Australian Rail Track Corporation
|Founded||1 July 1998|
|Headquarters||Mile End, South Australia|
|All Mainland Australian states|
|Warren Truss (Chairman)|
Mark Campbell (CEO)
|Revenue||$849.9 million (2020/21)|
|($677.3 million) (2020/21)|
|($692.2 million) (2020/21)|
Number of employees
It operates one of the largest rail networks in the nation spanning 8,500km across five states, 39 worksites and more than 50 First Nations.
ARTC continues to expand the network through major infrastructure projects including Inland Rail, which is a new 1,700km freight line between Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, NSW and Queensland that will complete Australia’s national freight network and better connect producers to markets.
In November 1996, the Australian Government announced a major rail reform package that included the sale of government-owned train operators Australian National and National Rail, and the establishment of the ARTC to manage the sections of the interstate rail network which had been controlled by the two former organisations.
The ARTC was incorporated in February 1998, with operations starting in July 1998 when the lines managed by Australian National's Track Australia were transferred to it. These were the lines from Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta, Tarcoola to Alice Springs, Port Augusta to Whyalla, Adelaide to Broken Hill, Adelaide to Serviceton, and the Outer Harbor line in Adelaide. Its inaugural CEO was David Marchant.
In 1999, the ARTC signed a five-year deal with VicTrack, the rail manager for the Victorian government, to lease the standard gauge North East line from Albury to Melbourne and the Western standard gauge line from Melbourne to Serviceton. This was later extended for another 10 years, and in May 2008 for another 45 years.
As part of the lease extension, the run-down and underutilised broad-gauge line from Seymour to Albury, that paralleled the standard gauge line, was leased to the ARTC and converted to standard gauge. Included was construction of the five-kilometre Wodonga Rail Bypass which eliminated 11 level crossings in that city.
ARTC also manages the Oaklands railway line between Benalla, Victoria and Oaklands, NSW.
In 2001, the ARTC was granted rights for 15 years to sell access between Kalgoorlie and Kwinana, Perth, to interstate rail operators under a wholesale access agreement with the Western Australian track-lessee Arc Infrastructure.
New South Wales
- Main South line between Macarthur and Albury
- North Coast line between Broadmeadow and Border Loop
- Main North line between Maitland and Werris Creek
- Broken Hill line between Parkes and Broken Hill
- Unanderra to Moss Vale line
- Sandy Hollow to Gulgong line
- Cootamundra to Parkes line
- Parkes to Narromine line
- Troy Junction to Merrygoen line
As part of this agreement the ARTC agreed to the following investment programmes:
- $192 million to build the Southern Sydney Freight Line, a new dedicated southern access route for freight trains through the south-western Sydney metropolitan area from Sefton to Macarthur, opened in January 2013.
- $152 million to upgrade the Hunter Valley network, including track strengthening and $67 million to eliminate bottlenecks, increasing the capacity of the network from 85 million to over 100 million tonnes per year.
- $186 million to upgrade the Main South line from Macarthur to Albury. The investment improved signalling, extended the length of crossing loops and replaced the Murrumbidgee Bridge at Wagga Wagga to assist in reducing the transit times for freight trains between Sydney and Melbourne by three hours.
- $119 million for the North Coast line from Maitland to Border Loop including replacement of the 1920s signalling system between Casino and Border Loop assisting in reducing the travel time for freight trains between Sydney and Brisbane by up to 3.5 hours.
- $21 million for the Broken Hill line between Parkes and Broken Hill, including funds to raise height clearances allowing the passage of double-stacked container trains.
The Rail Infrastructure Corporation also contracted operational responsibility of the remainder of its country branch lines to the ARTC from September 2004. From January 2012, this was transferred to the John Holland Group operating as the Country regional Network.
In February 2014, the Federal and Queensland governments agreed to investigate further incorporating Queensland into the national rail network. This ultimately did not proceed.
The ARTC does not operate any trains, but provides and maintains the infrastructure for train operators to run on. The ARTC controls tracks in all mainland states. These were previously run by five separate state railways in an uncoordinated fashion that gave an advantage to road transport. By combining the infrastructure under one corporation it was expected that a more integrated and coordinated one-stop-shop would be created. It provides its own reporting numbers to trains that operate on its network. It also allows Commonwealth officers undercover privileges presenting as staff of ARTC.
