More than 2,000 people are employed in rail throughout Western Australia in diverse operational and professional occupations. This figure includes 1,394 workers in rail freight transport, 351 workers in rail passenger transport and 347 workers in areas not further defined. Many more employees work in support industries providing goods and services.
Rail in WA consists of a 5,500 kilometre open access, multi-user rail freight network extending throughout the southern half of Western Australia operated and managed by Arc Infrastructure; the Electrified Urban Passenger Network maintained by the Public Transport Authority (PTA), the interstate standard gauge line from Kalgoorlie to Adelaide which is owned by the Australian Rail Track Corporation and a number of heavy haul, standard gauge rail lines in the Pilbara which run from inland mines to the ports of Dampier, Cape Lambert and Port Hedland.
Rail Passenger encompasses all travel for passengers by rail. The majority of passenger services run on intra-urban lines with three regional lines and a small percentage of rail in the tourist sector. The primary activities of companies in this industry are passenger transport services (railway); track maintenance and suburban railway transport services.
Rail Freight is the use of rail and trains to transport cargo as opposed to passengers. Given the tyranny of distance in Western Australia and in terms of tonnes per kilometre hauled per unit of energy consumed, rail transport can be considered an efficient means of alternative transportation, particularly for the agricultural and mining sectors for the transportation of harvests, minerals and other resources to Western Australia’s ports where they are eventually exported. There is also interstate cargo movement between WA and the East Coast of Australia.
NOTE: Both rail passenger and freight utilise infrastructure maintenance and repair workers.
A licence is not generally required in the Rail industry except in the case of transporting dangerous goods such as explosives where an Explosives Transport Licence must be obtained prior to their transportation. For Railway Track Workers a Track Access Pass is required. For workers on the Public Transport Authority (PTA) network this access is managed through the Rail Industry Worker Program. Other access permits must be obtained through the relevant mining organisation where appropriate (for instance, Rio Tinto).
Occupations / Skills in Demand
Over the next four years the following occupations have been identified as being in demand for this sector:
If you have queries regarding specific occupations or if you feel an occupation in your industry in not on the State Priority Occupation List (SPOL) please contact us. Training Councils are the first point of contact for feedback regarding this list.
Rail Industry Profile
The LDSC also provides strategic advice to industry, government and other key stakeholders on workforce development issues such as occupational priorities or shortages per industry area, training or upskilling requirements and other industry intelligence of factors influencing skilling needs within Western Australia. To access these, please click on the links below:
For historic information contact us
Rail Training Package
Australian Industry Standards (AIS) is the Skills Service Organisations (SSO) with responsibility for the Rail Training Package. In addition, you can also follow the links on their website to find more information regarding their Rail Industry Outlook and Rail Industry Forecasts released annually or to find out how you can be involved in the Rail Industry Reference Committee (IRC).
To ensure feedback from WA stakeholders has been included, the LDSC regularly provides advice and recommendations to the AIS on the development of the Training Package materials as well as the development of the Industry Outlooks and Industry Forecasts. Please contact the LDSC via email (To be advised) if you would like to provide feedback or be involved in these consultations.
To ensure feedback from WA stakeholders has been included, the LDSC regularly provides advice and recommendations to the AIS on the development of the Training Package materials as well as the development of the Transport and Logistics Industry Outlook and Industry Forecasts. Please contact the LDSC if you would like to provide feedback or be involved in these consultations.
How Can I Begin a Career in Rail?
Visit the Rail Industry Profile section for more information on the careers and skills in demand within this sector. You can also download our Rail Careers Pathway Booklet which details Case Studies and career pathway information for how you can enter this industry.