A comprehensive and accessible rail transport system is an important link in the Australian transport chain that joins communities and strengthens industry.
Although the primary responsibility for rail is with the states, the Australian Government has been involved in rail operations, maintenance and construction of rail infrastructure since 1912. The Australian Government also promotes the safety and efficiency of Australian railways.
The Department assists the Government to manage its Nation Building Program rail investments and to oversee the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC). The Department also assists the Government working collaboratively with states and territories on an agreed national model for rail safety legislation and associated regulations.
The Nation Building Program delivers the Government’s policy for improved planning and accelerated development of Australia’s land transport infrastructure.
This section includes the history and future of Australia’s rail network. Information about high speed trains and urban public transport can also be found here.
This page provides links to information on the transportation of dangerous goods in Australia and details on rail safety investigations by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
See Surface Transport Security.
Information about rail programs in progress throughout Australia.
Information on the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator and the National Law.
This page contains statistical information about trains and railways.
A listing of departmental publications related to Australia’s national rail system.