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Super-sized machines on show at Scienceworks

28 Mar 2018

This school holidays, kids from all over Victoria will have the chance to be inspired by ingenious technology used on one of our biggest construction projects.

A special two-week exhibition at Scienceworks (31 March to 15 April 2018) will showcase the big blue ‘monster machines’ being used to remove level crossings on a narrow part of the Cranbourne/Pakenham line in Melbourne’s south east.

The Australian-first machines are not only visually impressive, but a great real-life example of engineering being used to overcome a challenge – in this case building new rail in an area too narrow for regular cranes.

Budding science or construction whizzes can get an inside look into the technology courtesy of audio visual displays, drone footage and a replica made from Lego specially designed to showcase the equipment for children.

Engineers who worked on the project will also be giving short talks for kids on 10, 11 and 12 April 2018 (10:30am and 11:30am each day).

Made up of 15,000 lego bricks, the custom replica took two weeks to build and shows how the specialist equipment – two gantry cranes, a straddle carrier and 90-metre support beams – combine together to lift, shift and install the ‘building blocks’ for the new 2.4 kilometre section of elevated rail.

The super-size machinery has been based at Murrumbeena since June last year with the job of installing 174 concrete spans between Caulfield and Hughesdale – some weighing as much as 420 tonnes – equivalent to 70 elephants.

Later in the year, when tracks are laid and power connected – the elevated rail will separate trains from roads, meaning trains can run without holding up traffic.

Around 30,000 visitors are expected to pass through the doors at Scienceworks over the school holiday period. Free entry for children under 16.

Scienceworks is located at 2 Booker Street Spotswood.

Custom-built Lego replica of the machines being used to construct the elevated rail between Caulfield and Hughesdale

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