The next stage of works are underway in the Port of Melbourne, for the Victorian Government’s $125 million Port Rail Transformation Project (PRTP).
The project aims to make Victoria’s freight rail transport more competitive, taking thousands of trucks off the roads in Melbourne’s inner west, and reducing truck congestion at the port gate.
Construction crews have already prepared underground services and drainage, as well as foundation works for the project’s new rail tracks and associated rail infrastructure.
They will now begin a major expansion of rail facilities, which will include a new Coode Road on-dock rail terminal connecting with the Swanson Dock East International Container Terminal. The rail terminal will include two new rail sidings that can each accommodate 600m-long freight trains.
A new road – Intermodal Way – will also be constructed to allow better movement of shipping containers and provide an east-west link within the Swanson Dock Precinct, so trucks will no longer need to exit to Footscray Road.
Further works include improvements to the Swanson common user rail sidings to cater for 600m-long freight trains and a new rail connection linking the Swanson and Appleton lead tracks to allow more flexibility for trains to move within the port.
Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne, said that, once complete, the project will deliver major rail supply chain efficiencies, which will be a big win for producers, transport operators and exporters delivering goods to the Port of Melbourne.
“This project will deliver massive supply chain efficiencies for our producers and exporters – and take more trucks off local roads, so it’s great to see the next stage of works now underway,” Ms Horne said.
Port of Melbourne Chief Executive Officer, Saul Cannon, said, ‘’The Port of Melbourne is investing in infrastructure to move more freight by rail. Our $125 million PRTP will provide the port side infrastructure to welcome future freight trains through the Victorian Government’s Port Rail Shuttle Network.”
The PRTP is a key part of the Victorian Government and Federal Governments’ $58 million Port Rail Shuttle Network (PRSN), which will provide direct rail connections from the Port of Melbourne to major freight hubs in Melbourne’s north, west and south-east.
The project is scheduled for completion in mid-2023.