What the ACCC does

  • We regulate the Interstate rail network through an access undertaking.

What the ACCC can't do

  • We don’t set the prices or provide access to the rail network.
  • We don’t direct the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
  • We don’t set technical standards for the rail industry.

On this page

About the Interstate rail network

The network is used for freight and passenger services

The Interstate rail network includes the mainline standard gauge track. It links:

  • Kalgoorlie in Western Australia
  • Adelaide, Wolseley and Crystal Brook in South Australia
  • Melbourne and Wodonga in Victoria
  • Cootamundra, Albury, Macarthur, Moss Vale, Unanderra, Newcastle (to the Queensland border) and Parkes in New South Wales
  • Acacia Ridge (southern Brisbane) in Queensland.

It is used by:

  • general freight services, such as manufactured goods
  • bulk freight services, such as mining and agriculture products
  • long distance and regional passenger services.

The provider is the Australian Rail Track Corporation

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) manages the Interstate rail network.

It is a rail infrastructure provider that:

  • formed out of a 1997 inter-governmental agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the states of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia
  • is vertically separated, providing ‘below-rail’ services, such as the rail track infrastructure, but not ‘above-rail’ services, such as haulage
  • provides a single contact for parties wanting to run trains on the Interstate rail network and the Hunter Valley rail network in New South Wales.

Interstate rail network regulation

About the access undertaking and rail network regulation

The Interstate rail network is regulated through an access undertaking by its operator, the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

Access undertakings allow infrastructure owners and operators to give other parties access to their infrastructure services. Undertakings are one method to facilitate access to services under the national access regime and are described in Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The access undertaking covers the terms and conditions of access to the mainline standard gauge rail track. The track is owned or leased by the Australian Rail Track Corporation. It runs from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to Acacia Ridge in Queensland, via South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

We accepted Australian Rail Track Corporation’s access undertaking on 30 July 2008. This was under Part IIIA of the Trade Practices Act 1974, which is now the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Current version of the access undertaking

The 2008 access undertaking has been varied several times.

The current version is  Australian Rail Track Corporation Interstate rail network access undertaking - 30 June 2023 ( PDF 784.3 KB ) .

Access undertaking application projects

See a complete list of rail projects.

Current undertaking application projects

Past undertaking application projects

Applications to vary or extend an existing undertaking

This is a list of past projects considered by the ACCC, including applications submitted by the Australian Rail Track Corporation to vary or extend an existing Interstate rail network access undertaking.

Applications for an access undertaking

This is a list of previous Interstate rail network access undertaking applications submitted by Australian Rail Track Corporation.

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