John Holland. Photo John Holland

John Holland partners with Strukton for new CRN bid

John Holland has announced a partnership with global track maintenance firm Strukton Rail to bid on the next operations and maintenance deal for the New South Wales Country Regional Network (CRN).

John Holland has operated and maintained the CRN under a ten-year state government contract since 2012. With that contract due to end in June 2021, Transport for NSW commenced a market sounding process for the next contract in May 2019.

With a long list of good work done since 2012, John Holland’s executive general manager for Rail, Steve Butcher, said a partnership with Strukton will help do an even better job if it is awarded the work over the next decade.

“We have a decade-long record of ensuring passengers and freight can move around regional NSW safely and reliably, and now we want to take this to the next level,” Butcher said.

“We want to drive innovation on the network in order to boost regional economies. This partnership will help us to better connect our regions with global leading-edge technology.”

Butcher noted in its decade operating and maintaining the CRN, John Holland has helped cut lost time due to speed restrictions by 50 per cent on passenger and grain lines. During its first three years running the network, John Holland managed to remove 99 of 103 temporary restrictions.

The firm has also replaced more than 1.5 million sleepers along the network, resurfaced more than 7,000 kilometres of track, and upgraded 155 level crossings.

The CRN comprises 2,386 route kilometres of operational passenger and freight rail lines and 3,139 route kilometres of non-operational lines, as well as 27,000 hectares of land and infrastructure.

In all the network includes 1,312 level crossings, 300 of which are active. It has 1,200 property assets, including 356 heritage assets. There are 600 rail under-bridges and 384 road over-bridges to be maintained.


NSW regional rail map with CRN shown.

CPB Contractors, John Holland, AECOM awarded second stage of Sunbury Line works

The Victorian government has awarded a $534 million contract to the Rail Infrastructure Alliance (RIA) for the delivery of the next stage of upgrade works on the state’s Sunbury Line.

The works will provide upgrades to the rail network’s power system, including overhead electrification works between Sunbury and South Kensington and at South Yarra, and signalling power upgrades.

This is the second package of works for the Sunbury Line that has been awarded to the RIA, which includes CIMIC Group’s CPB Contractors, John Holland,AECOM, Metro Trains Melbourne, and project owner Rail Projects Victoria.

CIMIC Group CEO Michael Wright said the company was pleased to continue work on the Sunbury Line Upgrade.

“Our end-to-end capability and major project experience enables us to deliver high-quality rail assets and world class public transport, supporting Melbourne and Victoria’s growth,” said Wright.

Mark McManamny, AECOM regional managing director for Victoria South Australia and Tasmania, said that he was delighted the Victorian government had entrusted his team with the planning and design works for the project.

“We are privileged to be involved in iconic projects like the Melbourne Metro Tunnel, where we have the opportunity to create a positive legacy for the communities in which we all live,” McManamny said.

The first package of works, which was awarded in August, will extend platforms, boost accessibility and build new stabling at stations along the line.

Overall the upgrade program covers platform extensions at every station between Sunbury and Footscray, wheelchair boarding platforms at eight stations, traction power upgrades and improvements to train stabling at Sunbury, Calder Park and Watergardens.

The project is designed to facilitate the operation of a fleet of 65 new high-capacity metro trains (HCMTs) to run all the way to Sunbury once the Metro Tunnel is opened in 2025.

The RIA has begun preparatory works on the first stage of the Sunbury Line Upgrade. These works include geotechnical, service and site investigations along the Sunbury rail corridor.

Further work will commence this year, with the upgrade project scheduled to be completed in 2023.

RATP to push into Australian market with joint John Holland bids

John Holland will team up with French operator RATP Dev for operations and maintenance bids for the planned Sydney Metro West and Sydney Metro Greater West projects.

With Sydney Metro’s Northwest line open and construction underway on the extension to the CBD and Southwest, candidates are now lining up for work on the next two projects. Sydney Metro West will connect the Sydney CBD with the Parramatta CBD and Westmead Hospital, while Sydney Metro Greater West is the new name for the rail line to the future Western Sydney Airport.

John Holland and RATP Dev announced they would pair up for operations and maintenance bids for the latter two projects on July 29, with latter company set to open an office in Sydney as its new headquarters in Australia and New Zealand.

“Sydney Metro Greater West will create connections to Western Sydney’s first airport, and Metro West will transform Sydney – more than doubling rail capacity from Parramatta to the Sydney CBD,” John Holland CEO Joe Barr said.

