ALC hails port rail developments in major ports

Port of Melbourne and Port Botany initiatives given thumbs up

ALC hails port rail developments in major ports
The rail and road approach to Port Botany


The Australian Logistics Association (ALC) is revelling in the progress being made on port rail initiatives in Melbourne and Sydney.

The $125 million Port Rail Transformation Project (PRTP) is set to proceed comes hard on the heels of Infrastructure Australia’s (IA’s) placing of the Port Botany freight line duplication on its priority list.

And the peak body notes that investment in on-dock rail solutions will be critical to improving the efficiency of Australia’s supply chains and sees the Port of Melbourne’s project as a welcome contribution to ongoing national efforts to construct more on-dock rail, including works that have been begun by NSW Ports and Patrick Terminals at Port Botany.

"Moving more freight by rail can deliver a range of potential benefits for industry participants, for exporters and for local communities," ALC CEO Kirk Coningham says.

"The construction of new on-dock rail infrastructure at Swanson Dock East will help to realise those benefits.

"Of course, the development of significant new freight infrastructure such as that now being progressed by the Port of Melbourne will also help stimulate economic and employment growth, which will be vital in helping Australia to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic."

"The PRTP will improve congestion around the Port of Melbourne, which is critical for logistics companies moving freight into and out of the port, and also for improving the liveability of nearby residential communities.

"The PRTP will also help agricultural exporters moving their goods through the Port of Melbourne by reducing their ‘last mile’ costs.

"As ALC has previously noted, it will also be crucial for the Federal and Victorian Governments to work cooperatively to preserve corridors and make investments that will also permit Webb Dock to be connected to Victoria’s rail freight network."

Read about how AI gave Port Botany rail duplication a boost, here

The ALC gains a certain satisfaction at the way AI is treating the importance of the Port Botany Rail Line Duplication and Cabramatta Passing Loop project.

"ALC has been an advocate for duplication of this critical freight rail line, which is needed to support the vital role that Port Botany plays as a gateway for Australia’s international and domestic trade," Coningham says.

The organisation hopes governments will now work with industry to expedite the delivery, with the expectation of the same sort of provide economic stimulus in NSW as the PRTP in Victoria.

 "The duplication of the rail line and the construction of the Cabramatta Passing Loop are central to industry’s efforts to accommodate growing freight volumes at Port Botany, enhance the reliability of the freight network and help to alleviate road congestion," Coningham says.

"Completing the duplication of the remaining 2.9km single track section of the Botany Line between Mascot and Botany and constructing a new passing loop on the Southern Sydney Freight Line at Cabramatta will boost the capacity of the network by allowing freight trains up to 1,300 metres in length to pass each other.

"This project builds on work already undertaken to enhance rail infrastructure at Port Botany, including the $75 million Port Botany Rail Line Upgrade that was recently completed."

The ALC sees the project as crucial if the state and NSW Ports are to increase rail container movement from around 440,000 TEU a year move to the target of 3 million TEU.


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