Roadheaders

Roadheaders get to work between Woolloongabba and Boggo Road

Two roadheaders are now carving out the tunnel between Woolloongabba and Boggo Road stations in Brisbane, part of the Cross River Rail project.

The roadheaders will each travel 870 metres from Woolloongabba to Boggo Road, excavating 60 tonnes of rock per hour. Every day, the 115-tonne machines will progress between two to five metres, with tunnelling expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Previously, the roadheaders were used to create the station caverns at Woolloongabba, and while tunnelling the machines will excavate three cross passages between the twin tunnels, as well as one temporary cross passage, said a Cross River Rail Delivery Authority (CRRDA) spokesperson.

“The roadheaders being used to excavate the project’s twin tunnels south to Boggo Road have been repurposed for extended use, having already been used to excavate the Woolloongabba station cavern.”

Unlike tunnelling on the rest of the project from Woolloongabba to Normanby, which is being carried out by two tunnel boring machines, the roadheaders are being used between Woolloongabba and Boggo Road due to the shallowness of this section of tunnel.

“Using roadheaders to tunnel south from Woolloongabba to Boggo Road is a more cost efficient and more suitable methodology given the tunnel section’s shorter length and shallower depth,” said the spokesperson.

“It isn’t feasible to use additional TBMs for this section, especially considering how long they take to assemble, test and disassemble.”

In a press conference to mark the beginning of construction on the future Exhibition Station, CRRDA Graeme Newton said after a year of construction, the project was meeting its targets.

“We’re working both above ground and below ground. The project is progressing very well and we’re on time and on budget.”

At the front of the roadheaders, the pineapple that brakes through rock will go through 30 picks during each eight-hour shift.

Queensland Labor promises $1bn pipeline of local train manufacturing

The Queensland Labor government has promised that if returned at the upcoming state election it would create a $1 billion rail manufacturing pipeline in Maryborough.

Labor would purchase 20 new trains at a cost of $600 million to be built in Maryborough. This is in addition to the $300m, 10-year pipeline of maintenance work of the existing Queensland Rail fleet and the $85m invested in refurbishing the New Generation Rollingstock to make the trains compliant with the Disability Act.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also announced $1m for a business case for the replacement of regional carriages, which is expected to lead to $150m in works also delivered by Downer.

“This $1 billion train building program heralds a new and ambitious chapter for manufacturing, not just for Maryborough, but for Queensland,” said Palaszczuk.

“This long-term future pipeline of work means there will be rewarding long-term career paths for our young people in trades like boilermaking, fitter machining and as electricians.”

Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO Caroline Wilkie said the investment highlighted Australia’s local manufacturing capabilities.

“This commitment would transform the face of Queensland manufacturing and shows once and for all that trains can and should be built here in Australia,” said Wilkie.

“We are pleased this commitment has recognised Australia’s extensive expertise in the field and the need to invest to this scale in the local industry.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the tender process would require the trains to be built in Maryborough.

“Train manufacturers will be invited to bid in a procurement process to build the next fleet of passenger trains in Maryborough, with an order for 20 new six-car trains needed to support more frequent services once Cross River Rail opens in 2025,” he said.

“The initial order could be followed with an option to build up to 45 additional six-car trains in Maryborough, to meet future demand on the Citytrain network.”

In addition to trains built in Queensland for the Queensland network, Perth’s B-Series trains were manufactured in Maryborough.

Queensland’s latest train fleet, the New Generation Rollingstock, were manufactured overseas, however whilst compliant with the specification under which they were ordered, had to be retrofitted to meet Australian accessibility requirements

“This investment in rail manufacturing would ensure the trains operating on the state’s newest passenger rail line are absolutely fit for purpose and made for Australian conditions by the people that know them best,” said Wilkie.

ETCS

ETCS roll-out in Brisbane beginning with upgrades on the Shorncliffe line

The installation of European Train Control Systems (ETCS) signalling equipment on Brisbane’s Shorncliffe line has begun.

The Shorncliffe line is being used as a testing environment ahead of the rollout of ETCS on Brisbane’s network as part of the Cross River Rail project.

Simon Cook, director program delivery at the Cross River Rail Deliver Authority said the Shorncliffe line was chosen as a test case due to its place within the network.

“Signalling assets on the Shorncliffe line are due for replacement in the next few years, making it a good fit with our rollout schedule for ETCS. The line is also away from the main line and the freight corridor, which means testing on this line will minimise impact on customers, and the overall network,” said Cook.

