Rail Corporation New South Wales (RailCorp) is an agency of the State of New South Wales, Australia established under the Transport Administration Act 1988 in 2004. It is currently a division under the control of Transport for NSW.[1] It holds rail property assets, rolling stock and rail infrastructure in the Sydney metropolitan area and limited country locations in the state and it makes these assets available to Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink for their operations. It also manages the NSW Government’s contract with the Airport Link Company.[2] The chief executive of RailCorp is Sydney Trains chief executive Howard Collins.[3][2]

Rail Corporation New South Wales
Agency overview
Formed1 January 2004
Preceding agencies
Superseding agency
JurisdictionNew South Wales
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Howard Collins, Chief Executive
Key documents

From 2004 until 2013, RailCorp also formerly operated passenger train services in New South Wales under the brand CityRail, and maintained rail infrastructure within the New South Wales Metropolitan Rail Area. From July 2013, operation and maintenance functions were transferred to the newly-created Sydney Trains and NSW Trains agencies, which were also subsidiaries of RailCorp, leaving RailCorp as the legal owner of a portfolio of $28.6 billion of railway property, mostly within the metropolitan area. In July 2017, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains ceased to be subsidiaries of RailCorp and became standalone independent agencies.[4]

RailCorp was planned to be converted into a state-owned corporation and renamed to Transport Asset Holding Entity (TAHE) on 1 July 2019.[5][6] The transition would progress over a few years. However, as of September 2019, this has not been implemented


In January 2004, after much criticism and public perceptions of blame shifting between units of the State Rail Authority for operational failings, RailCorp was formed taking over the passenger train operations of CityRail and CountryLink, and responsibility for maintaining the greater metropolitan network from the Rail Infrastructure Corporation.[7][8]

Initially governed by a Board of Directors as a State-owned corporation, RailCorp was reconstituted as a statutory authority on 1 January 2009. Changes to the Transport Administration Act, 1988 (NSW) resulted in abolition of the Board effective 1 July 2010 and the repositioning of RailCorp as an entity under Transport NSW.[9] This was followed by further structural changes under the Transport Legislation Amendment Act 2011, which saw Transport NSW replaced by Transport for NSW, which was established as a controlled entity of the Department of Transport, with Rail Corporation New South Wales a controlled entity of Transport for NSW.[10] RailCorp reports to the Minister for Transport.


In May 2012 the Minister for Transport announced a restructure of RailCorp from July 2013 that would:[11][12][13][14]

  • establish Sydney Trains to operate services in the Sydney Metropolitan area bounded by Berowra, Richmond, Emu Plains, Macarthur and Waterfall
  • establish NSW TrainLink to operate all other passenger services including those of CountryLink
  • transfer capital projects and planning functions to Transport for NSW
  • establish Transport Cleaning Services, a specialist division responsible for train cleaning
  • establish a customer service division
  • reduce RailCorp's function to asset owner
  • offer voluntary redundancies to 750 management and support staff

The restructure resulted in Sydney Trains and NSW Trains, which were subsidiaries of RailCorp, operating railway passenger services in New South Wales under the Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink brands. While being subsidiaries of Railcorp, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains were not controlled entities of RailCorp, but were instead controlled by Transport for NSW.[15] Due to the restructure, CityRail and CountryLink were also abolished. In July 2017, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains ceased to be subsidiaries of RailCorp and became standalone and independent agencies of Transport for NSW.[4]

Transition into the Transport Asset Holding Entity

RailCorp was planned to be converted into a state-owned corporation and renamed "Transport Asset Holding Entity" (TAHE) on 1 July 2019.[5][6] However, the conversion has not happened as of September 2019. The new entity would continue to own assets on behalf of Transport for NSW. The Residual Transport Corporation (RTC), which was formed in July 2017, would then own assets not suitable for TAHE ownership.[4] The transition would progress over a few years.

