Freight Rail

Victoria launches port rail shuttle program

Expressions of interest will soon be sought for companies to connect the Port of Melbourne to major freight hubs and businesses via the city’s existing rail network.

A $58 million project aims to hand down a contract later this year, to help reduce road congestion in Melbourne by placing more port freight on trains, with funding available to upgrade rail connections and improve terminal access.

“The Australian Government’s free trade agreements are seeing a boom in exports, which has led to trucks taking more produce and freight to the ports,” federal infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester said.

“This project will provide the ability to shift larger volumes of freight via rail compared to trucks, and reduce congestion on our roads.”

The Australian Government is committing $38 million to the project, and the Victorian Government has committed $20 million.

“The freight and logistics industry had identified rail’s potential to reduce transport costs by about 10%, with the proposal potentially improving Australia’s competitiveness, which is why the Australian Government is investing $8.4 billion in the Inland Rail project connecting Brisbane and Melbourne.”

Victorian roads and ports minister Luke Donnellan said the project would especially benefit Melbourne’s inner west.

“The Port of Melbourne will remain our primary freight hub for a generation,” he said.

“With container numbers expected to double over the next two decades we need to act now to share the load between road and rail.”


  1. Hi All,
    This Ideally Should B Good News. If Melbourne wants to Compete with Sydney for Container Traffic Then It
    Will Have to HAVE MORE RAIL, for Containers that are Connected to the “Standard Gauge Rail Network”
    The Ideas of Broad Gauge to the State Line is NO LONGER VIABLE When Shippers want Next Load/Container to Any Where in the Country on a Standard Gauge System .Something that Victoria Just Doesn’t GET IT. The Days of Having 100s of Trucks Clogging Roads is No Longer Acceptable Either.
    The Public Should NOT Have to Put Up With It. Standard Gauge from the Harbour to Rail Hubs is the Only Way to Go When Companies Like SCT, Qube, G & W want the Business and Want to Tie It in to the Standard Gauge Networks to Transport Containers Nation Wide.

  2. Hi Andrew,
    Within Greater Melbourne commuter trains run on separate tracks to heavy freight.
    I suggest that most freight trains in Victoria and South Australia are now running over Standard Gauge.
    In the period 1951 to 1996 the trunk rail lines and some regional rail line in S.A. and Victoria were converted to Standard Gauge.
    In some cases there are 2 tracks run alongside one another (Goodwood to Belair in S.A.)
    In some few cases there are dual gauge tracks (Standard and Broad). Maryborough to Gheringhap (near Geelong) is being upgraded to dual gauge as part of the Murray Basin Rail Project
    The Dry Creek to Outer Harbor Rail Line in S.A. is dual gauge but no passenger trains run on that line and the broad gauge freight from the Barossa Valley was stopped in June 2014