Cranbourne Line. Photo: Creative Commons

Key players to duke it out for major crossing removal tender

John Holland and Leighton Contractors, each already part of their own four-crossing removal contract in Victoria, are pitted against each other in the bidding for the next contract, which will remove nine more crossings and rebuild four stations.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday announced a pair of consortia had made the shortlist for the contract to remove the nine level crossings on Melbourne’s Cranbourne-Pakenham line, and to rebuild four stations:

  • the consortium of John Holland, Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), McConnell Dowell Constructors and Jacobs (known as the Excelerate consortium)
  • the consortium of Lend Lease Engineering, Leighton Contractors, Aurecon Australia and Parsons Brinckerhoff Australia

The contract is the third major level crossing tender announced by the Andrews Government since it came to power in 2014. Part of a scheme to remove 50 of the state’s most dangerous crossings over the next eight years, the government has doled out contracts first for two packages of four crossings, and is now preparing to select a contractor for the biggest contract so far.

And while not incredibly surprising, it is interesting to note that key players from each of the shortlisted consortia are each responsible for one of the four-crossing contracts already handed out.

A consortium of John Holland and KBR was picked in May to remove the first four level crossings, at Centre Road in Bentleigh, North Road in Ormond, McKinnon Road in McKinnon and Burke Road in Glen Iris.

A consortium of Leighton Contractors, Aurecon and Hyder Consulting was selected as the preferred contractor to design and construct level crossing removals at Heatherdale Road in Mitcham, Blackburn Road in Blackburn, and Main and Furlong Roads in St Albans.

And now John Holland and KBR, and Leighton Contractors and Aurecon, are pitted against each other for the contract which appears to be the most valuable so far.

The package will remove all nine level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong, rebuild four stations at Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Clayton and Hughesdale, and roll out significant power and signalling upgrades, the Government said.

“These nine level crossings are crippling local roads, slowing down trains and putting lives at risk,” Acting Premier James Merlino said.

“Announcing the shortlist brings us closer to starting work and getting rid of these congested death traps on our busiest rail line once and for all.”

As part of the process, each proponent will be required to demonstrate adherence to significant local content targets, including the use of local steel, and a workforce comprising of 10% apprentice-based employees, he said.

Transport minister Jacinta Allan said the level crossing removal along this specific line is part of a targeted program to improve service on the corridor, which is Melbourne’s busiest.

Together with signalling upgrades and 37 new high capacity trains (Expressions of Interest sent out last week), the level crossing removals are hoped to increase capacity on the line by 42%.

“Removing every level crossing on our busiest line is critical for our train system and our economy,” Allan said, “unlocking major economic centres in the south east and supporting thousands of local jobs.”

Aurizon train on Queensland Rain Network. Photo: Aurizon

Aurizon’s new CQCN systems to automate condition monitoring

Aurizon’s new rollingstock condition monitoring technology will be fully supported on its Central Queensland Coal Network (CQCN) by early next year, the company has said.

Supplied by automatic trackside inspection system manufacturer BeenaVision Systems, the new technology will automate many of the rollingstock inspection and assessment tasks currently performed manually in depots, Aurizon explained in April.

The technology begins with trackside monitoring structures housing multiple lasers and cameras which scan along the length of each train, analysing the condition of key components such as wheels, brake systems and doors via “sophisticated machine vision algorithms”.

Aurizon hopes the system, which was due to be installed by June 2015 and should be fully operational across the CQCN network early next year, can give its maintenance team real-time information and predictive capabilities.

The system is designed to alert Aurizon’s ‘rollingstock defect coordinators’ of any issues, via text message and email, when problems arise.

It will also be used to consolidate and manage all wayside detection data, and automatically generate maintenance work orders based on the analysis of the condition monitoring data, Aurizon added.

“This technology is about having access to the right data in real-time, so we can be more proactive with our maintenance,” the company explained.

“It will also enable greater availability and asset productivity for the corridor, which is key to lowering our operating and maintenance costs.”

Additional benefits from this technology include the reduction of component

spend by running trains to their full life and replacing whilst on-train, as well as the reduction in maintenance yard shunts providing opportunity for improvements to yard operations and cycle times, the operator said.

The technology was installed in the Blackwater System at Kalapa in February, and Aurizon said in April it planned the next installation for Wandoo in the Goonyella System.