Corruption investigation

In 2007 and 2008 RailCorp was investigated by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. In a series of seven reports released during 2008,[16] the ICAC reported that more than $21 million in improper contracts and deals through the procurement of services in just three years.[17][18][19][20] In June 2009, RailCorp terminated the contract of Vicki Coleman, its Chief Information Officer, and it was claimed that she was at the centre of claims of dishonesty and corruption.[21]

The ICAC recommended charges against 33 people; yet by April 2012, only eight people had faced the courts. Those that received custodial sentences included Allan Michael Blackstock (4½ years) and Renea Hughes (3½ years). Youssef (Joe) Madrajat was directed to undertake community service. Further charges are expected to be laid on others, and several are still waiting for the outcome of criminal proceedings.[22]

Emergency response

RailCorp maintains a statewide Emergency Response Unit. The function of this unit is to attend incidents, such as derailments. Formerly known as the State Rail Fire Service, the unit is based in Sydney and respond to emergency incidents involving the rail network including automatic fire alarms within the underground and nearby stations.[23] The unit also undertakes cross-training with Fire and Rescue NSW.[24] The unit is currently equipped with a number of vehicles including Mercedes and International pumpers and a specialist rapid rail response unit which is able to travel via the road and rail network for rescue operations.[25] The unit's motto is Semper Paratus, translated from Latin to mean Always Ready.

See also


  1. Transport for NSW Annual Report 2016-17 page 237, Transport for NSW, Retrieved 18 January 2018
  2. RailCorp, Transport for NSW, Retrieved 16 January 2018
  3. Transport for New South Wales (2014). RailCorp 2014 annual report (PDF).
  4. "Transport for NSW Annual Report 2017-18" (PDF). Transport for NSW. p. 49. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  5. Transport for NSW Annual Report 2016-17 page 142,237, Transport for NSW, Retrieved 18 January 2018
  6. Transport Administration Amendment (Transport Entities) Act 2017 No 12, Australasian Legal Information Institute, Retrieved 16 January 2018
  7. Rail Corporation of New South Wales NSW Government State Records
  8. Annual Report 30 June 2004 RailCorp
  9. "Annual Report 2009-2010" (PDF). Rail Corporation of New South Wales. 29 October 2010. p. 3. ISSN 1835-2928. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  10. Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 Parliament of New South Wales 13 September 2011
  11. Saulwick, Jacob (15 May 2012). "RailCorp job cuts first of many: unions". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  12. Clennell, Andrew (15 May 2012). "Ruthless RailCorp reforms planned as middle management axed". Daily Telegraph. Sydney. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  13. Corporate Plan 2012/13 RailCorp
  14. 700 jobs to go as RailCorp gets the axe Daily Telegraph 16 November 2012
  15. "Railcorp Annual Report 2013-14" (PDF). Transport for NSW. p. 15. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 September 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  16. "Individuals adversely named by ICAC". Contracts and procurement. Rail Corporation New South Wales. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  17. "Railcorp corruption inquiry" (transcript). The 7.30 Report. Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 22 May 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  18. Besser, Linton (15 December 2008). "RailCorp corruption 'extraordinary', report finds". Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  19. "ICAC recommends further 10 charges over Railcorp fraud". The Australian. AAP. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  20. Besser, Linton (3 April 2009). "RailCorp's scrutineer one of its own executives". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  21. Walters, Adam (9 June 2009). "RailCorp boss escorted from her office by security". Daily Telegraph. Australia. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  22. "Plenty of loot, but convictions harder to come by". Sydney Morning Herald. 7 April 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  23. Robertson, John (1 June 2010). "RailCorp City Circle Derailment Response". Questions without notice: Hansard. Legislative Council of New South Wales. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  24. "Annual Report 2006–2007" (PDF). Rail Corporation New South Wales. October 2007. p. 16. ISSN 1835-2936. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  25. "Rapid Rail Response Unit" (PDF). SEM Fire and Rescue. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
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