“We want to make sure our proposals to run these projects lead to the most comfortable, reliable and modern service for customers.”

RATP Dev CEO Laurence Batlle said the company, based in Paris, is excited to enter the Australian market for the first time, and would bring with it a wealth of experience in driverless metro operations.

“Our priority is to put the customer first at all times, which is why we will work with John Holland to create a service designed around what passengers want.”

Administrators confirm RCR rail sale to John Holland

Administrators for collapsed engineer RCR Tomlinson have confirmed John Holland has acquired the firm’s rail business.

RCR Tomlinson’s board appointed McGrathNicol as administrators in November last year, after it was unable to secure the necessary financial backing to continue operations.

The AFR reported late in December the company’s RCR O’Donnell Griffin Rail business had been sold to John Holland.

On January 7, McGrathNicol confirmed the sale.

“The sale preserves the jobs of around 400 Australian employees within RCR O’Donnell Griffin Rail who will transfer to John Holland, and preserves the entitlements of those staff,” McGrathNicol partner Jason Preston said.

“RCR’s Rail business has an outstanding track record, with highly-skilled staff and a blue-chip client base that made it an attractive target for prospective acquirers and a strategic fit for John Holland.”

McGrathNicol’s Jason Ireland added: “The RCR Rail business is an excellent business and we are pleased to have found a buyer with the capacity to take advantage of its capabilities and expertise.”

As recently as October, RCR Tomlinson was selected for a major contract to deliver underground rail infrastructure for Auckland’s City Rail Link, in a joint venture with Opus International Consultants.

The parties are in the process of negotiating with the NZ Government, Auckland Transport and KiwiRail on a final deal for the work, due in March 2019.

In January, RCR was selected to deliver $70 million in upgrades to the Melbourne Underground Rail Loop.

RCR was also part of the Novo Rail Alliance which delivered the recent Wynyard Station upgrade.

John Holland wins Adelaide-Tarcoola rerailing work

John Holland has been awarded a multi-million-dollar contract by the federal government to upgrade rail track between Adelaide and Tarcoola, in an effort to improve the efficiency of freight movements between the east and west of Australia.

The works to install new rail and other upgrades form part of the $252 million Adelaide-Tarcoola Rail Upgrade Acceleration Project.

John Holland executive general manager for rail, Gary Seabury, said he was “delighted” by the news.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with the ARTC to upgrade this key section of the Trans Australian railway,” Seabury said, “and being part of a project that will stimulate significant local and national economic growth.”

John Holland will start work in March 2018.

ARTC boss John Fullerton said: “It is great to see this important project progressing, which has secured additional volumes at the Whyalla steel mill, created local jobs, and will boost rail freight performance between the East and the West of our nation.”

The Turnbull Government says the rerailing work provide up to 130 jobs across South Australia and provide an economic boost for the regions between Adelaide, Whyalla, Port Augusta and Tarcoola.

“Local businesses and suppliers will reap the flow-on benefits of this multi-million-dollar rail investment, with the project already having helped secure additional steel volumes at the Whyalla steel mill, creating dozens of jobs—and more on the way,” federal infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester said.

“This is an upgrade that will boost freight rail performance between Australia’s eastern and western states, boosting productivity, jobs and confidence in local communities across South Australia in particular. It will allow faster and heavier trains to operate between Adelaide and Perth.”

The project is increasing the rail size along the interstate line – from 47kg per metre to 60kg per metre – along with other works that will enable higher axle loads (25 tonnes at 80km/h), and thus the operation of larger and heavier freight trains to operate at faster speeds along the track.

In preparation for John Holland’s works, over half of the 72,000 tonnes of the steel required has been delivered from Whyalla to various worksites along the track.

The Adelaide-Tarcoola Rail Upgrade Acceleration Project is expected to be complete by the middle of 2019.

John Holland secures Mernda extension

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews and public transport minister Jacinta Allan last week announced John Holland will build the nearly $600 million Mernda Rail Extension, which will include a new station near Hawkstowe Parade in South Morang.

Hawkstowe station will be built in addition to the two new stations announced prior to last week’s news, and will be built near Marymede Catholic College. The project also includes new walking and cycling paths, better bus connections, and train stabling in Mernda.

Andrews said the three stations are expected to be used by more than 8,000 passengers a day.

