Freight on Rail

Freight on rail is a vital component of any solution to get trucks off residential streets in the inner west. Both Liberal and Labor governments in Victoria have in the past announced their support for freight on rail. In terms of implementation both have failed totally. In 2016 100% of Melbourne’s imports and exports are moved by trucks. Or to put it another way 0% of Melbourne’s freight is moved on rail!

The only freight on rail movements out of Melbourne are destined for interstate destinations in Adelaide and Sydney, not locally. See here for a list.

The Bracks Labor party showed much promise back in 2000, following the almost total privitisation of the state’s freight network by the Kennett Government. Bracks set a 10 year target to move 30% of Melbourne Port’s freight by rail, which at the time was just under 10% of movements. By the close of the decade the government had failed miserably with this target and the the share of freight moved by rail had slide down to 7%.

The Bracks plan, also supported his successor Premier Brumby, called for the construction of three intermodal hubs in Melbourne’s West, North and South East. Freight would then be moved from Melbourne Port by rail to these hubs and then transferred by truck to their final destinations closer to the hubs. After losing the 2010 state election the new Liberal Baillieu government dropped plans for the intermodal hubs, along with Brumby’s Truck Action Plan: a shovel ready road bypass designed to remove trucks from residential streets.

Since this time virtually nothing has been achieved in