Pricing & access
SA Rail - Access and pricing
Railway ownership on South Australia’s metropolitan (TransAdelaide) and
intra-state (mainly GWA) lines is vertically integrated. This means the owner of
the railway is also a provider of above-rail services on those lines.
As a result, the State introduced the Railways (Operations and Access) Act 1997 (the ROA
Act), to ensure other operators could offer rail services to customers and
compete with the owner/operator by obtaining access to the rail network on
The ROA Act establishes the South Australian Rail Access Regime (the
Access Regime), which was intended to be consistent with National Competition
Principles and with Part IIIA of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
It aims to encourage negotiation for access on fair commercial terms.
Specifically it provides for:
- a regulator to monitor and oversee access matters, establish pricing
principles and information requirements, and refer access disputes to
- the use of arbitration to resolve access disputes, where required.
Tarcoola-Darwin Rail - Access and pricing
Access to the Tarcoola-Darwin Railway is provided for under the AustralAsia
Railway (‘Third Party Access’) Code (“the Code”).
The Code has been certified as an ‘effective’ State-based access regime in
accordance with the principles set out in clauses 6(2)-6(4) of the Competition
The Code unbundles railway services (both freight and passengers) into:
- below-rail services (relating to the provision of track and
associated infrastructure); and
- above-rail services (running rolling stock, or trains, on the below-rail
The Code regulates the provision of below-rail services only. It establishes
a right for above-rail operators to negotiate access to the below-rail services
of the Railway.
The Code sets out the rights and responsibilities of above-rail operators
(access seekers) and the access provider (APT), and covers matters such as the
negotiation process, dispute resolution, and the terms and conditions of
The Code establishes a right to negotiate access to the services provided by
means of the Railway. It follows a negotiate/arbitrate model, where parties
first attempt to agree on an access arrangement, with dispute resolution
processes available if necessary.