An effective and modern rail transport network is critical to managing the expected growth in the national land freight task. The Adelaide Melbourne railway has served us well since the late 1800s.
But we now need an alternative way to carry heavy freight through the Adelaide Hills. The new northern bypass rail freight corridor will ensure South Australia continues to have a central role in interstate freight movements, by addressing current network limitations and future capacity constraints.
It will also provide internationally competitive transport outcomes for South Australian businesses, exporters, and potential investors through improved end-to-end supply chain efficiencies. The existing rail freight alignment is failing to keep pace with either current or projected demand.
Tight curves, steep gradients, and height restrictions along the Adelaide Hills corridor, limit the ability to increase the freight load as trains must be singlestacked and cannot exceed 1,900 metres.
Removing freight trains from the Adelaide and Mitcham Hills will ease road infrastructure bottlenecks and help mitigate bushfire risk. As recently as 2014, a freight train was identified as the likely cause of a bushfire in Belair National Park.
With South Australia’s rail freight task forecast to increase by 90 percent between 2010 and 2030, capacity constraints are expected within the next 10-20 years.
Realigning freight movements along the northern bypass will enable South Australia’s network to capitalise on improved technology and modern operational practices – including longer, doublestacked trains – resulting in increased train speed and load carrying ability.