Moorebank contract to Martinus

 

Martinus has been awarded the $140 million Moorebank Interstate Intermodal Terminal and rail access project by Qube – a nationally significant infrastructure development that will transform the way containerised freight moves through Sydney and along the east coast.

Martinus founder and chief executive officer Treaven Martinus said he and the team are thrilled to be delivering the facility, which forms part of the Moorebank Logistics Park, Australia’s largest intermodal project.

“For more than six months, we collaborated with our client, Qube, to refine the overall design and provided optimum solutions which ensure best for project outcomes. We have found that early involvement and collaboration are essential on major multi-disciplinary projects like this,” he said.

“Due to the scale and the complexity of the works, and all the logistical complexities that come with delivering large scale metro projects, we knew transparency with the client was essential and it strengthens the relationship – and for us that sets a solid foundation to deliver a project successfully.”

Interface management will play a critical part in the project management process which includes a range of specialised pavement works, earthworks, stormwater drainage, track works, signalling, communications, CCTV systems, HV service relocations and distribution, as well as other ancillary services.

Martinus chief operating officer Ryan Baden said that the team has provided a turn-key solution only made possible by the incredible in-house experts who were specifically selected to champion these works.

“This win shows me and the industry that we have an incredible team of people within Martinus who know the rail space inside and out. Our people are the reason why we are seen within the market as the experts within the complex railway infrastructure – because of their knowledge and solutions-focused thinking,” he said.

“Our next generation of industry leaders are embedded in this team and I can’t wait to watch them deliver this project.”

The Moorebank Logistics Park is being developed on a precinct covering over 240 hectares of land. The precinct is roughly the size of the Sydney CBD stretching from Circular Quay to Central Station and will include up to 850,000 square metres of warehousing. National Intermodal is a partner in the terminal development and funding the rail access infrastructure.

Albury, Wagga and Forbes firms get shot at Inland Rail contracts

The shortlisted contractors for the 185km Albury to Illabo project and the 170km Stockinbingal to Parkes project  – John Holland, FreightConnect and Martinus Rail – will attend networking sessions hosted by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), at which businesses can make their pitch to the major contractors to win future work.

Businesses interested in attending should ensure they have a current, accurate business capability statement and a 30-second ‘elevator pitch’ that describes what their business does, where it is located and clients they have worked with.

Regional supplier briefings event details

  • Albury: Monday, 18 July 2022 between 4pm and 6:30pm at Commercial Club Albury (618 Dean Street)
  • Wagga Wagga: Tuesday, 19 July 2022 between 4pm and 6:30pm at Wagga RSL Club (Dobbs Street)
  • Forbes: Wednesday, 20 July 2022 between 4pm and 6:30pm at Club Forbes (Templar Street)

Project Director of Inland Rail (Tottenham to Narromine) Melvyn Maylin said that ARTC Inland Rail is providing new opportunities for local businesses to engage with the Inland Rail program as they progress towards construction.

“These briefings are intended to help get as many local people as possible involved with the project,” he said.

“We are inviting local businesses who are keen to be involved in Inland Rail to join us at this networking event, hear from the shortlisted contractors and meet with representatives from each organisation.

“Bookings are essential. You can register your attendance by visiting inlandrail.artc.com.au/a2p-meet or by emailing inlandrailnsw@artc.com.au.

“Inland Rail is being predominantly delivered in regional Australia, meaning there is a prime opportunity for regional Australia to reap the immediate benefits that come with construction.

“The relationships that we establish with communities and businesses now will also support regions to prepare for the long-term economic opportunities that come with connectivity to this fast, efficient and cost-competitive freight transport.”

Final selection of contractors

ARTC is now entering a formal Request for Proposal phase to determine which contractor will be chosen to conduct the project.

The successful contractor will be required to deliver initiatives and meet targets related to industry participation, employment and workforce development with the Inland Rail team working closely with them to achieve these targets.

