The Port Rail Shuttle network will increase the competitiveness of the Victorian economy, create hundreds of jobs, improve Melbourne’s liveability, and make rail freight movement to and from the Port of Melbourne competitive with road.
The Australian and Victorian governments are investing in projects to take trucks off local roads and connect the Port of Melbourne to major freight hubs using the existing rail network.
The Federal Government has committed $38 million to the initiative along with $20 million from the Victorian Government.
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 delivers an additional $4 million investment to encourage industry to continue to shift more containerised freight from road to rail.
In 2017, Expressions-of-Interest (EOIs) were invited from private industry to deliver a series of rail freight shuttle initiatives on the existing rail network by connecting the port to major freight hubs and businesses.
In March 2018, shortlisted respondents were invited to submit firm proposals by June so any grant allocations can be determined by late 2018.
Following a public, competitive request-for-proposal process, $16.2 million will be invested at Austrak in Somerton and $9.5 million at SCT Logistics in Altona to connect these major freight hubs to the Port of Melbourne by rail.
These are the first fully-funded Port Rail Shuttle network projects - further project funding will be announced.