Rail projects mean more containers for Fremantle Port

Joint state and federal government projects see 14 per cent of containers now moving by rail.

Rail projects mean more containers for Fremantle Port
Rail is carrying an increasing number of cargo containers to and from Fremantle Port.


Three now completed infrastructure projects at Fremantle Port have significantly boosted its total capacity, Western Australia transport minister Dean Nalder says.

The combined $65.6 million investment has also increased the use of rail to move containers to and from the port.

"Making rail more efficient increases its competitiveness and the government is committed to investing in rail projects to service current needs and to provide additional capacity for growth," he says.

The projects included an extension of the North Quay rail terminal line and the construction of a new crossing loop at Spearwood. This enables freight trains to pass on the rail line that connects the port with the Kewdale and Forrestfield area, home to several freight forwarding hubs.

"Extension of the North Quay rail terminal from 400 to 690 metres reduces turnaround time for trains and achieves better interface with the container terminals," Nalder says.  

"The crossing loop also increases efficiency and capacity by accommodating more freight train movements during the day and minimising service delays."

Fremantle Port’s $27.2 million development of roads and services on newly reclaimed land at Rous Head has also paved the way for industrial leases to become available there.

Nalder says the three projects are helping to reduce reliance on trucks and road transport, both in the port and around the Perth metropolitan area.

The inner harbour at Fremantle Port handles almost all of Western Australia’s container trade, around 700,000 units in 2013-14. 

That financial year saw almost 100,000 standard containers moved in or out of the port by rail, a market share of 14 per cent for trains.

Nalder says rail accounted for just two per cent of the container traffic in 2002.

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