The Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project is using an innovative construction method to replace a 100 year old track design, helping to get rid of nine of the most dangerous level crossings in Victoria with minimal disruption.
Once the elevated rail beams are in place, two yellow, custom-built rail carriers will be used to lay the track. Cranes are used to lift lengths of rail and concrete blocks (plinths) onto the rail deck and the rail carriers transport them into position.
This means we need significantly fewer access points to the rail corridor, limiting the disruption to residents.
Did you know:
- Each plinth weighs up to 2.5 tonnes
- The plinths are between three and five metres long
- Rail is delivered to site by train in bundles of 110 metres
- A rail carrier transports the plinths and rail into position
- The rail carrier is remotely controlled and travels at 5 kilometers an hour
- It is the first time this type of rail carrier has been used in Australia.
Quieter and smoother design
Typically in Australia, track is made up of ballast (loose rocks), steel rail and wooden or concrete sleepers. The track being installed by this project is different as it is made up of concrete blocks (called plinths), steel rail, rubber pads and clamps to hold the rail in place. The design will minimise vibration and lower noise for nearby residents.
- Plinths: Pre-fabricated concrete plinths are delivered to site, lifted onto the rail deck by crane and moved into position by the carrier. The plinths have holes that are filled with concrete to fix them to the rail deck.
- Rail: The rail is lifted onto the rail deck by crane. Rail trolleys positioned on the deck move the rail into location.
- Fixing the rail: The plinths have a pre-cast "seat" to hold the rail in place. This includes a thick rubber pad that helps to dampen vibration sounds. Rail is fixed to the plinth using special clamps that hold the rail in position. The ends of the rail lengths are welded together to form the track.
Powering up the track
Once the track is complete, a specialist team will begin working on the overhead wiring, which will power the sections of the rail line. Tests will then be conducted by running trains along the track.
The carriers were custom-built to help minimise disruption to residents and to the rail line. Instead of using cranes along the entire length of the corridor, we are able to do all the lifting from a few key locations, and use the carrier to transport the material to its correct location.
The design of the new rail sections have features that will reduce vibration for commuters and lower noise for nearby residents. These include high quality continuous smooth tracks and rubber insulators under the track to dampen vibrations.