Port of Melbourne has broken ground on the Port Rail Transformation Project (PRTP), which aims to increase rail terminal capacity and improve operations at the port.

The PRTP will enable more containers to be moved by rail more efficiently, by-passing roads in inner Melbourne. 

Port of Melbourne Chief Executive Officer, Saul Cannon, said, “We are really excited to see this project coming out of the ground. Port of Melbourne is committed to investing in rail infrastructure to move more freight by rail.” 

The PRTP involves the development and construction of a new rail terminal interfacing with the Swanson Dock East International Container Terminal. The rail terminal will include two new sidings that can handle 600mlong trains. 

Common user rail infrastructure will also be upgraded. A new road to facilitate an uninterrupted connection for movement of containers between the new rail terminal and the wider Swanson Dock precinct will also be constructed. 

Port of Melbourne has engaged Seymour Whyte Constructions for the project. The PRTP will provide the port side infrastructure to welcome future metropolitan shuttles through the Victorian Government’s Port Rail Shuttle Network. 

Around 94 per cent of Victoria’s import containers are destined for metropolitan Melbourne, but no freight is currently moved on the metropolitan rail freight network. 

“We know that freight on rail has stagnated in the past ten years, we want to turn that around. The PRTP opens up new opportunities for metropolitan freight movements on rail,” Mr Cannon said. 

This project forms part of Port of Melbourne’s 2050 Port Development Strategy, which defines critical infrastructure needed to support the economic growth of Victoria. 

The PRTP is expected to be complete in mid-2023.

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