Transforming How Australia Moves Freight – Inland Rail Case Study


Inland Rail is broken up into 13 individual projects spanning 1,700km from Melbourne to Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.


Inland Rail is a fast freight backbone from Melbourne to Brisbane that will transform how goods are moved around Australia.

It will better link producers, farmers and businesses to national and global markets, reduce our reliance on road freight, and generate new opportunities for industries and our regions.

The finished Inland Rail project will:

Share the growing freight load

Australia’s population is predicted to grow by 60% over the next 40 years. The country’s freight will need to grow by 30% by 2040, with demand between Melbourne and Brisbane forecast to jump by more than 50% in the next 10 years alone. Inland Rail is needed to keep up with this demand.

Provide better access to and from regional markets

Inland Rail will better link producers, farmers and businesses to national and global markets. Almost 70% of freight carried on Inland Rail will be for domestic use – that includes household goods and groceries produced in Australia and consumed in major cities.

Offer better transit time and reliability

Transit time between Melbourne and Brisbane will be less than 24 hours with 98% reliability, making it time competitive with roads.

Reduce distances and costs

Rail distance between Melbourne and Brisbane will be cut by 200km. Costs for freight traveling between Melbourne and Brisbane could be reduced by $10 per ton.

Create jobs

Inland Rail will create more than 16,000 jobs during construction, and more than 90% will be based in regional Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Boost the Australian economy

Inland Rail will inject $16 billion into Australia's gross domestic product (GDP) over the next 50 years.

Improve road safety

Truck volumes will reduce in more than 20% of regional towns and congestion will ease on some of Australia’s busiest highways, including the Ipswich Motorway, and the Hume, Newell and Warrego Highways. Up to 15 serious crashes involving fatalities and serious injuries will be avoided every year.

Lower emissions

Moving freight by rail is four times more fuel-efficient than moving freight by road. Inland Rail will cut carbon emissions by 750,000 tons per year from 2050.


The Australian Government selected the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to deliver Inland Rail, in partnership with the private sector and has committed $9.3 billion to the delivery of Inland Rail.

Construction of Inland Rail commenced in late 2018 and it is expected to be fully operational in 2025.

The first project map went live in December 2018.


The biggest challenge was setting up and monitoring 13 distinct and unique project maps. Each project is different in terms of the details shown and how users interact with the project map. All of the engagement teams had to be trained in how to use Social Pinpoint.

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Implementing Social Pinpoint & Consultation Manager

ARTC worked closely with the teams at Social Pinpoint and Consultation Manager to integrate their maps. Engagement teams require all the comments & responses to be captured in Consultation Manager which has really helped to improve their stakeholder management process.

In order to streamline the process of setting up all of their maps, they created an Interactive Map Request Form, as well as an Interactive Map Procedure, that outlines the process, the role/responsibility of the map requester, and how moderation of the map will take place

There are checks and balances that the team at ARTC go through before creating a map. The map requester fills out a form with the type of data they want on the map, and it is then submitted to the Digital Engagement and GIS teams. The data is then prepared in their internal GeoCortex platform for the engagement team/map requester to view and provide feedback directly to GIS. Once the data has been approved it is then prepared for upload and sent to Social Pinpoint.

Once it has been uploaded to Social Pinpoint, the Digital Engagement team works closely with the map requester to style the map and write content specific for that project.

Once the map is ready to go live it must go through three checkers and then gain final approval from the GM of Communications and Marketing.

After all approvals have been sought it is then made live and a link is added to the Inland Rail website via the individual project page and a tile on the home page. The engagement team then takes it out in to the field to the community.

Key Findings & Closing the Loop

Interactive maps have helped to increase the quality of their data by providing a platform for the community to show exactly where they have feedback, ideas and concerns.

Since December of 2018, they have had over 70,000 users visit their 12 maps and have received over 980 comments.

From letting them know where school buses run to asking us questions about a proposed bridge, this two-way engagement process has informed design and helped address key concerns.

Just a few examples of how this engagement is helping to mitigate property impacts:

  • They've improved level crossing access for machinery and cattle

  • They've shifted farm infrastructure, such as stock pens, to keep stock safe

  • They have successfully minimised erosion near creeks.

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