Speculation is rife about a possible federal government loan of US$740 million (A$1 billion) for Adani's Carmichael Rail Network (CRN). The potential loan would be paid out of the Northern Australian Infrastructure Fund (NAIF), but no details have been finalised. We evaluate the benefits to government should the NAIF loan provide enough stimulus for the Galilee Basin to proceed, against the commercial risks. It may not be the right time for NAIF to invest in Galilee Basin rail infrastructure given our expected timing on the need for Carmichael's coal in the market. Under our current price assumptions Carmichael does not generate a positive NPV and we only forecast a need for Galilee Basin coal from 2025.