Another major milestone in the modernisation of the nation’s rail infrastructure has been reached with the completion today of the ‘Missing Link’ project which improves the connection between the Port of Melbourne and the interstate freight network.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the final stage to the project involved duplicating the dual gauge track between Sims Street Junction and the Port, building 18 new turnouts, installing new signalling and completely reconstructing the Melbourne Operations Terminal.
“I congratulate the Australian Rail Track Corporation on a job well done, with the completion of this upgrade expected to reduce transit times and take the pressure off the City’s roads,” said Mr Albanese.
“From the outset Federal Labor’s mission has been to rebuild our nation’s rail infrastructure so it can better support the enterprise, innovation and international competitiveness of the Australian economy.
“Indeed we’re undertaking the biggest federally funded capital works program since the Fisher Labor Government built the transcontinental railway almost a century ago.”
As well as duplicating the line between the Port and the interstate rail network, the ARTC has also built a new line between North Dynon and the Port. Together these works represent a significant investment by both the Australian ($20 million) and Victorian ($13.3 million) governments as well as the ARTC ($6.5 million).
Victorian Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula said the completion of this major upgrade in and around the Port of Melbourne will have spin off benefits for the City’s urban rail network.
“In short the new and duplicated rail lines will allow both passenger and freight traffic to coexist in a more efficient manner than was previously the case,” said Mr Pakula.
ARTC CEO David Marchant explained the Missing Link project has delivered one of the most significant improvements to the interstate rail network in many years.
“Over the past two years we’ve been undertaking a landmark infrastructure upgrade which will greatly improve the efficiency of freight movements into and out of the Port precinct,” said Mr Marchant.
“The new rail infrastructure will pave the way for a more flexible operating environment at South Dynon and increase yield, capacity, efficiency and reliability of the rail network.
“In simple terms it will allow more freight to be moved faster.”
The project was delivered by the ARTC and its partners South Improvement Alliance (SIA) consisting of John Holland Pty Ltd, MVM Pty Ltd and O’Donnell Griffin Pty Ltd.