“We were elected to put people first, and we haven’t wasted a day in the last two years building the transport projects Victoria needs – to create jobs, reduce congestion and get people home safer and sooner,” Andrews said.

“The Mernda Rail Extension will change people’s lives for the better – creating work for thousands of people, and connecting one of Australia’s fastest growing communities to employment, education and the rest of Victoria.”

1200 direct and 1800 indirect jobs are expected to be created during construction. The line will support more than 70 ongoing jobs once trains are running, Andrews added.

Construction of the Mernda Rail Extension will begin next year, and trains are expected to be running on the new line by 2019. The state government will hold information sessions in December.

Blacktown Railway Station. Photo: Creative Commons / Abesty

John Holland to upgrade four Sydney stations

Engineering contractor John Holland has won a $50 million contract to upgrade train stations at Pendle Hill, Wentworthville, Croydon and Blacktown in Sydney.

John Holland said on Thursday that Transport for NSW had awarded it a contract for work designed to make the stations more accessible.

Work across the four sites includes the relocation of railway systems and services, the removal of an existing footbridge and the refurbishment of existing heritage structures.

Three of the four sites will get new lifts under the contract, which also includes the construction of new pedestrian overpasses, the provision of sheltered bicycle racks, and the relocation of an existing memorial and memorial fountain at one station.

John Holland’s executive general manager for infrastructure Jim Salmon said the work will be a significant improvement for local communities.

“The station upgrades will be welcomed in particular by those members of the community that are unable to use stairs, which are still the only means of access to a large number of station platforms in Sydney,” Salmon said. “It’s exciting to be part of such a positive upgrade and to continue our long association with TfNSW.”

Construction is scheduled to kick off later this year.

John Holland was sold by Leighton Contractors in December 2014 to China Communications Construction for $1.15 billion. The sale was granted final approval by the Federal Government in April this year.

John Holland. Photo John Holland

Hockey gives nod to Chinese acquisition of John Holland

Federal treasurer Joe Hockey has given the go-ahead to the $1.15 billion acquisition of Leighton Holdings’ subsidiary John Holland by China’s CCCC International.

John Holland, whose current projects include work on the North West Rail Link and part of Victoria’s Regional Rail Link, was put up for sale last year by Leighton, which is looking to improve its gearing in the face of a slowdown in the global construction industry.

Other rumoured potential suitors in the deal included South Korea’s Samsung and Brisbane’s ATEC Rail, but CCCCI was announced the winner after a several-month bidding process.

CCCCI is owned by the Chinese state-owned business China Communications Construction Company (CCCC). The Chinese company and Leighton signed a binding agreement late in 2014.

Hockey, who has blocked at least one major international acquisition in the past (the attempted acquisition of GrainCorp by US giant Archer Daniels Midland), approved the John Holland deal on Wednesday.

“The Government welcomes foreign investment where it is not contrary to our national interest,” Hockey said.

“Foreign investment has helped build Australia’s economy and will continue to enhance the wellbeing of Australians by supporting economic growth and prosperity.”

Hockey also responded to concerns by some who noted the debarment of CCCC by the World Bank in 2011, following alleged fraudulent practices during work on the Philippines National Roads Improvement and Management Project.

“I note there have been some media reports about CCCC in relation to a World Bank debarment,” the treasurer said. “I have sought advice on these and other issues in relation to CCCC. As a result, appropriate arrangements have been put in place to mitigate any concerns in relation to this issue and I am satisfied that this investment is not contrary to our national interest.”

Leighton has said its work in hand will fall by roughly $5.5 billion after the deal occurs.

