Mernda Rail construction update December 2017

It’ll come as no surprise to locals that crews have been very busy building the eight-kilometre rail line extension from South Morang to Mernda this year. In this Construction Update, we recap on some of the highlights from 2017 and take a look at what is in store next year.

Snapshot: October to December

Over the past few months we have:

  • started the next stage of construction on the McDonalds Road and Plenty Road rail underpasses
  • installed bridge beams over Hawkstowe Parade and Bridge Inn Road
  • started construction of the Reinforced Earth Walls to carry the rail line from ground level onto the elevated structures
  • started constructing the stabling yard
  • continued installing pre-made concrete sections of the elevated structures at Hawkstowe Parade, The Parkway and Bridge Inn Road
  • seen hundreds of workers building the new rail line.


State Government and LXRA award construction contract to John Holland


Site and geotechnical investigations continue

  • Site offices established
  • Pre-construction surveys underway


  • Community meet and greet activities
  • Preparatory works start


  • Environmental and planning approvals obtained
  • Approximately 120 environmentally protected Matted Flax lilies relocated


  • Construction of McDonalds and Plenty roads rail underpasses starts
  • Mernda Rail info + jobs hub opened


  • Foundation works start
  • Heritage dig in Plenty Gorge Parklands reveals artefacts of original Bridge Inn Hotel
  • Construction Community Reference Group (CRG) first meets
  • First beam lifted into place at McDonalds Road
  • Preparation work for the construction of Marymede pedestrian underpass starts

First concrete headstocks which support the elevated rail are installed at Mernda and Hawkstowe


In an Australian industry first, the first of 48 u-trough beams which trains will travel through are installed at the future Mernda Station


  • Construction of Reinforced Earth Walls along Plenty Road
  • First stage of McDonalds and Plenty roads rail underpasses completed


  • Installation of rail bridge beams across Hawkstowe Parade and Bridge Inn Road
  • Our cranes are named by local students “Sir Lifts A Lot”, “Merndanator” and “Rosy”
  • Commenced installing overhead rail wiring poles from Epping to South Morang to increase power supply for new rail line


  • Breakthrough under McDonalds Road and South Moran Station forecourt
  • Installation of super T beams at South Morang Station

Traffic changes on McDonalds and Plenty roads

Works are progressing to build new rail underpasses at McDonalds and Plenty roads. There will be traffic changes during construction, and we ask that you please follow traffic signage and diversions in each area.

Breakthrough at South Morang Station

We have recently broken through the rock beneath McDonalds Road and South Morang Station forecourt, linking the future rail corridor to the current one for the first time. Works are now underway to build the western half of the McDonalds Road rail underpass. The following long-term changes are in place at South Morang Station, for the safety of the community and our workers during works:

  • drop-off zone relocated to McDonalds Road
  • disability car parking spaces relocated to the south side of the station building near the bus interchange
  • closure of walking path through the forecourt works site area
  • closure of about 30 car parking spaces in the eastern car park.

Quick Statics

  • 60,000m3 of rock and dirt removed to date
  • 52km of overhead wiring will be installed
  • 150km of underground cabling works to be installed for new railway


Works are well underway to build the new Marymede pedestrian underpass. To enable us to complete more work in this area over the quieter, school holiday period, the current pedestrian path will be closed from 2 January. It will reopen for the new school year.

Stabling yard update

As part of the Mernda Rail Extension Project, a stabling yard is being constructed in the rail corridor north of the new Mernda Station, starting just south of Heals Road and finishing behind the Uniting Church on Schotters Road. The facility will store up to eight trains overnight and will allow more trains, more often to run on the Mernda and Hurstbridge lines. We expect to complete construction of the stabling yard in the first half of 2018.


We have a big year ahead as we continue construction of the Mernda Rail Extension. Over the next 12 months, you will see construction of:

  • the rail underpasses at Plenty and McDonalds roads
  • the three new state-of-the-art station buildings and features, including station car parks
  • rail infrastructure, including laying of ballast and track, along the eight-kilometre corridor
  • infrastructure for power supply to run trains along the corridor
  • the pedestrian underpass at the Yan Yean pipe track and overpass at Plenty Road near Lakes Boulevard
  • walking and cycling path connections.


We thank you for your patience during 2017, and we wish everyone a safe and happy festive season. We will take a break from 23 December until 2 January. We will have project staff on call during this time for urgent matters.

If you have questions about the work site or the project in general please call us on 1800 762 667 any time or email

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