Short line rail services are very common in North America. They collect freight along branch rail lines and deliver it to the main line where the long distance rail operators collect the wagons and on-deliver to their final destination.
In Australia short line services can offer a chance to revitalise under utilised rail lines and provide rail freight options in areas that are not currently services by rail or where services do not meet customers needs.
Regional Connect is an advocate of short line services and is actively promoting this concept as a means of increasing rail freight on under-utilised lines, and at the same time reducing the pressure on country roads.
Short line services require collaboration between customers, rail providers, State and Local Government to ensure their success. They are one way of revitalising not only country rail lines but also ensuring that customers have competing options for their freight.