Australia needs a resilient, reliable and efficient national rail freight network to support the nation’s growing freight task, and NTRO has been involved in important research into rail freight productivity.
The Future of Freight Campaign has been built on research sponsored by the Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI) which is now part of NTRO, the Australasian Railway Association (ARA), the Freight on Rail Group (FORG) and the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (DITRDCA).
This work has been commissioned and driven by NTRO board member, former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson, along with former ACRI executive director Rob Moffat and NTRO’s Paul Murray.
The Future of Freight Campaign was launched in November 2023, and NTRO attended the Pacific National Melbourne Freight Terminal where The Hon Catherine King MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, spoke on the importance of the report and progress required with rail’s role in freight.
NTRO then welcomed ARA team members back to our offices in Port Melbourne, with pavement discipline lead Dr Mike Moffatt, NTRO rail executive director Natalie Loughborough, and NTRO Rail’s Paul Bennett providing a tour around the southern hemisphere’s largest transport research labs.
Findings of the Future of Freight Campaign research include that rail’s share of the Australian freight task is just 11 per cent – and as little as two per cent on Australia’s busiest freight corridor between Sydney and Melbourne.
The project seeks to enable greater use of rail as part of a strong and sustainable freight network that meets the nation’s long-term needs.
As rail freight generates 16 times less carbon pollution than road, boosting rail's modal share is a key strategy to achieve the Australian Government's emissions reduction target of 43% by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
A dedicated website has been created for The Future of Freight Campaign with links to the Full Report and a Summary Report and can be viewed here.