Railway and Tramway Organisations
Pacific National locomotives 9001, 9031 and 9213, with a rake of empty coal wagons heading north, near Belford in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, 24 August 2013.
Railways and tramways operate within the frameworks of customer needs and government regulations. A range of organisations are involved in the oversight, operation and promotion of railways and tramways. Each has specific functions within the railway and tramway industries. Most of the organisations listed on this page are government authorities, but other organisations with key roles are also included, such as advocacy groups, research and technology organisations. Many transport authorities have responsibilities regarding several transport modes. The organisations listed have some involvement with railways or tramways, but may also be engaged in other undertakings.
Action for Public Transport (NSW) (APT NSW)
Action for Public Transport (NSW) (APT NSW) is a transport consumer organisation based in Sydney. It is an advocacy group whose members use and benefit from public transport. The APT NSW website contains information, reports and blog posts regarding a range of public transport issues.
Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI)
The Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI) provides research, analysis and advice for the rail industry in Australia and New Zealand. Its activities include research and work programs.
Australasian Railway Association (ARA)
The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) is the peak body for the rail industry in Australia and New Zealand. It represents a wide range of rail organisations, including public and private passenger and freight operators, rail track owners and managers, manufacturers and supply organisations. The ARA works towards policy reform and the creation of an environment that enables the Australasian rail industry to prosper. It aims to provide a unified voice regarding issues of national importance involving the rail industry, with a vision for a world-class rail industry that contributes to a liveable and sustainable society. Additionally, the ARA owns the Rail Industry Worker program, which is a competency management system for rail workers throughout Australia. The ARA website contains a range of information about the rail industry, including fact sheets, maps, videos, media releases, and news regarding key issues and events.
Australian Government, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development
The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development has overall responsibility for the Australian Government’s infrastructure, transport and regional development policies and programmes. Its activities include funding for some major railway projects, such as the Inland Rail line between Melbourne and Brisbane. The National Rail Program is the Australian Government’s $10 billion program to improve urban and regional rail networks over ten years.
Australian Logistics Council (ALC)
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) is the peak body representing companies involved in freight logistics industry. Its members are land, sea and air transport organisations, including those involved in the railway industry. The ALC works with government regarding investment and policy decisions impacting on the needs of the freight logistics industry. It aims to ensure that Australia has supply chains that are safe, secure, reliable, sustainable and internationally competitive. The ALC website contains reports, media releases and news about current events.
Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Advanced Technologies in Rail Track Infrastructure (IITC-Rail)
The Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Advanced Technologies in Rail Track Infrastructure (IITC-Rail) is based at the University of Wollongong. Its key objective is the effective and rigorous training of young professionals through higher degree research to find appropriate solutions to the current challenges and problems faced by the rail industry. It focuses on engineering technology regarding railway infrastructure.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is an independent Australian Government agency whose function is to improve safety and public confidence in rail, aviation and marine transport. In the area of rail safety, the ATSB concentrates its resources on investigations that are most likely to enhance rail safety. It is a requirement that railway accidents and serious incidents must be reported as soon as practicable directly to the ATSB by train operating crews, rail and track owners and operators. When an accident or incident is investigated the ATSB seeks to determine the circumstances, to identify any safety issues, and to encourage appropriate safety actions. The aim of all ATSB investigations is to prevent the occurrence of other accidents and incidents, rather than to assign blame or liability. This approach helps ensure the continued free flow of safety information for the purposes of improving safety in the future. The ATSB website contains reports of rail safety investigations that have been completed, as well as information about rail safety issues and actions..
Building Queensland is an independent statutory body that provides independent advice to Queensland Government agencies, corporations and statutory authorities regarding infrastructure decisions. It provides strategic advice, and assists with the development of proposals and business cases. An Infrastructure Pipeline report is published every six months, outlining priority infrastructure proposals, including railway projects.
Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE)
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) is part of the Policy and Research Division of the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. It provides analysis, research and statistical data regarding infrastructure, transport and regional development to provide information for the formulation of government policy and the development of community understanding. The BITRE website contains publications regarding transport data and research, including key reports regarding railways.
Centre for Excellence in Rail Training (CERT)
The Centre for Excellence in Rail Training (CERT) is a training organisation with offices in all mainland states. It offers certificate courses in various subjects, including Rail Infrastructure, Train Driving, Shunting, Rail Safety Management, Rail Network Train Control, Tram or Light Rail Infrastructure and Logistics.
