Melbourne intermodal terminal capacity

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Melbourne intermodal terminal capacity

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Melbourne intermodal terminal capacity

A graphic of the Australian continent with shaded State of Victoria, and small dot representing Melbourne.
Melbourne, Victoria
Fast-growing cities
National Connectivity
Victorian Government
Medium term (5-10 years)
24 June 2022
Melbourne Intermodal Terminal

Melbourne is the largest generator of inter-capital rail freight in Australia and is served by more interstate freight trains per week than any other capital city. Trains run on the north-south and east-west freight rail corridors to connect Melbourne with Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Increasing inter-capital rail freight from the operation of Inland Rail, due to be operational by 2027 will put pressure on existing intermodal terminal capacity. The main intermodal terminals in Melbourne at Dynon will reach full capacity in 2027. Additionally, the Dynon terminals are currently incapable of handling 1,800m long double-stacked Inland Rail container trains. Without appropriate intermodal facilities, Inland Rail will be unable to attract volumes and achieve the benefits associated with mode switch from road to rail.

The location of Dynon terminal within inner Melbourne results in long transits across both the metropolitan rail and road networks as the largest portion of current freight cargo has origins and destinations in western Melbourne. This also causes negative community impacts from heavy vehicle movements.

The identified problem is consistent with the South East Queensland intermodal terminal capacity proposal which is separately included on the Infrastructure Priority List.

Early-stage proposal

Strategic Fit

This proposal aligns with several Australian and Victorian government infrastructure policy objectives and strategies, as well as with the current Australian Government investment to develop and build Inland Rail, on the Melbourne to Brisbane National Land Transport rail corridor.

Societal Impact

Inland Rail is forecast to improve transport productivity and reduce the volume of freight moved by road. Reducing road freight will improve environmental outcomes and reduce crashes involving heavy vehicles. Having multiple transport modes increases resilience opportunities for freight movement. The inner city location of Dynon terminals increases pressure on the road network and creates conflict with residential and commercial development.

Optimal terminal location(s) and the delivery of efficient connecting infrastructure will be critical to minimising truck travel times between the terminal(s) and customers, facilitating forecast rail volume growth and realising the benefits of increased modal shift to rail which is a key objective of the Inland Rail.


The proposal identifies the need to provide appropriately located and configured intermodal terminal capacity

with supporting warehousing infrastructure in Greater Melbourne to facilitate the operations of Inland Rail and the broader interstate rail freight network. Consideration of options for efficient connecting infrastructure to a new build terminal will be important to realise the benefits of modal shift to rail and Inland Rail.

Next steps

Proponent to identify and analyse potential investment options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia's Assessment Framework).

An Investment Case was completed in early 2021 for the delivery of new Melbourne intermodal terminal capacity. Options for the specific location of an intermodal terminal in Melbourne capable of supporting Inland Rail is still under active consideration by the Australian and Victorian governments. Potential locations are at Truganina, west of Melbourne (referred to as the Western Interstate Freight Terminal), and at Beveridge, north of Melbourne (referred to as the Beveridge Interstate Freight Terminal). The Victorian and Australian Governments should consider fast-tracking necessary corridor and terminal land acquisitions to avoid more costly acquisitions in future.

Refer to Infrastructure Glossary for terms and definitions.