This is especially good news for city centres like Albury-Wodonga and Wagga Wagga, which will act as hubs for surrounding regional industry when Inland Rail is operational, through intermodal capacity and strategic locations between Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.

“We are incredibly mindful of how sizable investment can reshape regional economies in a short period of time and our focus is on ensuring that benefits flow directly to the communities on the Inland Rail alignment,” Maylin said.

ARTC is expecting to award the contract in early 2023.

Inland Rail communities meet the contractor

Martinus Rail and Inland Rail have met with local communities and organisations to discuss operations to deliver the 570-kilometre rail corridor component of the project linking Narromine in New South Wales and Gowrie in Queensland, which Martinus won the contract for in December. Read more

construction

A new look at rail construction: Martinus’ plant department

Martinus’ in-house approach is de-risking rail construction.

Having stepped up from a product supply business into a rail construction outfit, the young upstart of the Australian rail construction industry decided three years ago to head out on its own with the purchase of major multi-million-dollar pieces of machinery.

“The business has only been delivering construction projects for around eight years,” said Martinus chief operating officer Ryan Baden. “For the first part of five years, we would be relying on other people’s plant and equipment to do the final piece, mainly tampers, regulators, and flash butt welders. We had grown to a position where it was only the large, tier one contractors that had these pieces of equipment and we were now competing with them.”

To de-risk construction projects it was working on, Martinus made the decision to purchase the plant, machinery, and equipment and recruit their own team to overhaul and maintain the growing fleet.

“It’s essentially about de-risking project delivery and overall business risk ,” said Baden. “We control all the pieces of the puzzle; we recruit all of our own labourers, engineers, and supervisors, plus our strong financial position and current project pipeline means we can significantly invest in our own plant and machinery.

“Our next goal was to purchase our own ballast trains – that has really changed everything for us, it solidified our end vision of having the largest fleet of specialised rail equipment in Australia, all the while ensuring we were well equipped to deliver upcoming projects and maintain full control of logistics and maintenance.”

For any major rail construction project, having a few pieces of bright yellow kit is not enough by itself, there needs to be a level of logistical and rail safety knowhow to ensure that the kit is fully operational, at the right place, and at the right time.

“In the past, particularly for the product supply side of the business, we were using freight forwarders and received good service, but the plan for some time has been to bring it all inhouse.”

As the fleet grew, so did the team. Martinus hired logistics manager Jason Gibson who has previously worked for a large mining company. The vertical integration of Martinus’ supply chain has worked before and is now even more enhanced by their inhouse experts.

The value of these investments was realised straightaway, said David Van Hoos, national plant and asset manager for Martinus.

“The first tamper we secured was mobilised as part of the Gold Coast light rail project Stage 2. We were able to quickly bring it up to site specification and employ our own operators and fitters, we gained flexibility to adapt to program changes and minimise any potential interruptions or delays that may have occurred relying on external suppliers.”

With the successful implementation of the first piece of major plant and several large- scale projects in the pipeline, it made good business sense to create a standalone plant department dedicated to servicing their own rail projects. This has also increased Martinus’ capacity and capability to become a consistent and reliable interface on major rail and civil construction projects.

“What we’ve found is clients are looking to de-risk themselves around interfaces on sites,” said Baden. “In the past, clients would bring us in to deliver the track, someone else to complete the overhead wiring, and another contractor for signalling – that’s three different interfaces for them to manage. With extensive rail knowledge and strong project management skills, the next step to further add value for our clients was bringing in subject matter experts to handle the overhead wiring, signalling and comms as part of the Martinus team.”

Martinus’s The continuous track laying machine has been built locally.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF A RAIL-DEDICATED PLANT DEPARTMENT
Having established the plant department, the team under Van Hoos’ leadership has grown to include a maintenance team of 15 fitters, project managers, engineers and support staff.

“Our fitters are key to the success of the plant department, we’ve selected them based on their industry experience, but to build on that experience we’ve also recruited electrical and mechanical apprentices to build a diverse and well-rounded team for the future,” said Van Hoos. “It’s great to be able to invest in the younger generation and teach them everything we know about rail.”

