This is one part of the upgrades to the 1,055 kilometre Murray Basin rail network, which expands over north west Victoria, parts of New South Wales and South Australia, and is part of the Victorian intrastate freight network, comprising:
- Yelta Line: 406km of single-track mainline connecting Yelta to Maryborough;
- Murrayville to Ouyen branch line: 109km of single track linking Murrayville to Ouyen on the Yelta Line;
- Maryborough to Ararat line: 88km of single track connecting the Yelta Line at Maryborough to the ARTC Interstate network at Ararat;
- Sea Lake line: 140km of single track connecting Sea Lake to Korong Vale and then a further 72km to Dunolly;
- Manangatang line: 175km of single-track connecting Manangatang to Korong Vale (and then a further 72km to Dunolly);
- Maryborough to Gheringhap: 140km of single-track connecting Maryborough to the ARTC interstate network at Gheringhap to access the ports of Geelong and Melbourne.
SMEC’s designer role as part of the MBRP Alliance was focussed on delivering all non-signalling designs on the project. This mainly included designs for the track and civil (including track drainage), combined services route (CSR) and structural designs.
Innovative solutions for Bridge Ballast Retention
Enhancements to the pre-existing 80 kilometres of railway track, which connects Maryborough to Ararat, were imperative to establish a crucial link to the Murray Basin rail freight network in Victoria. This involved increasing the rail height to provide more ballast depth beneath the sleepers, replacing the old rails with new ones, and refining the track alignment. These measures enabled the line to accommodate heavier rail loads and improve operational speeds.
Infrastructure beneath the railway line, such as bridges and culverts, underwent evaluations to accommodate the heightened loading conditions. They were examined for compliance to AS5100 requirements, and measures to retain ballast were implemented along the structure edges to prevent spillage and facilitate future maintenance activities.
Improvements on track
Once complete, the MBRP rail network upgrade will reduce road congestion by allowing thousands of vehicle journeys to be removed from roads, whilst also providing a major benefit to local producers and the regional economy. An increase to forty-nine weekly freight paths will see freight capacity increased, improved network reliability and thousands of jobs to be supported throughout the life of the project.