This strategy outlines how the Australian Government will work with stakeholders to:

  • develop a more collaborative approach to procuring rolling stock – locomotives, carriages, wagons, trams, light rail vehicles and their associated components and systems
  • help grow a more globally competitive rail manufacturing sector.

It will simplify procurement, harmonise standards across states and territories, increase innovation, and improve skills and capabilities in the rail manufacturing sector.

The strategy is part of­ the National Rail Manufacturing Plan. It was developed through consultation with:

  • state and territory governments 
  • rail manufacturing companies of all sizes
  • unions 
  • industry bodies such as the Australasian Railway Association
  • researchers and universities.

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Acknowledgement of Country

In delivering Australia’s National Rail Procurement and Manufacturing Strategy, we pay our respects to our First Nations people, their Elders past and present, and their ancestors, who have always cared and continue...

Ministers’ foreword

The Australian Government is committed to building a Future Made in Australia.

Our rail manufacturing sector

The case for action: why now?

In 2019, the Australian rail industry contributed around $30 billion (1.5%) to the national economy and employed over 165,000 full-time equivalent people in ‘above and below’ rail design, manufacturing, construction...

Challenges and opportunities: stakeholder views

The Office of National Rail Industry Coordination (ONRIC) and the National Rail Manufacturing Advocate met with more than 50 stakeholders across Australia to better understand the key issues affecting the Australian...

What we will do: 6 pillars to drive action

Pillar 1: Develop a nationally coordinated approach to rolling stock procurement

Australia has inconsistent procurement processes across states and territories. This prevents the sector from achieving economies of scale. Overcoming this issue requires a coordinated approach to procurement requir...

Pillar 2: Harmonise standards for manufacturing rolling stock

Harmonising standards for rolling stock will improve economies of scale, increase production runs and lower unit costs for Australian manufacturers. This will support a more competitive and efficient domestic rail m...

Pillar 3: Adopt a national local content approach

Differing local content policies (LCPs) can hinder the ability of companies to operate across jurisdictions, undermining industry efficiency, and limiting the establishment of a strong national rail manufacturing se...

Pillar 4: Maximise opportunities for freight and heavy haul manufacturing

Australia has considerable expertise in freight and heavy haul rail, developed in response to challenges posed by its extreme environment and heavy load requirements.

Pillar 5: Improve research and innovation outcomes in the rail sector

Stronger research capabilities and greater collaboration between researchers, innovators, industry and government will enable the rail manufacturing sector to boost productivity, take advantage of smart manufacturin...

Pillar 6: Establish the foundation for good jobs and rewarding careers in rail manufacturing

Competition for skilled workers is currently strong and likely to intensify over the next decade. Job stability, investment in apprentice training, development of career pathways and workforce retention are being un...

Glossary and references


Definitions of special terms used in this strategy


Publications referenced in this strategy.