Waikanae location map. Graphic: Google Maps

Lack of communication caused mobility hoist scare

A train which moved with two passengers still aboard its mobility hoist suffered from a lack of communication on several different levels, an investigation has found.

New Zealand’s Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) recently completed its investigation into the incident, which concerned a KiwiRail Scenic-operated passenger train Capital Connection, travelling from Palmerston North to Wellington.

No-one was injured during the incident.

The train arrived at Waikanae station at 0730 on June 10, 2013. It was fitted with a mobility hoist in the rear-most luggage van for boarding and alighting passengers in wheelchairs.

After stopping, the train manager was monitoring the passenger exchange from the station platform adjacent to the leading passenger car near the front of the train, TAIC’s report said.

When he thought the passenger exchange was complete, he re-entered the leading passenger car and closed all the passenger car doors from the local train door operating panel.

After receiving an ‘all-doors-closed’ green light, the train manager authorised the train driver to depart.

But further down the train, the train attendant had just deployed the mobility hoist onto the platform, and had begun assisting a pair of passengers – one in a wheelchair – off the train.

“As the train attendant deployed the mobility hoist onto the platform, the train manager was radioing the driver and giving him ‘right of way’ to depart,” TAIC said.

“At 0730:09 the train driver moved the throttle to notch 2 and the train started to move, dragging the mobility hoist along the platform with the wheelchair and two passengers still on it.”

The quick-thinking train attendant raised the hoist off the platform, and pressed the train emergency stop button, which stopped the train, having traveled 1.7 metres down the platform.

TAIC found a number of communication issues contributed to the incident.

First, the operation of the mobility hoist that day at Waikanae had not been written into the departure procedure being followed by the train manager.

Second, TAIC found there was no effective means for the train attendant who was operating the mobility hoist to communicate with the train manager.

And third, the status of the luggage van doors – which feature the mobility hoist – was not interlocked with the train door status and control system, which allowed the train manager to receive a green ‘all-doors-closed’ signal, despite the luggage van door being open and the mobility hoist deployed onto the platform.

In response to the incident, KiwiRail has interfaced the mobility hoist controller to give the train controller a ‘train door open’ signal when it is in use. The operator has ensured the train attendant has radio communications with the train controller. It has fitted the hoist with a high-vis material, and it has added a light above the luggage van door where the wheelchair hoist is located, which will stay illuminated until the door is closed.

Due to KiwiRail’s responsive actions, TAIC had no specific recommendations to the operator following the report. But the Commission did have a number of things to say in terms of key lessons learned through the incident.

“Operational procedures must cover an entire operation if accidents and incidents are to be avoided,” TAIC said.

“Good communication among all persons involved in safety-critical operations is essential if accidents and incidents are to be avoided.”

And, “technical solutions to mitigate human error, such as train door interlocking systems, are only effective if they protect all parts of the system.”

The full report is available on the TAIC website:

Melbourne Metro Train. Photo: Creative Commons / Zed Fitzhume

Melbourne Metro performance dips in May

Melbourne’s metropolitan passenger rail network was at its least punctual in at least 12 months in May.

91.7% of all metro services were on time, according to the latest statistics from Public Transport Victoria. While this meant the network achieved its 38th consecutive month of over 90% punctuality, it was also the lowest figure so far in the 2014/15 financial year.

The figure was only slightly worse than that of the month prior (April 2015), when 91.8% of trains were recorded ‘on-time’.

With no clear explanation offered for the punctuality dip from public transport director of performance and contract management Jereon Weimar, one possibility is that the decline in timeliness is linked to the improvement in another area of Melbourne Metro’s performance: the reduction of unplanned station skipping.

Station-skipping trains, known by PTV as “unplanned express” services, are those which go right through a station where they were supposed to stop, often because they are running late.

Looking to fix a pet peeve for many rail customers, Victorian public transport minister Jacinta Allan pushed for Melbourne Metro to reduce the practice. Her campaign looks to have paid off, with station skipping reduced from a peak of 0.5% of services in May 2014, to just 0.1% in January, February and May this year, and just 0.2% in March and April.

But that reduction in station skipping could logically have resulted in the slight decline in overall punctuality, and that’s suggested in the figures.