When rolled out across the rest of the network, ETCS signalling will allow for more trains to run through the future core of the Brisbane network. ETCS will be installed in the new tunnel constructed as part of the Cross River Rail project, as well as on the inner-city network between Northgate and Milton stations.

Safety is also another reason for the installation of ETCS, as the continuous monitoring of a train’s position, direction and speed enables safer operations.

Existing rollingstock are being fitted with the in-cab equipment at a new workshop in Redbank and trialling the equipment on a variety of rollingstock is part of the testing process, said Cook.

“Over the next two years, the project will move through several stages, from initial testing with first-of-class train fitment, through to full service delivery using a mix of rollingstock, so we will develop and prove installation, operations, reliability and maintenance on the Shorncliffe line.”

Queensland Rail staff will also be trained on the new technology from later this year, with structured training for train crew and other roles to kick off in 2021.

Ultimately, installation on the Shorncliffe line is hoped to enable a smooth deployment as the technology is deployed elsewhere.

“Using the lessons learned from our Shorncliffe line trial will provide efficiencies in the design, installation and testing of subsequent areas,” said Cook. “We will use our System Integration Lab as well as the pilot line to integrate and test a range of the systems that are planned for the CRR tunnel.”

roadheaders

Dual roadheaders excavating Cross River Rail tunnels

Two roadheaders are excavating tunnels underneath Brisbane to carve out the route of the future Cross River Rail.

The addition of the second roadheader enables more rock to be excavated each day, with 55 metres of tunnel already excavated at a rate of 1.5 metres each a day.

The over 100 tonnes roadheaders have set out in different directions from the Woolloongabba site. Beginning from the station cavern, one is heading north underneath Vulture Street, and the other is tunnelling south towards the South East Busway.

Blasting is also being conducted at the site to speed up excavation works.

To allow for the excavated rock, including volcanic Brisbane Tuff and conglomerates forming the Neranleigh Fernvale rock that sits under the Brisbane CBD, to be removed from site, a spoil shed built by a local contractor has been constructed at Woolloongabba. By the time excavation is complete, over 132,000 cubic metres of rock and soil will have been excavators. So far, 70,000 cubic metres has been removed.

When complete, the station box shaft will be 32 metres deep, with the future 220 metre-long platform sitting 27-metres below the surface.

Later in 2020, tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will arrive at Woolloongabba. The TBMs are currently being refitted in Brisbane after having completed work on the Sydney Metro project. The TBMs will excavate the twin underground tunnels to the north from January next year. This will speed up tunnelling progress as each can carve out 20-30 metres of tunnel a day.

Cross River Rail

Cross River Rail expanding inclusion in design and construction

The Cross River Rail project is incorporating local communities of suppliers and future passengers into its current design and construction programs.

The $5.4 billion project is contributing $4 million a day into to the local economy, partly through contracts with suppliers such as IDEC who will deliver the acoustic sheds at three major construction sites.

The sheds are in use at the Roma Street and Albert Street sites and a third is being installed at Woolloongabba.

IDEC CEO Glenn Gibson said that major projects such as CRR allow for business continuity.

“We are specialists in our field, and contracts like this one with CRR are vital for companies like ours to provide continuity and job security for our staff.”

The CRR contract provides work for 70 employees, including boilermakers, roof panel builders, riggers, and engineers and designers. Two apprentices are also working on the project.

The sheds are prefabricated by IDEC and then installed on site over 10 weeks. By using the sheds, CRR is able to work at night and during bad weather, while minimising dust and noise pollution in the surrounding area.

CRR is also involving the wider community in the design of the project. In one initiative, six stations that will undergo accessibility upgrades have been modelled to allow for those with blindness and low vision to give input on the stations’ designs.

The 3D model of the stations are being made with the assistance of Braille House, which provides. Braille products f or the vision impaired. Braille has been embossed on the tactile model for increased legibility.

So far, a model of the upgraded Fairfield station has been constructed, and Braille House general manager Sally Balwin said this would overcome issues that transport infrastructure has for those with a disability.

“We’re pleased to have worked with Cross River Rail on the Fairfield Station concept design tactile model. Train stations can be a challenge for people using a cane or a guide dog to navigate, and it can impact their ability to access public transport.”

Wendy Sara, production manager at Braille House has been working with the CRR team to construct the station models.

As a blind person, it’s important to be included in the consultation and to be given the opportunity to explore by touch the changes to be made to the upgraded station,” said Sara.

“The provision of access to the tactile model will help blind and low vision people feel confident in navigating the upgraded Fairfield station once completed.”