Cargo carried via rail

Crews have completed laying the track of a new rail connection as part of the Port Rail Shuttle Network (PRSN) project, enabling freight to be transported more efficiently from Dandenong South to the Port of Melbourne.

The connection – known as a spur line – will also link the Cranbourne line to a new intermodal freight terminal to be constructed and operated by Salta Properties later this year.

The new connection will result in lower transport costs for businesses and take thousands of trucks off arterial and suburban roads, one of three key initiatives to be delivered as part of the PRSN.

Once complete, PRSN will slash truck movements on suburban roads by up to 175,000 trips each year and cut freight transport costs by up to ten per cent.

The Australian Government is contributing $38 million towards this project and the Victorian Government $20 million, with work progressing to move more freight onto rail in a bid to take more trucks off local roads in Melbourne’s south-east.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Catherine King, said the PRSN will deliver efficiencies and cost-savings for businesses as well as enhance the strategic importance of freight and logistics operators.

“The Australian Government’s $38 million investment in this project will enable producers and operators to transport their product more efficiently, boost the economy and reduce congestion on the road network,” Ms King said.

Direct rail connections will be provided from the Port of Melbourne to major freight hubs in metropolitan Melbourne in the south-east, north and west.

Works to link the SCT Logistics terminal in Altona continue as part of the project, while construction at the Austrak terminal in Somerton is scheduled to take place later this year.

The work at Dandenong South is being delivered by the Level Crossing Removal Project as part of the $1 billion Cranbourne Line Upgrade.

Passengers on the Cranbourne line are also benefiting from completed track duplication, which has increased train services to every 10 minutes in the morning peak.

Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne, said that as the Victorian freight task grows every year, rail must shoulder more of the heavy lifting to keep the Victorian economy thriving. 

“That’s why we’re investing in projects like the Port Rail Shuttle Network – to enable producers and operators to transport their product quicker and cheaper to port and to market, as well as create jobs and take more trucks off our local roads,” Ms Horne said. 

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