Full steam ahead for port rail project

The Victorian government says the transformation project will soon revolutionize freight transport in the state

The Victorian government is working to upgrade freight transport at the Port of Melbourne

The Victorian government says works are progressing transforming the rail network at the Port of Melbourne and taking more trucks off Victorian roads.

The next stage of works on the Port Rail Transformation Project (PRTP) is now underway. The state government says the $125 million project will make freight rail transport more competitive while taking thousands of trucks off the roads in the inner west and reducing truck congestion at the port gate.

Expanded rail facilities 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 600-meter-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 600-meter-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.

Construction crews have already prepared underground services and drainage, as well as foundation works for the new rail tracks and associated rail infrastructure.

RELATED ARTICLE: VTA says port rail works are vital for industry

Once completed, the project will result in major rail supply-chain efficiencies which will be a big win for producers, transport operators and exporters delivering goods to the Port of Melbourne.

On-dock rail is a key part of the 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.

It’ll see trucks deliver or pick up freight from purpose built intermodal terminals at Altona, Dandenong South and Somerton, removing thousands of heavy vehicles from inner-suburban roads, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving supply chain efficiencies.

The project is scheduled for completion in mid-2023.

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