level crossing upgrades, sectorisation of freight and passenger corridors, and segregation of express and local passenger services, where appropriate.

The proposal would identify and prioritise  a program of works nationally to help maximise the existing productive capacity  of the rail network, which could delay the need for some large-scale investments.

Appendix B provides a list of submissions received by Infrastructure Australia in relation to this program proposal.

This proposal was originally included on the Infrastructure Priority List under the combined Network Optimisation Program proposal and was subsequently separated in 2018.

Next steps

Proponent(s) to be identified.