Freight Rail, Intermodal, Major Projects & Infrastructure

Work set to start at Somerton intermodal hub


Intermodal Terminal Company (ITC) is set to start construction of the Somerton Intermodal Terminal, which will be a key node in the Australian and Victorian governments’ $58 million Port Rail Shuttle Network (PRSN).

The $400 million terminal will create jobs, remove thousands of truck movements from suburban roads, reduce carbon emissions and increase efficiency as well as safety for producers, farmers, freight operators and exporters.

When at capacity, ITC expects the hub to take 500,000 truck trips off Melbourne’s roads – equivalent to 454 million truck kilometres. Each year, it will also save 451 million litres of fuel and reduce carbon emissions by 189,000 tonnes.

Both governments want to move more freight by rail in the state – by 2050, the PRSN is expected to move 30 per cent of Melbourne’s containers by rail from Somerton, Altona and Dandenong South to the Port of Melbourne, avoiding thousands of truck trips on roads each year.

The PRSN will enable trucks to deliver or pick up containers from these hubs in outer metropolitan Melbourne instead of driving to the Port of Melbourne, which is in turn investing $125 million for on-dock rail infrastructure to cater for these shuttle trains.

The Somerton Intermodal Terminal will be built at the Austrak Business Park and is forecast to create 190 jobs during construction and a further 50 permanent jobs for Victorians once the terminal is operational in 2025.

ITC was launched in December 2022 and is backed by one of Australia’s leading super funds, Aware Super, which last year also entered into a joint venture operation with the Victorian Government to operate the Registration and Licencing and Custom Plates businesses for VicRoads.

Victorian Ports and Freight minister Melissa Horne said the terminal was a city-shaping project, with the private investment supercharging job creation and supporting the commitment to move more freight by rail to port.

“These direct rail connections will get trucks off roads, increase safety, reduce emissions and cut the cost of doing business for producers, farmers, exporters and operators,” she said.

ITC chief executive officer Mishkel Maharaj said the company was delighted to announce the Somerton Intermodal Terminal as the first independently constructed, maintained and operated terminal in its portfolio.

“We’re especially pleased that once operational, the terminal will deliver additional benefits to the people of Melbourne every single day of its operation – through reduced carbon emissions and air pollution, reduced road congestion and improved road safety,” he said.