The Australasian Railway Association was originally established in Australia under the name of Australian and New Zealand Railway Commissioners in the 1890’s. Its name was eventually changed to the Australasian Railway Association Inc (ARA) when it was incorporated under the Victorian Associations Incorporation Act in November 1994.

It was intended that the new body would bring together all sections of a very large and diverse industry, to assist the future development of rail in Australia and New Zealand. The twelve founding organisations which subscribed to the rules of the Association, becoming the inaugural members were:

  • ABB Transportation Pty Ltd
  • A. Goninan & Co. Ltd
  • Australian National
  • BTR Nylex Ltd
  • EDI Rail
  • GEC Alstom Australia Ltd
  • National Rail Corporation Ltd
  • New Zealand Rail Ltd
  • PTC Victoria
  • Queensland Rail
  • State Rail Authority of NSW
  • Westrail

More than two decades on, the ARA is an organisation with a mandate to unite the rail industry to work together and to influence government policy, particularly at the Federal level. The ARA is the champion and voice of rail in Australia and New Zealand.