Understandably, Weimar did not mention the 12-month low for Melbourne Metro punctuality in his official statement on the May figures, instead choosing to focus on the benefits of the reduction to station-skipping.

“Of the more than 63,000 Metro services that operated in May, 48 services ran as unplanned express, representing 0.1% of Metro’s daily timetable this month,” he said.

Melbourne Metro delivered a total of 98.9% of its timetable in May, which is within the range it has delivered over the past 12 months. Service delivery peaked at 99.3% in June 2014, and has dipped as low as 98.5% in two months since then.

Level crossing removal project. Photo: Department of Transport Victoria

Gates added to notorious level crossing

While Victoria is working to remove many of its level crossings, it’s also working to make those it’s not removing safer.

Victorian minister for transport Jacinta Allan on Thursday announced the completion of a $554,000 project to insall boom gates at the level crossing on the Bendigo to Echuca rail line at the Midland Highway.

Allan said the upgrade will help control movement of cars and heavy vehicles as they pass through the crossing.

“There have been a number of near misses at this crossing in recent years,” Allan said. “It needed to be upgraded.

“The new boom gates will increase the awareness of motorists, improving their safety and the safety of local residents and rail passengers.

“The Andrews Labor Government is removing or improving level crossings across Victoria, to make our road and rail network safer.”

She said the local Bagshot community is now safer for the boom gates, which will reduce the risk of collisions, fatalities and injuries for local residents, road users and train passengers.

There have been a number of near misses between trains and vehicles at this specific level crossing over the last five years, the State Government said.

Amtrak derailment - Photo NTSB

Positive train control could have prevented Amtrak derailment, but it’s not quite on track

How does positive train control – safety technology that could have prevented May’s deadly Amtrak derailment – work, and why is it still not on US rails? Purdue University’s Jeffrey C Peters looks for answers.

On May 12 2015, northbound Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 carrying 238 passengers to New York from Washington DC derailed near Philadelphia while entering a curve at almost twice the designated speed limit. Eight people were killed and more than 200 injured in an instant.

Questions about how the train derailed, why the train was traveling more than twice the posted speed limit and how this could have been prevented surfaced immediately.

Engineers typically have control over train speed, but the engineer of this particular Amtrak train currently reports having no recollection of the crash. Until the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation is complete, we can only speculate on the root cause. However, we can discuss how this could have been prevented.


The promise of positive train control

Positive train control (PTC), a safety technology for rail transportation, may have been able to prevent this accident, and it is not the first time this sentiment has been echoed. In 2008, a similar accident prompted federal action.

On September 12 2008, a passenger train collided with a freight train, resulting in 25 fatalities and 135 injuries in California. The engineer of the passenger train was distracted due to text messaging, and the NTSB specifically stated that PTC could have prevented this accident.

Within a month, the Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA08) became law and mandated that PTC must be implemented on about 60,000 miles of track “providing regularly scheduled intercity or commuter passenger transportation” by the end of 2015. The abnormally fast response can be attributed to support from Senator Barbara Boxer of California, who was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works at the time.

Unfortunately, the recent Amtrak accident came before the end of 2015 deadline, and this section of the Northeast Corridor did not have operable PTC. Further, it is highly improbable that the 2015 deadline will even be fully met.

While implementation of PTC is moving forward in some places, system-wide implementation continues to face significant barriers due to high costs, interoperability requirements and communication spectrum availability.


What is positive train control?

PTC from a functional perspective is a system designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits and the movement of a train through a switch left in the wrong position.

The technical aspects of these systems can vary, but they generally include a positioning system on each train and information on rules for sections of track, such as speed restrictions. There also has to be a way of communicating these data throughout the network. For example, PTC would override manual control if it sensed that the train was entering a section of track at double the posted speed limit.

An example of a PTC system employed by major freight companies. Graphic: MeteorcommPTC
An example of a PTC system employed by major freight companies. Graphic: MeteorcommPTC


The potential safety benefits

Interest in PTC dates back to at least 1990, when the NTSB first placed it on its “Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements” where it is still regularly featured up to the most recent list in 2015.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) estimated that between 1987 and 1997, an annual average of seven fatalities, 55 injuries, 150 evacuations and over USD$20 million in property damage could have been prevented by PTC. To put this in the context of the entire transportation network, there were 33,782 fatalities on the road network in 2012.