Leighton sells John Holland to China

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Hong Kong-listed China Communications Construction will buy engineering, contracting and services provider John Holland from Leighton Holdings. </span> <p>Leighton, which bought 70% of John Holland in 2000 and most of the remaining stake in the company in 2004, will sell the firm to China Communications Construction in a $1.15bn deal, expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015.<br /><br />John Holland will become part of CCCC International (CCCI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Communications Construction, which is largely owned by China’s state-owned assets commission.<br /><br />Glenn Palin, managing director of John Holland, said he was excited about the opportunities the deal presented for the Melbourne-based firm.<br /><br />“From our point of view, John Holland and CCCI are extremely complementary,” Palin said.<br /><br />“With the strength and capability of CCCI backing us, John Holland is set for a bright future in the Australian infrastructure market. This is the next step in our journey as one of Australia’s leading engineering contractors.<br /><br />Major projects in the books for John Holland at the moment include tunnelling and stations for Sydney’s North West Rail Link passenger line, construction of a new Children’s Hospital for Perth, and the development of part of Victoria’s new Regional Rail Link.<br /><br />John Holland also performs work for the mining, mineral processing, resource transport and port sectors, as well as general construction work across several other industries.<br /><br />CCCI president Lu Jianzhong said the acquisition was a momentous step for the Chinese company.<br /><br />“We believe there are very significant growth opportunities in the Australian market, and clearly in the proposed acquisition of John Holland, we are recognising the strong leadership and solid performance of the business,” Lu said.<br /><br />“Ownership of John Holland is the optimal way for China Communications Construction to participate in this dynamic market as part of our aim to be a global transportation infrastructure business.”<br /><br />He added: “We see JHG as a strong independent competitor in the Australian market.”<br /><br />Lu said he expects there will be opportunities to export John Holland’s skills in road, rail, tunnelling and water infrastructure.<br /><br />The sale of John Holland ends a six-month bidding process. China Communications Construction was among the names rumoured to be in the frame from fairly early in that process, and was joined throughout by talk of interest from US firm KBR, South Korea’s Samsung C&ampT, France’s Bouygues, and Australian giant Lend Lease, among several others.<br /><br />Leighton’s new owners, Spanish firm ACS, opted to sell John Holland in June as a way of paying off debt. John Holland was considered the best candidate for sale among Leighton’s key subsidiaries, which also include Leighton Contractors and Thiess.<br /><br />Marcelino Fernndez Verdes, Leighton’s executive chairman and chief executive officer, said the sale of John Holland demonstrates the progress Leighton’s new owners have made in strengthening the company’s balance sheet, and improving its operating model.<br /><br />“Following a comprehensive and extensive global sale process we have achieved a value for John Holland which reflects its position as one of the country’s leading engineering and construction companies,” he said.<br /><br />“The divestment of John Holland supports our focus on further reducing gearing and strengthening our balance sheet so that we can be sustainably competitive.”</p>

ATEC Rail a late bidder for John Holland?

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Brisbane-based below-rail infrastructure developer ATEC Rail Group has been thrown into the mix of bidders for Leighton Holdings’ $1bn construction business, John Holland. </span> <p>ATEC, which is on the cards to help deliver several major proposed pieces of railway infrastructure in Eastern Australia, has been added to the list of rumoured bidders for John Holland by the AFR’s Street Talk column today.<br /><br />It joins existing bidders China Communications Construction Company and South Korea’s Samsung in the hunt for the construction business, which Leighton has been looking to sell for roughly six months now.<br /><br />The AFR reports that prospective bidders have been told the company wants to enter exclusive talks with one preferred bidder by the end of this week.<br /><br />ATEC was in the running for the acquisition of the Port of Newcastle earlier this year, and also joined in with the bidding process during the privatisation of Port Kembla.<br /><br />John Holland is being sold by Leighton as part of a $1.5bn restructure.<br /><br />It operates in the construction and delivery of transport, commercial, mining and rail infrastructure, as well as in utilities, defence and other sectors.<br /><br />Experts are tipping China Communications as the most likely final suitor for John Holland, but it is believed that the offloading of the business might not be straightforward, with several different plans and purchase proposals reportedly on the table.</p>

New bidder enters John Holland race

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> A Hong Kong-listed construction business is the latest potential buyer for Leighton engineering business John Holland, according to reports. </span> <p>China Communications Construction Company Limited is the rumoured new entrant into the bidding war, according to several media sources.</p><p>Majority-owned by the Chinese government, China Communications, as it is most commonly known, specialises in road and port infrastructure it was formed in 2005 when China Harbour Engineering and China Road and Bridge Group merged.</p><p>Leighton is said to be asking for between $2bn and $3bn in total for the John Holland businesses, which initially were expected to attract interest primarily from European concerns such as Bouygues and Ferrovial.</p><p>As of a fortnight ago, South Korea’s Samsung was reported to be the leading contender, but the addition of China Communications further adds to the mix of potential suitors.</p><p>Samsung is currently leading the construction of Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill mining project in the Pilbara region – a contract worth roughly $10bn.&nbsp</p><p>While Samsung is a massive global conglomerate, China Communications can rival it. The company has about $48bn worth of assets, and owns 34 subsidiaries stretched across multiple industries, including China’s biggest port builder, and the world’s biggest crane builder, ZPMC.</p><p>Leighton has been looking to sell John Holland since Spanish controller Hochtief launched a proportional takeover bid for the company, and said it was looking to pay down Leighton’s debt.</p><p>China Communications’ reported entrance into the bidding is a further step by China to invest in Australia.</p><p>Another significant and recent example of this was Chinese steelmaker Baosteel, which earlier this year bought Pilbara iron ore player Aquila Resources. Should Baosteel, and business partner Aurizon, develop Aquila’s WA iron ore assets, it could potentially run a significant export operation alongside those of Rio, BHP, FMG and new entrant Roy Hill.</p><p><em><strong>This article was originally published in Rail Express sister publication, the Australian Bulk Handling Review.</strong></em></p>

