The NSW Government’s 2018-19 Budget reinforces the momentum in rail investment across the country and recognises the intensifying importance that must be placed on rail as an integral mode of transport as part of a highly effective transport system.

“The allocation of an initial commitment of $3 billion towards Metro West, with a total of $4.3 billion for the Sydney Metro network, including $1.9 billion towards building Sydney Metro City and Southwest and $2.4 billion to complete Sydney Metro Northwest, are all exemplars of a government who is committed to recognising the integral role that rail plays as part of a transport solution,” said Danny Broad, CEO, Australasian Railway Association (ARA).

“The rail industry is also pleased to hear that $258 million will be contributed towards the construction of Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 and $110 million towards delivering Newcastle Light Rail.

“The facts don’t lie – The benefits of rail are considerable in relieving congestion, a single train is estimated to replace up to 800 cars during peak hour. Rail also improves the environmental impacts that comes as rail replaces the over use of roads, for example carbon emissions are 40% higher on road than rail per kilometre travelled. Rail also has the capacity to move millions of commuters on a daily basis and to build on the efficiencies that flow from improved freight access to our markets.

“We also welcome funds allocated to freight rail initiatives through the $87 million Freight Rail infrastructure upgrades, including the Fixing Country Rail program which aims to improve rail infrastructure and eliminates bottlenecks affecting regional freight services.

“The NSW Government’s 2018-19 Budget is an important step in continuing rail as a centre piece in transport solutions for the NSW economy,” Danny Broad concluded.