Following the successful completion of all preconditions, Port of Melbourne’s Port Rail Transformation Project (PRTP) is now set to go ahead. 

The $125 million initiative will involve significant rail infrastructure works and a new rail operating framework inside the port that will provide an alternative to moving containers by trucks. 

The project is being funded through an increase in the tariff of $9.75 per TEU1 on full import containers, to take effect 1 June 2020. 

Brendan Bourke, Chief Executive Officer, Port of Melbourne, said the PRTP is a vital project for port users and the broader economy. 

“A rail solution for the port will play a vital role in Victoria’s post-COVID economic recovery with a large construction project supporting jobs as well as supporting the more efficient movement of freight and contributing to a more productive supply chain for decades to come,” Mr Bourke said.

“The Port of Melbourne has listened to industry feedback and is responding with a solution that meets the need for increased transparency in rail access arrangements, improved port access and greater capacity. 

“The project embraces these principles and supports the Government’s Port Rail Shuttle Network.” 

Mr Bourke said Port of Melbourne will work closely with port users and other stakeholders to ensure the opportunities and benefits are realised by the industry.

 “It’s vital that we all stay focused on the bigger picture – delivering the right infrastructure and operating environment to drive efficiencies in the supply chain so that we can continue to play our role in the state’s economic future.” 

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO, Caroline Wilkie, said, “The project will enhance the more efficient movement of freight out of Australia’s largest container port and contribute to a more productive supply chain for decades to come.

“Improving rail access is not just good for the economy, allowing a more efficient transport of containers, but it will reduce road congestion and pollution around the port.

After a strong Expressions of Interest process, Port of Melbourne will execute a Request for Proposal for the infrastructure works with new infrastructure construction expected to commence before the end of 2020. 

Port of Melbourne will develop a website portal containing the information industry required to take advantage of the new operating framework. For more information regarding the Port Rail Transformation Project click here.

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