More rail freight services in East Gippsland

The state government says it will begin linking the area with the Port of Melbourne

More rail freight services in East Gippsland
The state government is looking to connect East Gippsland with the Port of Melbourne

The Victorian government says it will begin running more rail freight services from East Gippsland courtesy of the Fenning Intermodal Freight Terminal (FIFT) in Bairnsdale.

The government says the services will run from East Gippsland to the Port of Melbourne this year.

A test train arrived last week for the first time since rail freight to Bairnsdale stopped in 2009.

This milestone forms part of stage one of the FIFT site, as the site will be a purpose-built dedicated intermodal freight terminal to make rail freight more efficient for producers and business in Victoria.

The government says the site will continue to develop in the future, including the expansion of the freight terminal to include increased warehouse capacity and storage facilities.

When the rail freight services begin, the government expects three freight trains per week to operate and transport more than 10,000 containers every year to the Port of Melbourne, removing more than 6000 truck trips from regional roads.

RELATED ARTICLE: Melbourne freight facility works underway

The Victorian budget will deliver $181 million for critical maintenance works on the regional rail freight network to improve rail freight and competitiveness and support the supply chain.

A further $3.5 million will be allocated to extend the Mode Shift Incentive Scheme (MSIS), which supports more than 170 freight industry jobs at intermodal terminals in regional Victoria and removes around 28,000 truck trips from state roads per year.

The state government says the rail freight upgrades are being supported with funding from the Victorian Forestry Plan, which provides more than $200 million to support workers, businesses and communities.

There is also a planned transition with a stepped-down approach until 2030 that offers opportunities for the industry to diversify into different ways of working.

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