Although PTC is on NTSB’s “Most Wanted List” and many serious incidents due to human error could be prevented, the monetized safety benefits are significantly less than the costs. The FRA estimates the annual monetary value of the safety benefits from PTC to be about $90 million. The safety benefits may be slightly larger today, considering several serious accidents stemming from a boom in oil shipped via rail.


The costs

The law is an unfunded mandate, which means the costs of meeting the requirements are borne by the railroad operators. The FRA estimates that the total capital cost for full PTC deployment according to law would be about $10 billion (about one year’s worth of capital investments for the major US railroads) and annual maintenance costs of $850 million. While this investment might be feasible for major US freight rail companies, local and state governments with tight budgets will have a much more difficult time allocating funds for PTC.

The FRA established an annual $50 million grant program to help support the development of PTC, but the grant has been funded by Congress for only $3 million – well short of the total required cost of $2.75 billion estimated by the American Public Transportation Association.

Some argue that PTC could be used to optimize business operations with benefits up to $4 billion annually; however, this remains largely speculative.

Regardless of the federal mandate and possible future benefits, the costs of implementing PTC remain a significant barrier.


The systems integration barriers

In addition to costs, PTC has faced barriers in technical implementation, namely system interoperability and allocation of communication spectrum.

Interoperability is key in successful implementation of PTC. In the case of the Northeast Corridor, where the most recent accident occurred, Amtrak operates on both Amtrak-owned track and track owned by regional transit authorities and vice versa. Elsewhere, Amtrak operates on track owned by freight railroads. It is necessary to ensure that the systems developed by the freight railroads, Amtrak and regional authorities all communicate with one another. While interoperable systems have been developed, some issues persist.

Track ownership and rail operations in the Northeast Corridor. Graphic: Government Accountabiy Office - Amtrak
Track ownership and rail operations in the Northeast Corridor. Graphic: Government Accountabiy Office – Amtrak


Another system integration issue is the acquisition of radio spectrum to support the communication demands of PTC. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) generally holds auctions for spectrum, but allocates some for emergency services and government agencies.

However, the FCC so far has not addressed the needs of PTC. A consortium of railroad companies exists to purchase appropriate spectrum, but the amount of spectrum and the frequency are still uncertain – especially in highly congested areas in major cities, where choices in spectrum may be scarce. Without guidance from the FCC, obtaining spectrum and ensuring its interoperability is time-consuming and costly.


Going forward

It remains to be seen whether Congress will take immediate action following the Amtrak accident as it did with the 2008 accident in California.

House speaker John Boehner recently said it was “stupid” to claim that the slow rollout of PTC, which may have prevented the accident, is a problem with funding. He may be right that no federal money was cut for rail safety programs, but he also failed to mention that no money was given to help meet the unfunded mandate. Either way, it does not seem likely that local and state governments will receive much help in meeting the unfunded mandate.

Furthermore, a bill was introduced in the Senate this March to extend the PTC deadline to 2020 to help accommodate the cost, interoperability and spectrum barriers the railroads are facing. Perhaps then, the timing of this accident will lead to the failure of the bill and cement the 2015 deadline regardless of the financial and technical barriers.

More information can be found here.

Jeffrey C Peters is Doctoral Candidate in Energy Economics; Systems Engineer at Purdue University.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Transport apps. Graphic: Trafi

Search begins for next timetable apps

Public Transport Victoria has launched the search for the next generation of apps using timetable data, with a month-long ‘incubator’ program for new ideas.

Known as the VicTripathon, the event was kicked off on Saturday with a two-day ‘tech jam’ – a weekend of intensive workshops to support participants who have limited experience developing digital products.

Participants ended the weekend presenting their product concepts to a panel, with five concepts progressing to the month-long incubator phase.

Running from Monday, June 1 to Thursday, July 2, the incubator phase will give the five successful teams access to a range of experts so they can further develop their product.

“The five incubation phase teams have one month to develop their concept to a market-ready product, and present it to a panel of judges who will determine an incubation phase prize winner, based on the product that best enhances a customer’s experience,” Public Transport Victoria said on May 28.

Two other grand prizes will be awarded and participation is open to all developers to submit market-ready products using PTV’s API data.

