The proposed Inland Rail freight project between Melbourne and Brisbane continues to be a long term focus and the budget allocates $A 594m ($US 444m) in additional equity funding to Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) for land acquisition from 2017-18.

In 2016-17 $A 80.7m from the previously-allocated $A 300m will be spent on continuing pre-construction works and due diligence activities on the project.

Having investigated the options for full or partial privatisation of ARTC, the federal government says the infrastructure manager will now remain in government ownership to enable Inland Rail to access funding at the lowest cost to the taxpayer, while the market will be tested to optimise private sector involvement in financing the project.

In Victoria, the state government will receive $A 857.2m towards the Melbourne Metro Tunnel through the federal Asset Recycling Initiative (ARI), which predicates federal funding on the sale of assets owned by the states. $A 60.9m has also been allocated for grade separation of a major level crossing and a new station at St Albans.

The budget includes previously-announced funding of $A 220m for Victoria's Murray Basin Rail freight project, $A 20.2m of which will be spent in 2016-17.

In New South Wales, the jointly-funded Northern Sydney Freight Corridor, which will increase freight capacity on the Strathfield - Newcastle line, will receive $A 25m in 2016-17 out of total federal commitment of $A 691.6m.

Through the ARI a total of $A 2.2bn will be provided towards Sydney Metro ($A 1.7bn), Sydney's Rail Future ($A 98.4m), and Parramatta Light Rail ($A 78.3m).

$A 65m is allocated for preparatory work on the Western Sydney Airport site at Badgery's Creek, which also includes funding for concept design of a rail link to the airport.

In Queensland, the final $A 100m federal contribution to the Moreton Bay Rail Link will be made in 2016-17 while $A 47.5m of the $A 95m commitment to Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 will also be released.

Western Australia will receive $A 490m towards the construction of the $A 2bn Forrestfield Airport Link project.