IPWG Update: Overview of Rail Sector 

SAE-A Newsletter - January, IPWG update: Overview of Mining and Metals 

by: Kelvin Clissold - General Manager, Professional Development


The rail industry plays a significant role in providing transport links across Australia and help to meet the growing demands of increasing population while reducing road congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.

Sector information

Australian rail industry with 110000 employees, paid wages of more

 than $1 billion per year and $4.2 billion annual revenue in manufacturing

 and infrastructure support area is the sixth largest global rail network. In 2012-2013 tram and train passenger trips were about 850 million. This industry is responsible for carrying more than 1 billion tonnes of freight per year which is nine times higher than the USA freight when normalised by GDP. Since 2009-10, Intermodal freight tonnages in Australia have increased by 65% to 27 million tonnes annually.

Rail subsectors - Department of Economic Development:

The rail industry is divided into but not limited to six sub sectors. Each of the sub sectors listed below include jobs with skills sets similar to the automotive engineering skill set.

1. Trains and trams*

2. Track*

3. Level crossing infrastructure and bridges*

4. Earthworks

5. Drainage and environment

6. Electrical power and train control systems

7. Telecoms and data management

*Indicates that potential employment opportunities exist in the sub sector for automotive engineers transitioning

Statistics, Trending and History

The outlook for the rail sector has been significantly boosted by the Victorian Government’s Rolling Stock Strategy: Trains, Trams, Jobs 2015-2025- an industry blueprint. This strategy commits more than $2 billion for new train and tram building, maintenance and workforce training. The government’s Victorian Industry Participation Policy (VIPP) sets local content requirements for strategic projects with procurement valued at over $50 million in total project cost. 

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