R1.118 Initial investigation into urban rail network performance

Australia has entered a new era where the economy, greenhouse gas emissions, traffic congestion and fuel prices are priority issues for consideration. Strategically the rail industry needs to know whether the network will provide the level of performance required for the future.

Network capacity is a central issue, but all major performance issues need to be considered, potentially also including travel time, reliability, safety, environmental impact, cost efficiency, community expectation etc. There is a considerable amount of background information available, but it does not provide the whole picture of network performance.

The rail industry does not have sufficient information available to describe where performance failures are likely to exist on networks in the future. Therefore it is not clear to decision makers and others that the potential for rail to meet future challenges is fragile unless substantial improvements are made.

This project is to identify where performance deficiencies will occur on urban passenger rail networks in the medium to long term future and to illustrate urban rail capacity and other performance indicators. This work has never been undertaken comprehensively in Australia. Previous work has been limited to selected parts of the network, products or outcomes. This project will seek a systematic approach to the study of urban passenger rail network performance.

The project will demonstrate future under-capacity and other performance indicators of urban rail systems to influence government policy. This work will inform system development initiatives particularly in terms of investment. The work will underpin industry approaches to governments, including Infrastructure Australia.