$125m investment to deliver new on-dock rail at the Port of Melbourne

Monica Gameng   |   February 4, 2020

With the support of the Victorian Government, a new on-dock rail is set to be built at the Port of Melbourne to help reduce truck movements as well as improve productivity and further enhance Australia’s premier port.

The $125 million Port Rail Transformation Project (PRTP) will be delivered over the next three years, with more containers expected to be moved more efficiently by bypassing roads in inner Melbourne.

“The port’s rail solution is a critical and missing link in Melbourne’s transport and supply chain network. It expands the rail offering for freight and delivers environmental benefits by reducing truck movements, congestion and pollution.

“Everyone we talk to says rail is a good thing and industry has called for a rail solution for more than a decade. Port rail shuttle trains will have a capacity of 84 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) containers, in comparison to a B-Double truck having a capacity of three TEU. This project also supports exports by taking cost out of the rail supply chain,” Port of Melbourne CEO Brendan Bourke said.

PoM-RailNewsletter-MapLegendSource: Port of Melbourne

Key elements of the project include:

  • Integrated Port of Melbourne provision of port rail land assets - Port of Melbourne is restructuring the port rail land and asset commercial arrangements for leaseholders within the Swanson Dock East Precinct to provide rail land and assets on the same basis it provides wharf and road land and assets
  • New on-dock rail terminal capacity - development of a new on-dock rail terminal at Swanson Dock East. locating this new rail terminal next to the Swanson Dock East International Container Terminal will provide a lower cost transfer of containers between rail and ships
  • Improved rail terminal operation arrangements and transparency - new working arrangements between Port of Melbourne and Rail Terminal Operators at most current and all future port rail terminals. This encourages market competition between rail terminals and increase transparency

“The port’s rail solution is a vital piece of infrastructure delivered with no cost to taxpayers. Our export market, especially farmers, will benefit from this project.

“The project is more than an infrastructure project; it also provides industry reform and drives efficiency in the rail supply chain. It is the result of significant engagement with industry,” Mr Bourke said.

The PRTP is going to be funded through a small increase in the tariff on full import containers by $9.75 per TEU beginning in 1 April 2020.

The PRTP is the Port of Melbourne’s key project delivered through the Rail Access Strategy - Our Plan For Rail. This is a comprehensive plan for an integrated freight rail network across the State.

“We are committed to investing in port - it is a key driver of economic activity in the State. We want to move freight in and out of the port more quickly and to deliver the everyday goods needed to support our daily lives,” Mr Bourke said.

The new on-dock rail is due to be completed in 2023.

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Source: Port of Melbourne (1; 2); Rail Express; Infrastructure Magazine; Roads & Infrastructure AustraliaNew

Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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