Action on Victorian container rail support scene

Port Rail Shuttle deal looms as Mode Shift Incentive Scheme builds a head of steam

Action on Victorian container rail support scene
Victoria busy on container rail spend


The start of the Victorian Government’s Port Rail Shuttle contract process is looming.

Though a precise date is not forthcoming, the time frame appears to be counted in months rather than years.

"Exact timing for the expressions of interest process for Port Rail Shuttle services is being determined and is expected to be in the near future," a spokesperson for transport minister Terry Mulder says.

"We will continue to work with the private sector to develop this initiative over the coming months."

The shuttle is part of a multi-pronged strategy to bolster rail as a regional and metropolitan container alternative to trucking that includes financial support for shippers through the growing Mode Shift Incentive Scheme (MSIS).

The scheme supported the movement of about 37,000 containers in 2012-13 and 42,000 in 2013-14.

"The Victorian Government has committed $20 million over four years to continue the Mode Shift Incentive Scheme which encourages industry to shift more containerised freight from road to rail," the spokesperson says of the scheme which gained $10 million at its inception.  

"Growing freight on rail is a priority for the Coalition Government and the scheme aims to increase freight transport efficiency and reduce road congestion.

"Applications are now open for the scheme and the successful applicants are expected to be announced in the coming months."

Guidelines starting this month say funding at $5 million a year will end on June 30, 2018, with allocations falling 5 per cent a year from the second year.

Applicants can use trucks if state action halts rail access to port but will gain no assistance if rail is the cheaper option.

The guidelines can be found here.


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