Speculation on John Holland bidders

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> The ongoing race for the purchase of Leighton subsidiary John Holland has rolled on, with a major Australian newspaper singling out one company as the leader. </span> <p>The Australian reported late last week that Korean conglomerate Samsung is the leading contender for John Holland.<br /><br />In parallel, Spain’s Ferrovial is tipped as the most likely buyer of Leighton’s service assets, previously eyed by private equity firms such as KKR.<br /><br />Leighton is said to be asking $2bn in total for the John Holland businesses, which initially were expected to attract interest primarily from European concerns such as Bouygues and Ferrovial.<br /><br />Samsung is currently lead contractor delivering Gina Rinehart’s $10bn Roy Hill iron ore project in the Pilbara. The firm is also said to be in the frame to win the $8bn East West Connect Melbourne road and tunnel contract from the Victorian government.<br /><br />Ferrovial bills itself as “the world’s leading private investor in transportation infrastructures, with a workforce of approximately 57,000 employees and operations in more than 25 countries.” Amongst other assets, it manages London’s Heathrow airport.<br /><br />Ferrovial’s construction arm, Ferrovial Agroman, has built all types of civil engineering, construction and industrial projects. In the transport space, it says it has has built more than 470 km of tunnels, 3,900 km of highways, 15,000 km of roads and 4,600 km of railroad (including 700 km of high-speed railroad).<br /><br /><em><strong>This article was originally published in Rail Express sister publication, the Australian Journal of Mining.</strong></em></p>

Foreign bidders, Lend Lease in frame for John Holland

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> As Leighton Contractors readies its John Holland business for sale, sources put international construction firms – looking for a handy kick-start in Australia – in the frame, along with domestic giant Lend Lease. </span> <p>International players mooted as possible buyers include KBR of the USA, South Korea’s Samsung C&ampT and Bouygues of France.</p><p>Private Equity could also be interested but more likely for parts of John Holland.<br />According to the AFR’s Street Talk column, the sale of John Holland has attracted attention from Leighton’s toughest local competitor, Lend Lease.</p><p>The newspaper said that, according to its sources, indicative bids for John Holland are due at the end of July, with formal sales documents already despatched.</p><p>John Holland may fetch between $1bn and $1.5bn putting it out of reach of most domestic Australian suitors, bar Lend Lease, which has just garnered $1.2bn for the sale of its Bluewater shopping centre.</p><p>However, the AFR said that Lend Lease has an avowed intent not to let its construction book exceed $20bn. At the end of December the book stood at $15.5bn and with the $3bn North Connex in Sydney and Melbourne’s East West link in the offing, the firm may have a full plate.</p><p>John Holland’s experience covers a wide range of contracting and services capabilities, from tunnelling, building and civil construction in the infrastructure sector to the delivery of major water and environment, energy, minerals and industrial projects in the energy and resources sector.</p><p>The company is also a leading provider of services to the transport sector, in areas like railway construction, operations and maintenance, aviation services and ports infrastructure and maintenance.</p>

John Holland launches train operations

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> John Holland launched a brand new division, work train operations, yesterday to service New South Wales’ Country Regional Network with diesel-electric locomotives and wagons. </span> <p>John Holland is leasing three refurbished diesel- electric locomotives from Greentrains and is also purchasing 20 remote controlled ballast wagons and upgrading two ballast plough wagons.</p><div>The operation will be managed under a new organisational structure within the John&nbspHolland Rail division.

