Seymour Whyte wins contract for VIC Port Rail Transformation Project

Monica Gameng   |   September 29, 2021
Port of Melbourne (cr: Seymour Whyte)

Port of Melbourne has engaged Seymour Whyte – a VINCI Construction subsidiary – to undertake the delivery of the Port Rail Transformation Project. 

Seymour Whyte was awarded a $125 million design and build contract that includes the development of new rail infrastructure at the port as well as a new rail terminal interfacing with the Swanson Dock East container terminal. 

“We are delighted to have entered into an early contractor involvement (ECI) contract with Port of Melbourne earlier this year and now the delivery contract of this important Port Rail Transformation Project. 

“We have worked collaboratively with Port of Melbourne to develop the preferred transport infrastructure engineering solution, seeking to understand and address the challenges and priorities for the port’s future,” Seymour Whyte Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer John Kirkwood said. 

The contract was awarded following a competitive expression of interest and tender stage, and Seymour Whyte will now work in partnership with Port of Melbourne and WSP – the design partner for this project – to successfully deliver the project. 

“We look forward to working with Port of Melbourne to deliver this exciting project that will transform freight movement and efficiency within Australia’s largest container and general cargo port. 

“We are committed to minimising impacts and delivering best outcomes for our stakeholders. The challenges of a 24/7/365 operational environment will be managed through close coordination and interface management with project stakeholders – by continuing to work with them to ensure that port operations are maintained throughout projects,” Seymour Whyte General Manager for Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia Courtney Hoops said. 

To help minimise impacts, several environmental initiatives will be explores including: 

  • A water treatment system to treat contaminated ground water 
  • Recycling all asphalt and concrete 
  • Demolition works anticipated to achieve 80%+ recycle rate 
  • Assessment of the reuse of approximately 33,000 cubic metres of soil on-site to reduce the amount of new material used on-site 

The Port Rail Transformation Project will enable more containers to be moved by rail more efficiently while bypassing inner Melbourne roads. It will also increase the port’s rail terminal capacity and help improve rail terminal operations. 

PoM-Rail-Map-Update-011921-724x1024Source: Port of Melbourne

The new rail infrastructure at the Port of Melbourne will include: 

  • A new Coode Rod rail terminal interfacing with the Swanson Dock East International Container Terminal. The rail terminal will include two new rail sidings each that can handle 600-metre-long trains 
  • A new road to facilitate the uninterrupted movement of containers. The new road will provide a continued east/west connection within the Swanson Dock Precinct without trucks needing to exit to Footscray Road replacing the section of Coode Road which will be closed to construct the above rail terminal 
  • Modifications to the Swanson precinct common user sidings to accommodate 600-metre-long trains 
  • A new track linking the Swanson and Appleton load tracks to allow additional flexibility for trains to move within the port precinct 
  • Upgrades to the Swanson lead track 

“Port volumes continue to grow. We are responding to that growth by developing innovative and sustainable solutions to improve rail usage at the port, and also the added benefit of increased connectivity for a more efficient and effective port supply chain. 

“This is an exciting and much needed project to facilitate more freight on rail. The increases rail offering will reduce the number of trucks on the road, especially around the inner western suburbs, and will support the metropolitan port rail shuttle network,” Port of Melbourne Chief Executive Officer Brendan Bourke said. 

The Port Rail Transformation Project is part of the Port of Melbourne’s 2050 Port Development Strategy that defines critical infrastructure programs required to support the state’s economic growth. 

Early works on the project commenced in August 2021, with major construction to get underway from October of this year until 2023. 

Source: Seymour Whyte; Port of Melbourne (1, 2); VINCI Construction 

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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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