WORK has started on a $1.9 million upgrade of Warrnambool’s intermodal freight terminal to improve capacity for putting more of the region’s products onto rail transport.
Goods train services are expected to resume early next month when the first stage is completed.
The project is managed by Warrnambool City Council and funded by $1.05 million from the state government, $600,000 from the federal government, $220,000 from V/Line plus contributions also from the council and Westvic Containers which owns the terminal site.
“It will be an ongoing project for several months to upgrade infrastructure for improving traffic management in and out of the site,” Westvic spokesman Warrick Loft told The Standard.
Works include the addition of a left-hand turning lane truck access from Rooneys Road, a new sealed access road along the rail corridor and other improvements to make loading and unloading freight trains more efficient.
V/Line started its contribution earlier this month to lay new sleepers and realign the track between Walsh and Rooneys roads.
A new crossing will be installed to allowing Westvic to operate from both sides of the railway line. Fibre-optic Telstra cables will also be relocated.
“Council is committed to reducing heavy vehicle traffic on Warrnambool’s roads by advocating for improved rail freight infrastructure and efficiency,” city chief executive Bruce Anson said.
“The Warrnambool-Melbourne freight line is critical transport infrastructure for the food industry in this region and rail transport is also safer and more environmentally sustainable than road transport.”
Freight trains are limited in length to less than 400 metres due to limited siding facilities at the terminal and the short passing loop at Camperdown.
Work is expected to start next year on a $10m passing loop at Warncoort near Birregurra which will enable heavier and longer freight trains to operate between Warrnambool and Appleton dock in Melbourne.