AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Drawbridge favoured option for Webb Dock rail link

<p>A drawbridge across the Yarra River may be the solution to providing Webb Dock with a much needed rail link to the national freight network.</p> <p>Webb Dock controversially lost its link in the mid 1990s during a Kennett Government review of the city’s infrastructure. </p> <p>The Port of Melbourne Corporation is known to favour this option, as the estimated $2m cost of the drawbridge would not be too onerous.</p> <p>It would enable freight trains to transit the river at a narrow point close to Victoria Dock while still providing pleasure craft access along the river. </p> <p>The drawbridge would house two heavy rail tracks and connect the bank near Victoria Dock to disused track running beside Lorimer St&#47Todd Rd in Port Melbourne. </p> <p>The disused track would require some rectification work. Segments of track removed from many of the industrial driveways would have to be replaced and a railway crossing at Wharf Rd reactivated.</p> <p>One of the tracks on the bridge would be for immediate use, while the second would be brought into use as traffic grew. </p> <p>According to the <em>Herald Sun</em> , initial plans favour an arch-shaped bridge spanning about 350 metres and about 8 metres above ground. </p> <p>It would open in the middle to allow boats to pass along the river, then close, with the tracks reconnecting to allow freight trains to pass over. </p> <p>Port of Melbourne chief executive Stephen Bradford is quoted as saying existing charges for users of the port as well as possible Federal Government funding would be finance the project. </p> <br />