Rail Infrastructure Investment a Boost to Melbourne’s Port District

Australian Rail Track Corporation will undertake works in partnership with the Federal and Victorian Governments to significantly improve rail efficiency around the Port of Melbourne precinct.

The $50 million Port of Melbourne rail access improvement projects will deliver improved freight transit times and double track capacity through the duplication of the two kilometre section of single track connecting the port terminal precinct in Melbourne to the interstate mainline.

Launching the project with Victorian Premier, John Brumby, and Minister for Roads and Ports, Tim Pallas, ARTC Chairman Barry Murphy explained that the project represented another step forward in improving Australia’s freight infrastructure.

“This partnered investment will allow Australian Rail Track Corporation to deliver significant improvements to the operational efficiency of the Melbourne Ports precinct.”

“The improvement works around the port and Dynon compliment ARTC’s $2.4 billion upgrade of the freight rail link between Melbourne/Sydney/Brisbane.”

“We know that the amount of goods to be transported around Australia, particularly on the east coast is set to double over the next five to ten years. This type of investment in our national infrastructure is essential if rail is to add real value to the Australian logistics market and the economy overall,” Mr Murphy said.

Specifically, the Port of Melbourne rail access improvement projects will deliver:

double dual gauge track operations permitting both broad and standard gauge train operations;

a crossover to enable improved connection from the main line to Southern Cross Station over which standard gauge passenger services operate which will deliver operational benefits to passenger and freight operators through improved capacity and accessibility;

a dual gauge link into the existing North Dynon yard that will enable efficient rail access between the port rail terminals and local yard holding tracks without detracting from mainline capacity.

efficient broad gauge access from port rail terminals to inland ports to the east of Melbourne with the prospect of increased port rail mode share for the intrastate freight task; and

improved infrastructure reliability and safety in a total rebuild of the aging signalling infrastructure.

The project, to be completed around October 2010, will be delivered with ARTC partners, the South Improvement Alliance (SIA), who have been integral in the drive to upgrade the Melbourne to Sydney rail link.

The announcement of this new deal comes on the back of the declaration in April that ARTC had signed a long term lease agreement for the Victorian standard gauge rail network.

This agreement will involve converting the North East broad gauge line between Seymour and Albury to standard gauge, and the partial conversion of the Albion to Jacana Line to dual gauge.

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