Freight Train Movement Analytics

Explore the different types of freight train movements through charts in an interactive dashboard.
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Introduction

Are you a train enthusiast? Do you want to know more about the characteristics of freight trains moving across the interstate and standard-gauge networks?

You have come to the right place. This is a self-service analytics tool to inform you about the type of trains by commodity, their mass and length, origin-destination states and distances travelled.

This analytical tool is designed to provide insights at a glance on the different types of freight train movements in Australia to support transport infrastructure planning by government and industry partners. These interactive products can be used alongside the Freight Train Interactive Maps for greater insights.

This interactive will always have the latest 12 months of available anonymised data.

About the data

Data in the interactive visualisation is modelled to count the number of trains by combinations of different freight train characteristics such as commodity type or distances travelled, by train length and mass.

The underlying data is processed by combining GPS data from train transponders with train schedules and attributes from the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC). This is then assigned to a foundation rail map to calculate distances and freight routes. The NFDH team hope to enter data sharing agreements with other railway operators to expand the geographic coverage for intrastate rail freight.

The NFDH team is working with the data provider to establish an automated data feed to keep this interactive visualisation and the underlying data up to date on a monthly cycle. We are also working to develop other interactive data products to provide accessible insights on different aspects of rail freight.

Please see aggregated freight train movement datasets in the data catalogue.

Limitations

  1. The first and last GPS coordinates from a locomotive may not be the actual origin and destination of the freight train service.
  2. The train schedule includes mass and length information for each leg of a train's journey between locations on the ARTC operated network. But the train service can extend beyond the ARTC network where changes to its mass and length is not captured.
  3. The interactive visualisation uses train mass and length for the longest leg of its journey and extrapolates this for the entire trip. It does not factor in the loading and unloading of cargo at stops between origin and destination.
  4. Only trips with a minimum distance travelled of 50km are included.
  5. Train count is only representative for the interstate network which includes most "Intermodal+Steel" trains. Other commodity types are predominately intrastate services and they often run on different track gauges completely separate from the ARTC network outside of NSW. The dashboard only includes data for journeys partially or completely undertaken on ARTC operated tracks.

Feedback

The NFDH is working to increase its partnership with industry to collect and include more rail data. Please Contact the NFDH team If you are interested in being a part of our project, have any questions or suggestions for improving this interactive. All feedback is appreciated.