PTV’s new Timetable API (Application Programming Interface) dataset includes, for the first time, real-time tram information, some real-time bus information and service disruption information, the authority said.

VicTripathon is being run for PTV by a consortium, which comprises Collabforge (consortium leader), Open Knowledge Australia, Code for Australia, Owl Ventures and NICTA.

Level crossing removal project. Photo: Department of Transport Victoria

Cranbourne-Pakenham crossing removals released to market

Expressions of Interest are being welcomed for the removal of nine more Victorian level crossings under the Andrews Government’s plan to remove 50 crossings over the next eight years.

The tender for the removal of the first four level crossings was awarded earlier this month, to a joint venture of John Holland and KBR.

Transport minister Jacinta Allan on Monday night hinted that the EoI for the next nine level crossings was coming “very, very soon”.

And that was confirmed on Wednesday, with the EoI released for the nine identified crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong.

The package also includes rebuilding four stations at Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Clayton and Hughesdale, and the roll out of power and signalling upgrades along the line.

Delivering the works as a single package will allow works to be coordinated, saving money, reducing disruption and removing the crossings sooner, the government said.

The Cranbourne-Pakenham line is Melbourne’s busiest, but boom gates along the line are closed for up to 87 of the 120 minutes that make up the morning peak period on weekdays, according to government research.

While this slows down road commuters, level crossings have the added effect of making the rail network less productive, as trains often have to slow down significantly as they pass through them.

The inherent safety risks associated with level crossings also add to the desire to have them removed.

“Some of these boom gates are down for more than 80 minutes every morning,” Allan said. “They are choking our city and putting our lives at risk – they have to go.”

She said the removal of the level crossings, as well as the plan to buy 37 new high-capacity trains for the network, will boost capacity by 42% – creating space for an additional 11,000 passengers in peak hour.

An industry briefing will be held next week to provide more information for the EoI, which will close in late June.

Applications will be evaluated by the Level Crossing Removal Authority, which will then narrow them down to a shortlist of two bidders to continue through the process.

Work on the removal of the level crossings is expected to commence in 2016, and all nine level crossing removals will be completed by 2018, the government said.

“Removing every level crossing between Caulfield and Dandenong will reduce road congestion, make local communities safer, create jobs, and allow for more trains from Cranbourne, Pakenham and Gippsland,” Allan said.

Melbourne tram. Photo State Government Victoria

Five findings of the infrastructure audit

Infrastructure Australia last week released its Australian Infrastructure Audit Report, and there’s a lot in it for the rail industry to digest.

The report, billed as Australia’s first-ever “comprehensive infrastructure audit,” suggests a huge amount of work is needed to get Australian infrastructure on pace with economic and population growth.

Five key factors stood out for the rail industry.


  1. There is a serious need for investment in transport

Releasing the report on Friday, Infrastructure Australia chairman Mark Birrell said Australia must act now before demand pressures affect living standards and economic competitiveness.

“Experiences of transport networks failing to keep pace with demand, water quality standards being uneven, energy costs being too high, telecommunication services being outdated, or freight corridors being neglected are now so common that they necessitate a strategic response,” Birrell said.

Infrastructure Australia said in its report that without investment in new transport capacity and/or means of managing demand, car travel times in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra are expected to increase by at least 20% in the most congested corridors by 2031.

“In some cases, travel times could more than double,” the report warns.

“Demand for public transport in the capital cities (measured by passenger kilometres travelled) is set to rise by 55% in Sydney, 121% in Melbourne, and an average of 89% across all capital cities.

“Unless peak period passenger loads are managed and capacity is increased, commuters in all capital cities will see more services experiencing ‘crush loadings’, where peak demand exceeds capacity.”

Both public transport and road infrastructure will need to be expanded to meet this growth in demand, the audit found.


  1. Australia needs a long-term infrastructure plan

The report says Australia would benefit from a strong and consistent pipeline of well-planned infrastructure projects.

Infrastructure Australia says a consistent pipeline “would provide greater certainty for infrastructure constructors and investors, and provide the basis for a well-resourced environment for project procurement and informed decision making”.

It said state and federal governments need to take action to make major project procurement more efficient.

This will reduce administrative burdens, and streamline assessment processes across governments, the report says.

“Integrated infrastructure and land-use planning is essential if there is to be strategic decision-making at all levels of government.