The ARTC does not control any of the narrow gauge track in Queensland or South Australia, nor broad gauge track in Victoria. However it does control the Albion to Jacana freight line which has been partially converted to dual gauge for use as a passing lane, but is considered a main line on the broad gauge network. It was transferred from VicTrack in May 2009.
- Adelaide to Serviceton (Melbourne–Adelaide line)
- Adelaide to Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie (Adelaide–Port Augusta & Trans-Australian Railway)
- Port Augusta to Whyalla (Whyalla line)
- Crystal Brook to Broken Hill (Crystal Brook–Broken Hill line)
- Sefton to Macarthur (Southern Sydney Freight Line)
- Melbourne to Albury (North East line)
- Melbourne to Serviceton (Western line)
- Maroona to Portland (Portland line)
- Port Botany to Sefton (Metropolitan Goods line)
- Macarthur to Albury (Main South line)
- Unanderra to Moss Vale (Unanderra to Moss Vale line)
- Cootamundra to Parkes (Cootamundra to Parkes line)
- Parkes to Broken Hill (Broken Hill line)
- Parkes to Narromine
- Troy Junction to Merrygoen line
- Broadmeadow to Brisbane (North Coast line)
- Maitland to North Star (Main North line)
- Muswellbrook to Gulgong
ARTC is the client for the Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) being developed by Lockheed Martin. This will replace older signalling and safe-working systems particularly in remote areas, such as deserts, where communications and power infrastructure is poor.
- Track Australia goes ahead Railway Gazette International January 1996 page 5
- Annual Report 30 June 1999 Archived 11 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation
- Background – Organisation of Australia's Railways Department of Infrastructure and Transport
- "ARTC History". Australian Rail Track Corporation. Archived from the original on 23 January 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- Here & There Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin issue 730 August 1998 page 312
- Annual Report 30 June 2001 Archived 11 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation
- Intelligence Railway Gazette International December 2000 page 794
- Historic Deal Heralds New Rail Infrastructure Investment in Victoria Archived 5 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation 30 May 2008
- Annual Report 30 June 2008 Archived 11 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation
- "Full steam ahead" ABC News 30 May 2008
- "V/Line returns after North East Rail Revitalisation", Railway Gazette International, 29 June 2011, archived from the original on 29 December 2013
- Future of Portland to Maroona rail line secured Archived 21 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Port of Portland 16 July 2008
- "Rail track upgrade announced for Portland" ABC News 16 July 2008
- V/Line Weekly Operational Notice No 11/2009
- Memorandum between The Commonwealth of Australia & The State of New South Wales & Australian Rail Track Corporation Limited Archived 11 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation
- The Agreement in Summary (PDF), Australian Rail Track Corporation
- Annual Report 2003–04 (PDF), Australian Rail Track Corporation, 30 June 2004, archived from the original (PDF) on 11 April 2013
- Southern Sydney Freight Line Project Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation
- New Line to Reduce Congestion on Sydney Rail Network Opens Archived 18 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation 21 January 2013
- Annual Report 30 June 2005 Archived 11 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation
- John Holland to manage NSW regional rail Archived 28 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Rail Express 8 December 2010
- Country Rail Network Archived 16 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine John Holland
- Annual Report 30 June 2011 Archived 11 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation
- ARTC Takes Up West Coal Link Motive Power September 2011 page 6
- ATRC & Transport for New South Wales sign historic agreement to boost rail freight in NSW Archived 20 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine Australian Track Access Corporation 5 August 2012
- the ARTC gains control of Sydney Metropolitan Freight Network Archived 4 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine Rail Express 15 August 2012
- Queensland standard gauge rail line – leased to ARTC Archived 2 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine Australian Rail Track Corporation 15 January 2010
- Truss, Warren; Emerson, Scott (25 February 2014). "ARTC to Investigate Incorporating Queensland into National Rail Network" (Press release). Archived from the original on 25 February 2014.
- Albion - Jacana Transferred to ARTC Newsrail July 2009 page 215