Rather than swelling in size for each individual project, the team at Martinus are employed full-time to ensure that the business can deliver on any of the major projects it is engaged on. Being solely focused on rail has contributed to the energy and enthusiasm in the workshop, said Van Hoos.

Supplementing the skilled tradespeople are local suppliers, when needed. Currently, Martinus is constructing the Carmichael Rail Network (CRN), in Central Queensland, and has just engaged a local Mackay business in a $1 million contract to fabricate the metal framework for the supply consist behind Martinus’ tracklaying machine. Staying in touch with locals has also come in handy as border restrictions have limited the movement of people across Australia and New Zealand. Martinus have engaged Harsco to build two continuous track lifters (CTL), who are local to Martinus’ main plant department in Brisbane. The CTLs are being fabricated and manufactured locally.

“The border restrictions have also forced us to look outside of the rail industry to build our team,” said Van Hoos. “We have employed members from the military, electricians from the automotive industry, and fitters from the mining sector all led by experienced industry leaders – this diverse mix adds another level of knowledge and bring a unique set of skills to our team.”

“With travel restrictions in place, it’s been a great advantage to have Harsco close by as we’ve been able to have regular progress visits and factory acceptance testing at Harsco’s workshop. Any issues can be resolved very quickly, and seeing the production in the workshop first-hand has also been a bonus.”

Not only has Martinus invested in machinery, but also the people needed to operate and maintain it.

MULTIGAUGE AS STANDARD

While the CRN and another project that Martinus is currently working on, the Forrestfield Airport Link are narrow gauge, the team are mindful that having dedicated narrow gauge plant and equipment will limit where it can work in Australia, New Zealand, and internationally.

“We operate an international rail business that works across three different gauges and probably about 20 different railway networks. Van Hoos and the in-house rollingstock engineers work closely to ensure that our build specification enable us to move the machinery around safely, quickly and efficiently,” said Baden.

In terms of the equipment that Martinus has purchased, which in addition to ballast wagons and the continuous track lifting machine also includes a sleeper laying machine, a track laying machine, four tampers and four ballast regulators, six flash butt welders among other pieces of plant, all are designed to be used across multiple projects.

“When purchasing plant, be it new or second-hand, we have been focused on gauge convertible plant which ensures the flexibility from one project to the next,” said Van Hoos.

Being able to move between standard and narrow also allows Martinus to work on shorter jobs on metropolitan networks.

“Soon, we will be taking delivery of 40 ballast wagons, two continuous track, six flash butt welders on hi-rail trucks – all brand new, gauge convertible equipment ready to go,” said Van Hoos.

This fleet is complimented with six locomotives that Martinus purchased from KiwiRail.

“It was perfect timing for Martinus that KiwiRail were renewing their current locomotive fleet. The gauge and specifications of the locos were aligned to our requirements for CRN” said Van Hoos. “These locomotives will be used for construction only to haul our ballast and sleeper wagons.”

While the fleet sets Martinus up for any number of projects around Australia and New Zealand, as the past year has shown, there are any number of unpredictable events that could occur in the meantime and require new thinking to ensure projects get over the line. In New Zealand, where Martinus has a contract to provide flash butt welding services to its Woburn depot and around the network. Of course, getting people there has not been possible so Van Hoos has come up with a unique fix.

“We’ve come up with a solution to train a local operator via video link under the supervision of our project team in New Zealand. One of our Australian based operator/fitters has been providing non- stop online training for carefully selected Martinus fitters and operators in New Zealand. This initiative has allowed us to continue on despite travel restrictions and resulted in minimal delays to KiwiRail’s re-railing projects.”

Martinus is ready to look at rail construction in a different way.

construction

First rail dedicated contractor joins Australian Owned Contractors

The Australian Owned Contractors (AOC) group has announced that Martinus Rail has joined the collection of mid-tier contractors.