Centre for Railway Engineering (CRE)
The Centre for Railway Engineering (CRE) is hosted by the School of Engineering and Technology (SET) at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton. It aims to develop partnerships between researchers and the rail industry through research, education, innovation, development and consultancy. Its research includes wagon and bogie dynamics, wagon and track system dynamics, erosion control inside railway corridors, simulation, instrumentation and field testing.
Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia Incorporated (CILTA)
The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia Incorporated (CILTA) is part of the CILT international network. It aims to provide leadership in research, policy and professional development to support ongoing improvement in the transport and logistics industry. Members include people involved in the transportation of passengers and freight, and those that manage domestic and international supply chains. CILTA is involved with rail and other transport modes. Activities include professional development courses, seminars and newsletters.
Government of South Australia, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure in South Australia focuses on planning policy, transport and other infrastructure. It aims to improve quality of life for the people of South Australia.
Government of Western Australia, Department of Transport
The Department of Transport in Western Australia focuses on operational transport, as well as transport planning and policy for public and commercial transport systems in the state. Its purpose is to provide safe, accessible and efficient transport services. The Department of Transport regulates railway, road, sea and air transport, and coordinates transport infrastructure.
Infrastructure Australia is an independent body whose mandate is to prioritise and progress infrastructure with national significance. It provides research and advice to governments and the community regarding a range of projects and reforms.
Infrastructure Victoria aims to ensure that infrastructure planning within Victoria is conducted in a manner that is thoughtful, evidence-based, consultative and transparent. It is an independent statutory authority that provides advice and guides decision making regarding the state’s infrastructure needs and priorities.
Institution of Railway Signal Engineers Australasia (IRSEA)
The Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) is an international organisation for railway professionals involved with signalling, train control and telecommunications systems. Its aims include expansion of knowledge, advancement of skills, and encouragement of high standards within the rail industry. Activities of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers Australasian Section (IRSEA) include technical meetings, courses and the publication of technical papers.
International Association of Public Transport Australia/New Zealand (UITPANZ)
The UITP (Union Internationale des Transports Publics) is the International Association of Public Transport. It is an international association which works to enhance quality of life and economic well-being by the promotion of sustainable transport in urban areas around the world. In Australia it is represented by UITP Australia/New Zealand (UITPANZ). Local activities include conferences, research, networking and advocacy. The UITPANZ website contains information about news and research.
Monash Institute of Railway Technology (IRT)
The Monash Institute of Railway Technology (IRT) is part of Monash University in Melbourne. It is involved in research, and provides technology to heavy haul railway operators, mass transit and high speed railways in Australia and overseas. The IRT consists of a group of engineers, scientists and technicians with expertise in a range of areas, including train performance, the wheel-rail interface, track structures and maintenance.
National Faster Rail Agency
The National Faster Rail Agency was established in 2019 swithin the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development. It is committed to working with state and territory governments to develop rail infrastructure between major cities and key regional centres.
National Transport Commission (NTC)
The National Transport Commission (NTC) is an inter-governmental agency which aims to improve the productivity, safety and environmental performance of road, rail and intermodal transport systems in Australia. It works with governments to implement improvements to transport networks, acts as an adviser to the Transport and Infrastructure Council regarding national reforms of land transport, and has responsibility for the maintenance of Rail Safety National Law. The NTC website contains information regarding its activities and various reports about transport topics, including information regarding rail transport issues.
Northern Territory Government, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics
The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics in the Northern Territory is responsible for land use, infrastructure and transport in the territory. This includes monitoring railway compliance.
Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR)
The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) is an independent body whose primary objectives are to encourage and enforce safe railway operations, and to promote and improve national rail safety. The ONRSR commenced operations in 2013, and has responsibility for regulatory oversight of rail safety law throughout Australia. The ONRSR website contains information and reports about rail safety. An annual Rail Safety Report provides an overview of incidents, responses and priorities.
Office of Transport Investigations (OTSI)
The Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI) is an independent statutory organisation in New South Wales. It conducts transport safety investigations into railway, bus and ferry safety incidents. Railway safety investigations may be conducted on behalf of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). Reports of railway investigations that have been completed are posted on the OTSI website.
