The Australian Rail Industry

Janoshalmi, Tom
May 2002
Logistics & Transport Focus;May2002, Vol. 4 Issue 4, p32
Trade Publication
The rail industry ion Australia is often argued to be far less efficient that rail freight systems in the United States or rail passenger systems in Western Europe. Yet such comparisons often overlook the peculiar nature of the Australian transport task and caution must be exercised when applying overseas experience. Freight and passenger flows within Australia occur between centers of population and economic activity that are thinly scattered across vast distances. Transport movements tend to be concentrated on the southern and eastern seaboards. Today, most people traveling between Australia's towns and cities do so by car, plane or bus rather than by train. Rail's share of the non-urban passenger transport has been in steep decline since the Second World War, when it has nearly 70%. At present, the new private rail freight operators are small compared with the in-house private railways carrying bulk commodities and the government-owned railways.


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