Sunday 17th Jan, 2021

New freight rail route for Melbourne’s south east

A new, direct freight rail route between the Port of Melbourne and Dandenong South will be built as part of a $28 million joint government investment.

The track will connect the main rail line with Dandenong South-based Salta Properties freight hub to relieve congestion in Melbourne’s south east suburbs. The freight rail route is expected to cut transport costs for freight by 10 per cent and reduce truck trips on suburban roads by up to 100,000 each year.

It will connect the hub to the Port of Melbourne’s $125 million on-dock rail project, allowing shuttles to run from Dandenong directly into the port. It will also then connect to the Cranbourne Line.

The works will be delivered by the Level Crossing Removal Project as part of the Cranbourne Line upgrade.

Victorian Ports and Freight Minister Melissa Horne said the Port Rail Shuttle Network will help modernise Melbourne’s existing transport networks.

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“This is a massive win for both motorists and industry, as we continue to reduce congestion and make it easier and cheaper for businesses to use rail freight,” Horne said.

She said it will make rail freight a more attractive option for businesses and will reduce congestion at the port gate.

State Member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams said the new rail connection would be welcomed by the local community.

“Construction and ongoing operation of the new terminal will create hundreds of jobs that are needed in the South East,” Williams said.

“It will build on the strengths of Dandenong South as one of the largest manufacturing and employment hubs in Victoria.”

The Federal Government has invested $18.3 million in the project, and the Victorian Government is investing $9.7 million.