People for Public Transport (PPT)
People for Public Transport (PPT) is an advocacy group aimed at improving public transport in South Australia. Its focus is on public transport within the Adelaide suburban area. The PPT website contains a number of documents regarding public transport issues.
Permanent Way Institution of New South Wales (PWI NSW)
The Permanent Way Institution is a worldwide organisation for individuals responsible for railway track. It provides educational and social events. In Australia there are sections in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. The Permanent Way Institution of New South Wales (PWI NSW) website contains newsletters of the New South Wales and South Australian sections, and news about current events.
Permanent Way Institution: Queensland Section
The Permanent Way Institution: Queensland Section is part of the worldwide Permanent Way Institution. It provides educational and social events for individuals responsible for railway track. The Permanent Way Institution: Queensland Section website has news about current events and its awards program.
Public Transport Association of Canberra (PTCBR)
The Public Transport Association of Canberra (PTCBR) grew out of the ACT Light Rail lobby group. It is an advocacy organisation that focuses on the integration of non-car transport, including light rail, buses, cycling and walking.
Public Transport Projects Alliance (PTP Alliance)
The Public Transport Projects Alliance is an alliance of South Australia’s Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and private industry to deliver public transport projects. It aims to provide community-based and value-for-money solutions that improve liveability and connectivity.
Public Transport Research Group (PTRG)
The Public Transport Research Group (PTRG) is a group of researchers at Monash University in Melbourne who are engaged in research on public transport systems. Research interests cover a wide range of topics, including strategic planning, travel behaviour, safety, transport economics, transport land use, travel and operations modelling, and special event planning. The PTRG has undertaken research for various clients across the world. Its website contains information about its projects, publications, and news about current events.
Public Transport Users Association (PTUA)
The Public Transport Users Association is a consumer organisation that represents passengers using all forms of public transport in Victoria. It lobbies government, and works with media and other organisations to improve public transport services. The PTUA website contains information regarding campaigns and details about public transport in Victoria.
Public Transport Victoria (PTV)
Public Transport Victoria (PTV) is a government authority which manages and coordinates train, tram and bus services in Victoria. Information is provided to the public regarding services, fares, tickets and initiatives. The PTV website contains information regarding public transport services within Victoria, news, timetables, maps, live travel updates, details about tickets and fares, a journey planner, and facilities for purchasing and topping up myki cards.
Queensland Government, Department of Transport and Main Roads
The Department of Transport and Main Roads in Queensland coordinates transport services throughout Queensland. Through the integration of rail, road, sea and air transport, it aims to enhance quality of life, economic wellbeing and environmental sustainability.
Rail Freight Alliance
The Rail Freight Alliance represents regional and metropolitan local government councils in Victoria. It advocates for the standardisation of all key railway lines in Victoria, upgrading of lines, a competitive and open access system of rail freight, and seamless rail freight logistics. It has a long-term goal of ensuring that rail freight transport continues.
Rail Futures is a Victorian advocacy group that promotes sustainable rail solutions in response to public transport and freight problems. Its membership includes railway professionals, engineers and economists. Rail Futures seeks to engage in major debates on public transport issues.
Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB)
The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) is a member-owned not-for-profit company which aims to develop and manage national rail industry standards, rules, codes of practice and guidelines. It also provides technical advice and engages in activities to support rail safety in Australia. RISSB members are rail operators in Australia and overseas, network owners, managers and contractors, as well as rail industry suppliers. The RISSB website contains information about its activities, as well as technical documents regarding railway infrastructure and operations in the context of rail safety.
Rail Safety Worker
Rail Safety Worker (RSW) is a national competency management system for railway employees, aiming to ensure that people working in the Australian rail industry are trained and competent. The program is managed by workforce management specialists Pegasus, and endorsed by the Australasian Railway Association.
Rail Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (CRC)
The Rail Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) aims to support the rail manufacturing sector through research, collaboration and the implementation of technology. It focuses on the development of new technologies and knowledge which enhance rail manufacturing capacity and competitiveness in Australia. The CRC website contains publications, newsletters and news about current events.
Rail Projects Victoria (RPV)
Rail Projects Victoria (RPV) was formerly known as Melbourne Metro Rail Authority. It is the Victorian Government body with responsibility for the Metro Tunnel Project, but now also has responsibility for Regional Rail Revival, the fast rail link between Melbourne and Geelong, and the proposed Melbourne Airport Link.
