AUSTRALIA: Announcing its 2013-14 budget on May 14, the federal government set out a preliminary schedule for the major rail projects to be undertaken within the next Nation Building five-year investment programme, which will run from July 2014 to 2019.

The biggest rail projects are A$3bn for the Melbourne Metro suburban rail upgrade programme (RG 5.13 p16), which Infrastructure Australia has identified as a ‘priority’ project of national significance. A 9 km tunnel from South Kensington to South Yarra would support up to 19 extra trains/h, significantly increasing capacity.

In an effort to attract private finance, the federal and state governments have agreed that the project would be funded through a combination of up-front grants and availability payments, with the federal government to meet half of each. Details are to be finalised in the coming months.

Similarly, Brisbane’s 9·8 km Cross River tunnel between Yeerongpilly and Victoria Park with underground stations at Woolloongabba, Boggo Road, Albert Street and Roma Street is to be funded through a combination of grants and availability payments, with the federal government contributing 50% and guaranteeing private-sector debt for the PPP component.

Funding is also to be allocated to the Perth Light Rail project and/or airport rail link. Priorities and construction timetables are to be determined in consultation with the state government, and are subject to an assessment by Infrastructure Australia.

Nation Building 2014-19 rail projects

New South Wales

Port Botany upgrade: removal of a level crossing, planning the duplication of the Port Botany Rail Line.
Federal contribution: A$40m

Port Botany rail upgrade: improve access and connectivity between the port and the future Moorebank Intermodal Terminal, along with planning for the Metropolitan Freight Network.
Federal contribution A$75m.

Scone Level Crossing: tacking congestion and safety issues.
Federal contribution: A$45m.


Melbourne Metro: 9 km tunnel from west of South Kensington to east of South Yarra.
Federal contribution: A$3bn.


Brisbane Cross River Rail: 9·8 km tunnel from Yeerongpilly station to Victoria Park, with four underground stations.
Federal contribution: A$715m (includes A$100m in 2012-13).

South Australia

Tonsley Park Public Transport Project: includes doubling a section of the Tonsley Rail Line, and upgrading Clovelly Park and Tonsley stations.
Federal contribution: A$31·5m


Freight Rail Revitalisation: Continue improvements to the main routes, including renewal of 290 track-km.
Federal contribution: A$119·6m

Western Australia

Perth Public Transport Package: Light rail project and/or airport rail link.
Federal contribution: A$500m over 10 years.