“Whilst there have been improvements in this area, progress has been slow in securing the many benefits that will be gained from an integrated approach to managing infrastructure challenges.”

A key benefit of a more cooperative approach to infrastructure, the report says, would be the establishment of best practice principles for infrastructure planning, procurement, delivery and operation.

“Improvements in infrastructure project appraisal and project selection (including the consistent use and transparent reporting of cost benefit analyses) are necessary if Australians expectations are to be realised,” the report explains.


  1. Rail freight’s share will grow in the future, due to bulk

Infrastructure Australia predicts the mode share of rail freight within the national freight task to grow over the period to 2031, but says this will not be due to a major shift of container freight onto the rail network.

“This is mostly due to increased haulage of minerals for export,” the independent body explained.

“Demand for national rail infrastructure is projected to grow, especially in WA, Queensland and NSW.”

WA accounts for roughly 50% of the national rail freight value-add, due to mining in the Pilbara, and the audit projects that the value-add from rail freight services will grow to $9.5 billion in 2031, an increase of 75%.


  1. Total public and private funding needs to increase

As a proportion of GDP, spending on infrastructure has been higher in the last five years than in the preceding 20 years.

But the audit finds that fiscal pressures – such as the need to fund health, retirement and other social welfare programs – mean governments will struggle to maintain current levels of infrastructure spending in the medium to long term.

“Private investment in infrastructure has grown, with more private owners and developers of infrastructure,” the audit recognises.

“Creating the conditions for further private investment is an important strategy in meeting future infrastructure needs.”

To do this, the report says, Australia will have to increase the amount of funding available from both public and private sources, to maintain and grow our infrastructure networks.

“Current funding arrangements are unsustainable,” Infrastructure Australia said, “particularly for the transport sector.”

The audit says reform is needed.

“While users contribute a proportion of the cost of transport infrastructure through licensing and registration, fuel excise, public transport tickets and freight network access charges, governments still pay the lion’s share.

“The current system therefore relies on limited revenue sources … and it does not ensure that the revenue is directed to transport outlays, new projects or improved performance of networks.”

If there is no change to this, the report warns, maintenance of existing assets would need to be cut back, and new projects aimed at maintaining or raising levels of service in our cities and regions would likely not proceed.


  1. We need to sweat our assets

Infrastructure Australia urged a newfound focus on resilience and improved maintenance, noting that existing assets will need to be maximised to cope with future growth.

“Maintenance and resilience are major themes in the audit,” the independent body said on Friday.

“Most of the infrastructure that Australians will use in 2031 has already been built, but maintenance standards are often below par.

“Service providers will need to improve whole-of-life asset management processes, including adequate long-term funding strategies, to ensure infrastructure networks are able to provide reasonable levels of service in the future.”


Fremantle Rail Bridge. Photo: WA PTA

Early warning system for hazardous bridge

The Public Transport Authority of WA has begun work on an early warning system for trains about to cross the Fremantle Rail Bridge, after a series of dangerous incidents in recent years.

In August 2014, strong currents caused a container ship to break its mooring and crash into the bridge, closing it for 12 days for inspection by structural engineers.

That followed a 2011 incident, in which a refuelling ship crashed into the bridge, damaging the overhead traction wiring system and cutting rail access in and out of the port.

The state has responded with several measures aimed at reducing the danger of shipping incidents around the rail bridge, a number of which are already completed or underway.

One of those measures: state transport minister Dean Nalder announced the implementation of an early warning system had begun on May 25.

“This early warning system will provide an extra level of safety by alerting the PTA, giving them the ability to switch the signals to red and stopping trains from crossing the bridge,” Nalder said.

The project is estimated to be completed in September 2016.

The installation is one of several initiatives under way on and around the bridge, which the state has packaged together.

Also included in the works has been a $4.4 million project to remove and replace more than 1000 rail sleepers on the bridge, which was completed in early 2015.

Main Roads WA, on behalf or the PTA, will be completing pier strengthening works on the bridge. The work is expected to be complete in late-2016.

A $21.1 million contract has been awarded to York Civil and Marine & Civil to construct new concrete and steel bollards downstream from the rail bridge to absorb significant force in the case of impact by a vessel.

And finally, a new LED message board has been installed to improve vessel navigation through the southern channel.