Rail Safety, Victoria
Rail Safety is a branch of Transport Safety Victoria. It is responsible for the regulation of light rail transport operators, as well as several local tourist and heritage operators. Heavy rail transport operators and other tourist and heritage operators, particularly those running on main lines, are regulated by the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator.
Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA)
The Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA) promotes the cooperation of various organisations towards the advancement of railway technology and management in Australasia. Activities include meetings, technical presentations, study tours and site visits. The RTSA has groups throughout all Australian states and New Zealand.
Rail Track Association Australia (RTAA)
The Rail Track Association Australia (RTAA) aims to promote the interests of railway infrastructure within Australia. Activities include rail industry field days, technical sessions and network meetings.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU)
The Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) is a trade union that represents the rights of employees in the rail and public transport industries. It works with members and employees regarding a range of issues impacting on their work.
Tasmanian Government, Department of State Growth
The Department of State Growth works across government within Tasmania to support economic growth, development and services. It works to achieve efficient transport and logistics systems.
The TrackSAFE Foundation aims to reduce near collisions, injuries and fatalities resulting from suicide and reckless behaviour on Australian rail networks. It works to educate community service groups, governments, road users and the wider community. TrackSAFE has four key areas of focus: prevention of rail suicide, level crossing safety, track safety and trauma management.
TransLink is a division of the Department of Transport and Main Roads in Queensland. It has responsibility for passenger transport systems throughout the state, and has as its primary vision: “Connect Queensland - delivering passenger transport for prosperity.” TransLink integrates train, light rail, bus and ferry services within South East Queensland, as well as long-distance train, coach and air services, and regional bus services throughout the state. It works with transport service providers regarding services, ticketing, information and infrastructure. The TransLink website provides information about transport services within Queensland, including timetables, maps, service updates, details about tickets and fares, a Journey Planner, and facilities for purchasing and topping up go cards.
Transport and Infrastructure Council
The Transport and Infrastructure Council was established by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). It brings together ministers with responsibility for transport and infrastructure from the Commonwealth, states and territories in Australia and New Zealand, and also includes the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). It aims to achieve a coordinated and integrated national transport and infrastructure system that is efficient, safe, sustainable, accessible and competitive. Major areas of concern are land transport, transport safety and security, more efficient and environmentally conscious transport, and infrastructure policy and investment. The Transport and Infrastructure Council website contains information regarding its activities, downloadable freight transport maps, and various reports about transport topics, including rail transport issues. It also has an interactive map showing national key freight routes, resources and energy.
Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTF)
The Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTF) is a national body that advocates for the interests of organisations within the tourism, transport and aviation industries. Its goals include working towards government and private investment in public transport infrastructure and services. The TTF website contains information about events and issues, media releases, and reports about policy and research, including issues regarding railways, light rail and other forms of public transport.
Transport Canberra is an agency of the Australian Capital Territory Government. It works with transport service providers regarding services, ticketing, information and infrastructure. The Transport Canberra website provides information about transport services within the Australian Capital Territory, including timetables, maps, service updates, details about tickets and fares, a Journey Planner, information about light rail services, and facilities for purchasing and topping up MyWay cards. MyWay cards enable passengers to use light rail services in Canberra.
Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS)
Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) has overall responsibility for roads, public transport and other public facilities within the Australian Capital Territory. This includes the light rail project currently under construction.
Transport for NSW (TfNSW)
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is a government authority with responsibility for public transport planning, administration, policy, regulation, infrastructure, and passenger and freight services. It includes a focus on the overall experience of customers. Transport for NSW oversees the management of train, light rail, bus and ferry services, including planning of routes and timetables. Information is provided to the public regarding public transport services, fares, tickets and initiatives.
Transport Safety Victoria
Transport Safety Victoria is responsible for the regulation of bus, maritime and rail transport in Victoria. Rail Safety is a branch of Transport Safety Victoria. See also Rail Safety, Victoria.
Victoria, State Government, Department of Transport (DoT)
The Department of Transport (DoT) aims to bring together experts involved in designing, planning, building and running transport to ensure that it works successfully. It focuses on the goal of an integrated and sustainable transport system. The Department is involved with the delivery of new infrastructure and the efficient usage of existing infrastructure.