This page belongs to: National Rail Procurement and Manufacturing Strategy

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 requirements, greater transparency of the national rail procurement pipeline, and cooperation across jurisdictions to manage or sequence procurement decisions. Success under this pillar will decrease regulatory and procurement burdens, reduce cost volatility, help Australian rail manufacturers plan for future work and create a more viable and stable rail manufacturing sector.

Action 1: Adopt a national framework for procurement

Scoping phase

Sub-action Indicative timeframe (calendar year)[1]
Map current rolling stock procurement frameworks and processes – identifying commonalities, inconsistencies, challenges, and opportunities. Quarter 1, 2024
Work with stakeholders to road-test ideas for policy reform that could support Australian rail manufacturing, including encouraging adoption of innovation and new technologies. Results to inform development phase. Quarter 2, 2024

Development phase

Sub-action Indicative timeframe (calendar year)

Design a national rolling stock procurement framework based on good practice procurement approaches appropriate to project size and scale. 


Note linkages with harmonised standards work in Pillar 2 and supply chain mapping in Pillar 3.

Quarter 4, 2024
Test draft framework with industry and unions. Quarter 3 and 4, 2024

Implementation phase

Sub-action Indicative timeframe (calendar year)
Determine endorsement mechanism and governance pathways in consultation with the Infrastructure Transport Ministers Meeting (ITMM) and considering related intergovernmental agreements. Quarter 2, 2025
National rolling stock procurement framework agreed by Australian Government and state and territory governments. Framework adopted by Quarter 4, 2025

Action 2: Develop a more transparent pipeline for rolling stock procurements across Australia

Sub-action Indicative timeframe (calendar year)

Working with states and territories, map the procurement pipeline nationally including current, future, and potential procurement.  

Include consideration of:

  • a multi-decade time scale to include whole-of-life rolling stock maintenance, including complete overhauls and major refurbishments.
  • limitations on available information (for example, states and territories may not be planning for procurements in 2026).
  • demand projections that include future population growth, fleet profiles and government transport policies. 
Quarter 1, 2024
Publish national rolling stock procurement pipeline online. Quarter 2, 2024
ONRIC to work with states and territories to ensure the pipeline remains current (see Action 3). Ongoing

Action 3: Deliver a coordinated approach to timing of procurement at a national scale in accordance with fair market competition

Sub-action Indicative timeframe (calendar year)
Develop a business case to identify benefits of coordinating procurement at a national level. Quarter 2, 2024
Develop a framework and governance arrangements to support a coordinated, national approach to sequencing of state and territory rolling stock procurement, including consideration of market capacity. Quarter 4, 2024


  1. Timeframes associated with actions throughout the pillars are indicative and may be adjusted as the work progresses.