Rise in the use of rail: report

Australia’s rail industry is growing, with an industry report showing freight and passenger numbers have increased.

The Australian Rail Industry Report, commissioned by the Australasian Railway Association, looked at data from 22 operators across the country, bringing light to new statistics on how activity on the network is increasing.

The report found that passenger journeys have increased by 84 million over the past four years.

The latest figures from 2011/12 showed a total of 784.2 million journeys, representing an increase of 15.4 million on the previous year.

Chief of ARA, Byran Nye, said the increase in passenger numbers was win for the environment.

“The average passenger train can take 525 cars off the road and reduce carbon emissions by the same amount as planting 320 hectares of trees,” Nye said.

“If the growing trend that this report indicates continues, Australia will be right on track to a greener and more productive future through the utilisation of rail.”

While freight also increased, with the industry carrying 8.2 per cent more to 929.6 million tonnes, with ore making up 53 per cent, followed by coal at 33 per cent.

“This report justifies increased investment in rail to reduce congestion on roads and increase productivity across the economy,” Nye said.

“With only 5 per cent of freight moving rail between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, rail has the capacity and is ready to take more freight between the capitals and free up our congested highways.”

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