New track resurfacing machines for John Holland

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> John Holland Rail has taken possession of $30m worth of track resurfacing machinery to improve the operation and maintenance of NSW’s Country Regional Network (CRN) which it has managed on behalf of the state government since January 2012. </span> <p>Before John Holland Rail officially became the first accredited private rail transport operator of the government-owned CRN in 2012, it had been some years since solid investment had been made into plant and equipment to service the heavy rail network.<br /><br />According to JHR CRN chief executive Nev Nichols, the network is currently being maintained with older machines built more than 30 years ago which are not cost effective to run.<br /><br />“The six new on-track machines which include three Plasser &amp Theurer tamping machines and three Plasser &amp Theurer ballast regulators are a huge step forward for our operations and will deliver a more efficient, safe and reliable rail system,” Nichols said.<br /><br />“The machines have state-of-the-art proven technology in their geometry guidance computer systems and far more accurate and reliable track recording equipment which reinstates track back to its exact location.<br /><br />“This will improve the ride characteristics for the trains and their loads to run over the track, making it a smoother ride and less impact to the track foundation, therefore assisting in extending the track reliability over time.”<br /><br />One of the most unique advancements is the fact that the machine’s various oils are completely biodegradable.<br /><br />“This will provide a reduction in carbon foot print by approximately 2.9 Tonne of CO2 per every 1000 hours of running,” Nichols said.<br /><br />John Holland Rail believes the investment in the new machinery marks a major milestone in its partnership with TfNSW and country NSW’s rail transport service and commissioning of the machines represents a pivotal point in its future delivery, operation and maintenance capacity on the CRN.<br /><br />“Four of the machines are already on the second roster of training with our staff and are going extremely well,” Nichols said.<br /><br />“The staff enthusiasm to train on the operation of the new machines&nbsp on a&nbsp disused line environment will hopefully pay off and have the machines out soon actually working on live track improving the network.”</p>

John Holland wins $257m Roy Hill rail contract

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> John Holland has won a quarter billion dollar contract to build 350km of heavy haulage railway track for the Roy Hill Iron Ore Project in Western Australia. </span> <p>Just a fortnight after engineering provider, <a href="">Calibre Group, won a $23m contract to design the railway</a>, Samsung C&ampT appointed John Holland to build it.</p><p>Samsung C&ampT is responsible for the delivery of the entire Roy Hill project, <a href="">after it won the $5.6bn contract to do so in April</a>.</p><p>The Roy Hill project will include a new mine at the Roy Hill deposit north of Newman, a processing plant, a heavy haul railway system and export facilities at Port Hedland.</p><p>John Holland’s contract is to construct rail, track works and infrastructure through remote terrain from the Roy Hill mine site to Port Hedland, on WA’s northern coast.</p><p>It involves building track works to the main line, a marshalling yard, a mine loading loop, a port loading loop, wayside loops and spurs, and a construction yard.</p><p>It also involves construction of a logistics yard and ballast yards.</p><p>“We are proud to be involved in such a major undertaking for Western Australia,” Hamish Tyrwhitt, chief executive officer of Leighton Holdings said.</p><p>John Holland is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leighton Holdings.</p><p>“Roy Hill is a critical project for the state, and a strong indication that the nation is moving to close its infrastructure deficit and improve productivity,” Tyrwhitt added.</p><p>John Holland managing director, Glenn Palin, boasted that the company had “again demonstrated its key strength in rail” by winning the project against national and international competition.</p><p>“John Holland has been a market leader in rail construction in Australia for over 30 years, with approximately $3bn of rail-related projects in hand,” he said.</p><p>The Roy Hill rail line’s construction is expected to take two years.</p><p>John Holland’s contract is for construction only, and the contractor is expected to commence works in October. At peak works, the project is expected to employ 270 people.</p>

John Holland takes top going for Gawler line upgrade

The project involved a full track upgrade along a 27km corridor passing through Elizabeth from Gawler Central to Mawson Lakes and was a critical component of the South Australian Government’s Rail Revitalisation Project.

John Holland took out the top gong at the Civil Contractors Federation Earth Awards held on July 14 – an annual event that recognises the development and use of best technologies and practices by South Australian civil contractors.

John Holland project manager Sevan Simonian said despite the project being “inherently challenged” by complex interfaces, a highly compressed program, a geographically diverse site, vast environmental contaminants and significant safety risks to workers and the public, the project team exceeded client expectations “on all fronts”.

He attributed the project team’s industry-best performance to the spirit in which they undertook the work

“Collaboration is key,” Sevan said, “Working closely with the client from start to finish makes all the difference to project success. It allowed us to quickly resolve issues and to successfully manage 17 critical interfaces which resulted in minimal disruption to the public.”

