Construction is expected to start soon on a $400 million intermodal freight terminal in Melbourne’s north following private sector investment.
To be known as the Somerton Intermodal Terminal, it will be a key feature in the state government’s Port Rail Shuttle Network (PRSN) that will enable trucks to deliver or pick up containers from the terminal instead of driving to the Port of Melbourne.
The aim is to move more freight by rail in Victoria. The Intermodal Terminal Company (ITC) is behind the investment of the terminal, and says when it is at capacity, it is expected to take 500,000 truck trips from Victoria’s capital’s roads.
The Somerton Intermodal Terminal will be built at the Austrak Business Park which is essentially an inland port (Multi-Modal Freight Terminal) offering rapid access to Tullamarine and Essendon Airports, less than 20 kilometres from Melbourne CBD. Boral Concrete is one of the major tenants at the Austrak Business Park at Somerton.
It is expected that by 2050, the PRSN will have removed 30% of Melbourne’s containers by rail from Altona, Somerton and Dandenong South to the Port of Melbourne. The Port is also investing $125 million in on-dock rail infrastructure to cater for the shuttle trains.
The Somerton Intermodal Terminal project is forecast to create 190 jobs during construction and is expected to be operational in 2025.