Australia sees ‘staggering’ increase in rail popularity

Rail usage in Australia is increasing at a ‘staggering’ rate, increasing by 84 million passenger journeys in the past four years.

The Australian Rail Industry Report, commissioned by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) with data from 22 train operators, found that as well as rising passenger usage, both light rail and freight had also experienced a surge in popularity.

Light rail journeys rose by 7.3 million in 2011/12 and goods moved by rail freight increased by 8 per cent to 929.6 million tonnes, according to the new figures.

Chief executive of ARA Brian Nye said: “This report has shown that passenger journeys on rail increased by 15.4 million in one year taking the total annual figure up to 784.2 million journeys.

“If you look back to 2008, there has been a staggering increase of 84 million passenger journeys on rail, proving that Australians are seeing rail as a viable transport option now more than they ever have before.

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

3 COMMENTS

  1. This is great news! However, if Australia would fund the trains, at least to the degree that they fund highways for busses and cars, so that inordinately expensive rail fares could be reduced, there would be far more growth. More frequent service could also see ridership double. Rail transport should be viewed as a required and necessary service for the citizens. No one wants to catch the “only” train of the day at 2 AM in the morning! Full-service dining and sleeping cars are also essential for long distance services. Political leaders everywhere need to recognize this desire of the people!

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