Apr 8, 2009

Upgraded rail link delivers better access to the Port of Melbourne

Upgraded rail link delivers better access to the Port of Melbourne

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

April 8 2009

Australian exporters will now able to get their products into one of the nation’s largest ports faster, and with greater reliability, with the doubling of capacity on the Tottenham to Dynon Rail Link.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese today officially opened the completely upgraded Tottenham to Dynon Rail Link – a double standard gauge track running 7 kilometres from Tottenham Junction to the Port of Melbourne’s Dynon Intermodal Terminal.

“In partnership with Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), the Rudd Labor Government has invested $45 million to upgrade the capacity of this critical section of the nation’s interstate rail network,” said Mr Albanese.

“Put simply, it means more freight transported more quickly into and out of the Port of Melbourne. In fact, the line will now be able to carry an additional 500 trains a week.

“The upgrade will also benefit local commuter rail services, with the movement of passenger trains made smoother by the new ability of a dedicated freight line to navigate trains in the Melbourne Ports area more quickly.

“Building a competitive, safer and more reliable rail network is central to the Government’s nation building agenda. It will be critical to lifting national productivity, improving the performance of our export industries and making our big cities work better.”

The Rudd Labor Government’s rail investment program for the period between now and 2013/14 totals more than $3.2 billion – an unprecedented level of public investment.

ARTC Chairman, Barry Murphy, joined Minister Albanese at today’s event.

“It is symbolic that the Tottenham to Dynon Rail Link be officially opened with the passage of a new Pacific National locomotive, as the upgrade represents another step forward in the resurgence of freight rail in Australia,” said Mr Murphy.

“ARTC is proud to partner with the Rudd Government in breathing new life into freight rail. The upgrades around Melbourne Ports along with the $1.6 billion upgrade of the Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane corridor, will make rail more competitive in the national logistics market.”

“This is not only good news for freight forwarders but also for everyday motorists, as every 1,500 metre train can replace up to 150 trucks on our roads.”

The project development phase commenced in 2004 and the major site works, which stared in April 2007, are now completed.

Melbourne Port is Australia’s largest international sea freight port by value. In 2006/07, its docks handled over $61 billion worth of import and export freight.