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Port of Melbourne ready to roll on new rail transformation project

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MELBOURNE : Port of Melbourne is a step closer to implementing a critical rail solution to meet the needs of a growing port, having awarded the construction contract to move ahead with the Port Rail Transformation Project (PRTP).

The PRTP will enable more containers to be moved by rail more efficiently, by-passing roads in inner Melbourne. The project will increase rail terminal capacity and improve rail terminal operations. Chief Executive Officer, Brendan Bourke said of the project “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.“We have engaged Seymour Whyte Constructions to be our key delivery partner on this exciting rail project,” said Mr Bourke.

The PRTP involves the development and construction of a new rail terminal interfacing with the Swanson Dock East International Container Terminal. The rail terminal will include two new sidings that can handle 600 linear meter long trains and will interface with the Patrick international container terminal. Common user rail infrastructure will also be upgraded.

A new road to facilitate an uninterrupted connection for movement of containers between the new rail terminal and the wider Swanson Dock precinct will also be constructed. “This is an exciting and much needed project to facilitate more freight on rail. The increased 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” said Mr Bourke.

John Kirkwood, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Seymour Whyte, said “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.”

Michael Jovicic, Patrick Terminals CEO said “I am pleased to confirm Patrick’s continued investment in port rail capacity. Our contribution to the Port Rail Transformation Project will help drive more efficient movement of rail volumes in line with broader policy to support modal shift.”

This project forms part of the Port of Melbourne’s 2050 Port Development Strategy, defining critical infrastructure programs needed to support the economic growth of Victoria and aiming for a
completion date in mid 2023.

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