Engineering, Passenger Rail

60-metre carrier helping build new elevated line for Melbourne

A 60-metre wheeled carrier is being used in the effort to erect the new elevated rail line in Melbourne’s south-east, enabling the removal of nine level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong.

The ‘straddle carrier’ has been designed to build the new track along the 3.2-kilometre section between Carnegie and Hughesdale, and is reportedly the only of its kind in Australia.

The huge machine is to pick up beams from the Murrumbeena assembly area and carry them along the line, planting the beams upon columns.

“We’re using cutting-edge, Australian-first technology to build this massive project with the least possible disruption to drivers, passengers and the local community,” transport minister Jacinta Allan said.

According to the government, using the carrier eliminates both the need to cancel train services and for the compulsory acquisition of property, as the machine is able to manoeuvre and carry out its tasks along the narrow space.

“This high-tech machine will build the new rail line while trains keep running, removing these dangerous and congested crossings sooner,” premier Daniel Andrews said.

The government’s Caulfield to Dandenong project is remove nine of these crossings, while building five new stations and creating new parks and open public spaces. It is expected that crossing removals will be complete by the end of 2018.

“These crossings clog local streets, put lives at risk and stop us running more trains on Melbourne’s busiest rail corridor – we said we’d get rid of them and we’re getting on with it,” Andrews said.