Tracking Ahead With Port Rail Transformation Project

24 February 2021

Work to transform the rail network at the Port of Melbourne will begin soon with the contract signed on a vital project to remove trucks from Victorian streets.

Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne and Port of Melbourne CEO Brendan Bourke today announced the signing of two contracts – with WSP and Seymour Whyte Constructions - to undertake design and early contract works for the Port Rail Transformation Project.

The $125 million project will make rail transport more competitive, cut the high cost of the ‘last mile’ and reduce truck congestion at the port gate – a big win for Victorian exporters delivering goods to the Port of Melbourne.

It will also allow importers to use rail to efficiently move containers to distribution centres around Melbourne.

The works will include a new rail terminal interfacing with the container terminal at East Swanson Dock.

Improving rail access to the port is a legislated condition of the Port of Melbourne lease.

Site investigations will begin in March with construction expected to commence in July. The project is set to be completed in 2023.

The Government is also supporting: the Port Rail Shuttle Network connecting freight hubs in Melbourne’s west, north and south east to the port, new intermodal terminals planned at Truganina and Beveridge, and improvements in the regional rail freight network.

The Port of Melbourne is also ensuring that the port supply chain is operating as efficiently as possible by adapting land use at the port to alleviate the backlog in empty shipping containers across the supply chain resulting from strong and sustained import volumes.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne

“This project will deliver a boost to our economy – improving efficiency for Victorian exporters and cutting the high cost of the ‘last mile’.”

“We will closely monitor the progress of this project and continue to work with the sector to improve rail freight in Victoria.”

Quote attributable to Member for Footscray Katie Hall

“This project builds on the Victorian Government's commitment to get trucks off the streets of the inner west and make them safer and quieter for local families.”

Quotes attributable to Port of Melbourne CEO Brendan Bourke

“As Australia’s largest container and general cargo port, it’s critical that we maintain a long-term investment view so that we continue to meet the freight needs of Victoria and south east Australia.”

“We are excited to be working with WSP and Seymour Whyte Constructions on the development of the Port Rail Transformation Project.”

Reviewed 25 February 2021

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