Two important contracts have been awarded for new rail infrastructure at the Port of Melbourne’s Port Rail Transformation Project (PRTP).

WSP and Seymour Whyte Constructions have been engaged to develop new rail infrastructure at the port, including a new rail terminal interfacing with the container terminal at Swanson Dock East. 

WSP will provide the design consultancy services, and Seymour Whyte Constructions the early contractor involvement.

The PRTP is an investment by the Port of Melbourne of more than $125 million for the total project, and provides a new operating environment and infrastructure to help move more freight off trucks and onto rail and to make Victoria’s regional rail supply chains more efficient.

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 be underway in March 2021, with construction planned to commence in July 2021. The project is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2023.

Port of Melbourne CEO, Brendan Bourke, said despite the challenges of COVID-19, the port is committed to its 30-year development strategy, including investing in rail.

“Our 30 year Port Development Strategy provides a clear plan to meet and enable sustainable trade growth over the long term,” Mr Bourke said. 

“The PRTP is an important part of this plan. 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 PRTP.”

In October 2020, Port of Melbourne and Patrick Terminals reached an agreement to build the Coode Road Terminal. 

Patrick Terminals CEO, Michael Jovicic, said, “I am pleased to confirm Patrick’s continued investment in port rail capacity. 

“Our contribution to the PRTP will help drive more efficient movement of rail volumes in line with broader policy to support modal shift.”

The Victorian 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.

Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne, said, “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.”

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