The Victorian Government is providing clarity and certainty for rail freight operators and customers to plan and schedule services with the release of the first Rail Freight Network Capability Statement.

Freight train travelling through Melbourne suburbs

The statement will provide operators with detailed rail knowledge such as line speeds and axle-loads so they can accurately plan with network managers to schedule services, confirm access to train paths and meet the needs of their customers and our producers.

Victoria’s rail-freight network is a critical supply chain enabler moving huge volumes of grain, hay, pulses, wine, grapes, meat, dairy and paper products from freight hubs in regional Victoria and southern New South Wales to our ports for export.

Moving more freight by rail provides economic, environmental and societal benefits, producing three times less pollution per tonne per kilometre compared to road freight, supporting the state's net zero emissions target by 2045 and environmental sustainability.

Rail freight is up to nine times safer than road freight and modal shift will support the government's commitment to reduce road fatalities by 50 per cent by 2030 and eliminate road deaths by 2050.

The Victorian Government’s $181 million investment from the Victorian Budget 2022-23 is encouraging new investment across Victoria’s regions through delivering a more efficient and resilient rail freight system and enabling longer and heavier trains to run on the network.

The statement aligns with the Victorian Freight Plan, Delivering the Goods, which is helping grow rail freight’s volume share and providing transparency on network standards and availability.