The ACCC has functions regulating rail, which arise from the National Access Regime in Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act).
Two access undertakings relating to rail infrastructure are currently in place, one for the Interstate rail network and one for the Hunter Valley Network in New South Wales.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) was established out of a 1997 Inter-Governmental Agreement entered into between the Commonwealth of Australia and the States of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia. ARTC is vertically separated, providing ‘below-rail’ services (such as the rail track infrastructure) but not ‘above-rail’ services (such as haulage). ARTC provides a single point of contact for parties seeking to run trains on the National Interstate Rail Network and the Hunter Valley Network in New South Wales.
The Interstate Rail Network includes the mainline standard gauge track linking: 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. The Interstate Rail Network is used by both general freight services (such as manufactured goods) and bulk freight services (such as mining and agriculture products), as well as long distance and regional passenger services.
The Hunter Valley Network is predominantly used to transport coal from mines in the Hunter Valley region to the Port of Newcastle for export and to transport coal to domestic customers, such as power stations. The network is also used by non-coal traffic, including general and bulk freight services (such as grain) and passenger services.
The Interstate Rail Network and Hunter Valley Network are both regulated through access undertakings.