Martinus is the first company to join AOC that is solely focused on rail infrastructure projects.

CEO and managing director Treavan Martinus said that it was more important than ever that investment in infrastructure flowed to local contractors.

“The Australian construction industry has always played an integral role helping bolster the economy during uncertain times,” he said.

“With the Australian government expected to inject more than $100 billion to deliver various infrastructure projects across Australia, there should be more pressure for them to delivered by Australian companies to keep profits here, rather than offshore.”

AOC, led by CEO Brent Crockford, advocates for major infrastructure projects to be delivered by companies that are majority Austrlaian-owned.

“All AOC members are united in the fight to push change to procurement processes for our largest taxpayer-funded projects,” Crockford said.

“Across the country multi-billion-dollar tender packages are bundled to favour big foreign owned Tier One construction firms and this needs to end.”

AOC has called for large infrastructure projects to be broken up into smaller packages to allow a greater number of firms to bid for projects and for industry sustainability criteria to be applied to major public infrastructure projects.

With rail projects expected to play a large part in post-COVID-19 stimulus plans, Crockford said that procurement for these big-ticket items should be reformed.

“If we are to have any hope of growing domestic skills and allowing Mid-Tier Australian-owned businesses to grow and evolve into our new leading Tier One players, then we need practical action to reform procurement on major projects to encourage more work and less barriers for our Mid-Tier contractors.”

Martinus said that the benefits of a locally owned contractor meant that more money stayed within Australia.

“One hundred per cent of our profits are reinvested into the Australian economy and being Australian owned, we continue to invest in our growth – both in terms of capability and capacity – to deliver Australia’s largest infrastructure projects,” he said.

“We are looking forward to working with the AOC to advocate for change and in turn safeguard the Australian economy for future generations.”

Martinus

Martinus beginning major works on Carmichael Rail Network

Martinus is about to begin piling works for the first bridge on the Carmichael Rail Network.

Already, construction of the first of many waterway crossings has begun while bulk earthworks continue.

Chief operating officer Ryan Baden said the project involved a number of civil construction processes.

“We are delivering the port-side civil works, which is around 86 kilometres of the earthworks formation with 10 multi-span superstructures – one that spans 50 metres, 87 culvert structures and three-million cubic meters of cut to fill.”

The $340 million works program, announced in two separate contracts, covers rail laying to connect the Adani mine to the Central Queensland Coal Network, and the associated civil construction works.

To prepare the rail for installation, on-site flash-butt welding is taking place.

Martinus has 300 staff on site working on the project and is looking to involve locals wherever possible.

Tracklaying

Tracklaying in progress on Perth’s future Airport Line

With tunnelling complete on the Metronet Forrestfield-Airport Link project, tracklaying has now begun along the 8-kilometre-long tunnels.

Martinus Rail will install the 40 kilometres of rail needed to form the track in each tunnel, along with tie-ins at Bayswater and stowage at High Wycombe.

The first kilometre of track has already been laid, and Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said that this was a significant milestone on the project.

“Tracklaying is one of the final major events on the construction of a rail line – it’s an exciting milestone for this $1.86 billion project, with more than 2,400 tonnes of Australian-made steel being prepared.”

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said that the project was coming together.

“We’re at an exciting time for this major infrastructure project – the tunnel-boring machines have finished creating our tunnels, our three new stations are taking shape and tracklaying is now underway.”

The 27.5m long pieces of steel are flash-butt welded into 220 metre strings. The Martinus teams have been working simultaneously to weld the rail, transport it and lay it along with the sleepers to form the skeleton track, before concrete is poured to complete the slab track.

Other work is also underway to install the overhead line equipment and the communications and signalling systems.

Roughly 100 jobs are supported by the tracklaying and rail infrastructure stages of the project.

Once complete, the Airport Line will link the Perth CBD with the airport and the eastern suburbs, including Redcliffe and High Wycombe. Thousands of commuters expected to use the rail link each day when trains begin running in late 2021.