With rapid development in product globalization and just-in-time production over the last two decades, area-specific reliable, responsive and customer-oriented rail freight services are in demand and are of increasing interest. Having a proper understanding of underlying factors in the evaluation of the quality of rail freight services is a key challenge in the short-term and long-term regional and metropolitan freight mobility planning, particularly within the context of a competitive rail freight market as in Australia. Among the fundamental attributes of rail freight services, transit time and reliability/punctuality are of utmost importance, which also tend to be inevitably correlated. This paper discusses the potential opportunities for service improvement in the Australian non-bulk interstate network through managing the underlying factors. The paper also addresses the conditions under which these factors can be combined to enhance the utilisation and efficiency of rail freight services in the national rail infrastructure.