A core part of the award was demonstrating environmental excellence in parallel to construction excellence. Environmentally, the project team’s performance was excellent as re-affirmed by the Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure’s audits.

Key achievements included:

  • A highly compressed program – 54km of track was delivered in a 26 week period. This means 2km of reconstructed track was delivered per week -&nbsp a 33% increase in workload and productivity when compared to the previous upgrade.
  • Environmental excellence – All materials excavated were treated as contaminated. The team maximised recycling / re-use of materials wherever possible which resulted in more than $20 million worth of savings to the public.
  • Safety excellence – There were significant risks involved with operating next to the live ARTC freight line and the project needed to manage and protect a workforce of 150 personnel working simultaneously along a 27km corridor. Despite significant risks, the team achieved zero lost time due to work related injuries.
  • Significantly improved train running speeds – The team improved the turnout design and track centre spacing which improved running speeds from 90 km/h to 110 km/h.
  • Use of leading technology – The team introduced an innovative approach to track construction using 3D models for formation, bottom ballast, top of rail and drainage.
  • Innovative thinking – The dilapidated condition of the network presented a number of challenges to overcome in geotechnics, rail and turnouts. The team created solutions that met the design life requirements whilst keeping spending to a minimum.
  • Significant reduced the need to purchase new rail – Provided advice and solutions in the Early Contractor Phase that minimised the need to purchase new rail and established criteria for remediation. This saved significant costs to the client.


John Holland scoops Regional Rail Link alliance contract

This is the second last contract to be awarded for the multi-billion dollar project and covers track works between the City (Southern Cross Station) and the Maribyrnong River.

The project will be delivered under an alliance contract, with construction partners Abigroup and Coleman Rail and design partners AECOM and GHD. John Holland will join with the Regional Rail Link Authority, Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) and V/Line to design and construct a key section of the first major new rail line for metropolitan Melbourne in 80 years.

The Regional Rail Link project will separate regional trains from metropolitan trains in the Melbourne train network for the first time. Under this contract, the alliance will construct a new bridge over the Maribyrnong River, as well as two new regional railway tracks to separate city bound and regional trains. The scope of works also includes track reconfiguration and upgrades to the North Melbourne rail-over-rail flyover.

The scope of works include:

  • Construction of a new 1km rail overpass over the Maribyrnong River area
  • A rail-over-rail flyover between the Maribyrnong River and Hopkins Street
  • 4.5km of of new tracks to separate metropolitan and regional trains within Melbourne’s busiest rail junction
  • Extensive track reconfiguration and major upgrades to the existing North Melbourne rail-over-rail flyover which will be used to access platforms 1-8 at Southern Cross Station
  • Major bridge modifications at Dynon Road, Moonee Ponds Creek, Lloyd Street and Dudley Street
  • A new twin track rail bridge over Dudley Street in West Melbourne

John Holland general manager rail Australia Richard Stewart said the contract provides the opportunity for the company to build on its existing relationships with the Victorian Department Transport, Metro Trains Melbourne and the Regional Rail Link Authority.

“Our existing relationships with the coordinating authorities and the network controller will assist with a smooth transition toward project delivery and the development of a program of works that will minimise disruption and accelerate the safe delivery of the project’s major components,” Stewart said.

“The award reflects the engineering solution developed by the alliance team and commitment to working closely together toward the delivery of a world-class piece of rail infrastructure.”

Construction will start in mid-2012, with completion expected by 2016.

The announcement follows the three contracts awarded in December last year for signalling and design and construction works between Footscray and Werribee. These are:

  • Thiess, Balfour Beatty, Parsons Brinckerhoff and SKM, the consortium tasked with laying 7.5km of new track between Footscray and Deer Park as well as building a new station at West Footscray and upgrading the existing stations at Footscray, Sunshine and Tottenham.
  • Baulderstone/ Leighton Joint Venture which will lay 25km of new track
    between Deer Park and West Werribee as well as build new stations at Wyndham Vale and Tarneit.
  • UGL and Manidis Roberts, the consortium which will install the fibre
    optics network that will support the train control systems, the signals along the corridor and provide information to the passengers waiting at the new and upgraded stations.

The Regional Rail Link project is being built with $3.2bn in funding from the Federal Government and the Victorian Government contributing the balance.

Urban Rail
8th – 9th May 2012 | InterContinental Melbourne the Rialto