- Transport in Australia
Transport in Australia is a highly significant part of the infrastructure of the
Australian economy, since the distances are large and the country has a relatively low population density.
kilometres) on the Hume highwayfrom Sydneyto Melbourne] The railway network is large, comprising a total of 33,819 km (2,540 km electrified) of track: 3,719 km broad gauge, 15,422 km standard gauge, 14,506 km narrow gauge and 172 km dual gauge. Rail transport started in the various colonies at different dates. Privately owned railways started the first lines, and struggled to succeed on a remote, huge, and sparsely populated continent, and government railways dominated. Although the various colonies had been advised by Londonto choose a common gauge, the colonies ended up with different gauges.
National rail services
The Great Southern Railway, owned by
SercoAsia Pacific, operates three trains: the Indian Pacific( Sydney- Adelaide-Perth), The Ghan( Adelaide- Alice Springs-Darwin), and The Overland( Melbourne-Adelaide) [http://www.gsr.com.au/trains.htm] . NSW owned CountryLinkservices link Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne via Sydney. Since the extension of the Ghan from Alice Springs to Darwin was completed in 2004, all mainland Australian capital cities are linked by standard gaugerail, for the first time.
tate and city rail services
There are various state and city rail services operated by a combination of government and private entities, the most prominent of these include
V/Line(regional trains and buses in Victoria); Connex Melbournewhich operates the Melbourne suburban railway network;
RailCorp operating all passenger rail services in
New South Walesincluding ( CityRailand CountryLink); Queensland Rail(QR) operating Traveltrainand the Citytrainnetwork, South-East Queensland's commuter railway network under the TransLink scheme, and Transwaoperating train and bus services in Western Australia.
Four heavy-duty mining railways carry iron ore to ports in the northwest of
Western Australia. These railways carry no other traffic, and are isolated by deserts from all other railways. The lines are standard gaugeand are built to the heaviest US standards.
In 2006, a fifth iron ore railway is proposed by the
Fortescue Metals Group, while a sixth common carrier railway is proposed to serve the port of Oakajeejust north of Geraldton.
Queenslandabout 15 sugar mills have narrow gauge (RailGauge|2ft gauge) cane tramways that deliver sugar caneto the mills.
The Australian Highway System is broken up into 3 different categories for
The road network is again extensive, comprising a total of 913,000 km broken down into: [CIA world fact book]
*"Paved:" 353,331 km (including 2,863.2 km of expressways)
*"Unpaved:" 559,669 km (
*"Expressways Under Construction:" 267.6 km
The majority of road tunnels in Australia have been constructed since the 1990's to relieve traffic congestion in metropolitan areas, or to cross significant watercourses. See for a listing.
There are several pipeline systems including:
Crude oil:" 2,500 km
Petroleum products:" 500 km
Natural gas:" 5,600 km
** Perth to
Kalgoorlie- Goldfields Water Supply Scheme
** Morgan on the
Murray Riverto Adelaide, Whyalla, Port Lincoln
Turunga Bainto Bendigo Super Pipeand proposed extension to Ballarat
Australia's inland waterways are not a significant means commercial transport. In the 19th century,
paddle steamers were used on the Murray-Darling Basinto transport produce such as wool and wheat but the water levels are highly unreliable, making the river impassable for large parts of the year. The steamers proved unable to compete with rail, and later, road transport. Traffic now on inland waterways is therefore largely restricted to private recreational craft.
Ports and harbours
Merchant marine vessels
As of 2006, the Australian fleet consists of 53 ships of 1,000 gross register tons or over: Portal:Nautical/Fleet/Australia
There are many airports around Australia paved or unpaved. A 2004 estimate put the number of airports at 448. The busiest airports in
Cairns International Airport
Gold Coast Airport
Canberra International Airport
Hobart International Airport
Darwin International Airport
Airports with paved runways
*"Over 3,047 m (10,000 ft):" 10
*"2,438 to 3,047 m (8,000 to 10,000 ft):" 12
*"1,524 to 2,437 m (5,000 to 8,000 ft):" 131
*"914 to 1,523 m (3,000 to 5,000 ft):" 139
*"Under 914 m (3,000 ft):" 13 (2004 estimate)
Airports with unpaved runways
*"1,524 to 2,437 m (5,000 to 8,000 ft):" 17
*"914 to 1,523 m (3,000 to 5,000 ft):" 112
*"Under 914 m (3,000 ft):" 14 (2004 estimate)
"sourced from CIA World Fact Book https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html/"
Public Transport in Australia
The table below lists major cities in Australia that have or once had public transport systems. It includes only internal services (as opposed to services between towns), and does not include services run primarily for heritage reasons.
History of rail transport in Australia
*CIA WFB 2000
* [http://www.railpage.org.au/railmaps/ Railway maps]
* [http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/index.cgi?action=fatiguecalc.form Driving time calculator for NSW]
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