Our Work

North Coast Line Capacity Improvement Project


North Coast Line Capacity Improvement Project


The North Coast Line (NCL) corridor is a long system with multiple traffics and interfaces. It has been the main corridor for intermodal rail freight between Brisbane and Cairns for many years and operates as a multifaceted supply chain that transports a range of commodities required for communities across the region. The diversity of the services that occur across the corridor result in a range of interactions that are more complicated than the high volume single product resource supply chains.

The NCL has a range of Government and commercial stakeholders who are seeking to maximise their return from operations on the Corridor and compete with road which provides mode substitution options and fierce competition to rail.

Ranbury’s work provided a pragmatic framework for future solutions that included logical pathway to facilitate the delivery of value for money outcomes.

Melissa Hensley
Principal Advisor (Rail Infrastructure and Operations), Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads

Transport and Main Roads (TMR) were looking for strategic advice to determine what the future task would be, whether the NCL system was capacity constrained and what investment options should be contemplated to ensure the NCL network meets future NCL rail requirements and provides a competitive alternative to road transport.

Ranbury was able to undertake and assess both infrastructure constraints and underlying freight market issues. This resulted in the identification of improvement opportunities related to both process improvement and investment.

Ranbury was required to:

  • Identify the current issues that limit the competitiveness of rail freight on the NCL
  • Demonstrate that rail freight growth can be accommodated on the NCL
  • Assess whether the NCL system could support future freight and passenger services
  • Examine options to improve passenger and freight efficiency on the NCL network
  • Outline opportunities to improve performance on the NCL over the next 10 and 20 year planning horizon
  • Propose the staged delivery of NCL capacity improvement in a cost effective, value for money investment

Our research armed the Queensland Government with comprehensive advice to develop policy initiatives and establish planning priorities for the North Coast Line.

Ranbury successfully delivered a comprehensive report to Government with a range of options for the development of policy initiatives and establishment of planning priorities, based upon:

  • Investigation of rail freight capacity scenarios and development of infrastructure options that facilitate increased freight on rail, and support both the freight and passenger growth over the next 20 years
  • Development of infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions for a number of different scenarios to produce capacity improvement options and help inform a future investment program for the NCL

Creation of an improvement framework that can be translated into a long-term work program

Comprehensive report to guide the development of policy initiatives and planning priorities

Identification of the key drivers that influence customer mode choice