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A National Rail Governance Structure
Discussion Paper

A proposed governance structure for a national rail network

integrating high speed and conventional rail lines

Governance Structure

This discussion paper examines the current governance structure for rail in Australia, and how it could be modified to accommodate high-speed rail.

The proposed structure has been developed to respond to key challenges to implementing a single national rail governance structure in Australia, including:

  • High speed rail must be implemented and operated as a single national network linking Queensland, NSW, Victoria and the ACT (and potentially South Australia)

  • HSR will need to accommodate fast-freight as well as passenger trains to be economically viable

  • HSR will need integrated operations with existing rail networks, which are currently controlled by ARTC as well as state-based organisations

  • Future governance arrangements will need to enable several different rail operators to share tracks

  • Common technical standards around safety systems and other areas will needed across the network

  • Australia's federal system of government means funding of infrastructure needs to be shared between the federal and respective state governments

The paper also proposes a strategy for migrating from the current governance structure to a truly national and flexible system capable of maximising the benefits of high speed rail.

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