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Mernda Rail Project Construction Update – October 2017

01 Oct 2017

Construction update – October 2017

Construction is now full steam ahead across the eight-kilometre Mernda Rail Extension. In this Construction Update we will give you more detail about some of the structures you may have seen taking shape along the corridor.

Snapshot: August to October

Over the past few months we have:

  • undertaken piling works for structures along the rail corridor
  • built concrete bridge columns at the new Mernda and Hawkstowe stations
  • started installing pre-made concrete sections of the elevated rail line at Hawkstowe Parade, The Parkway and Bridge Inn Road
  • removed 4,500m3 of rock from the South Morang Station area as we construct the McDonalds Road rail underpass
  • completed the first stage of building the Plenty Road rail underpass
  • continued to move utility services out of the construction area
  • undertaken one of the biggest concrete pours of the project to help complete the rail underpass at Plenty Road.

For all updates on traffic changes, please visit  Mernda Rail Extension Project page.

Did you know?

The new Mernda rail line will have two rail underpasses and three rail overpasses to ensure no dangerous and congested level crossings are created. Only 14 per cent of the rail line is elevated.

You saw it here first

In an Australian-industry first, the Mernda Rail Extension Project has introduced the innovative u-trough to the Victorian rail network.

The u-trough is created by joining two specifically designed L-shaped concrete beams together to form the “U”, inside which trains will travel.

The first of the u-trough beams are being lifted into place at Mernda and Hawkstowe stations by two giant 280 tonne crawler cranes, 45 metres high.

Structures taking shape

The rail underpasses and overpasses are starting to take shape along the corridor.

The bulk of the concrete used in these structures is manufactured at pre-cast yards in Laverton, Kilmore and Echuca and “stitched” together on site. This reduces the amount of disruptive activity on site.

Have you noticed the following items arriving or being installed?


  • Installed on bridge columns to support the structural beams.
  • Weigh 34 tonnes.
  • Eight six will be used on the project.

Super T beams

  • Most common pre-cast beam used in Melbourne's rail and road network.
  • more than 30 Super T beams will be used for the McDonalds Road and Plenty Road rail underpasses.

From the team

"Seeing the new u-trough beams installed at Mernda is a very significant milestone for the project. We have been working on the design, pre-cast yard setup and planning for delivery and installation for the last nine months.”

Tanja, Construction Manager

“It is fantastic to see what was once a concept on paper being transformed into a physical asset that will truly benefit the local community.”

Nicholas, Senior Project Engineer

How is a rail overpass built?

A rail overpass is built in stages:

  • foundations of concrete and steel are drilled into the ground with piling rigs
  • concrete bridge columns are then poured onto these foundations
  • headstocks are fixed onto the columns to support the weight of beams and planks
  • beams are then lifted onto the headstocks and stitched together with concrete
  • rail tracks can then be installed on or within the structure.

Upcoming works

Over the coming months we will:

  • start power upgrades between Epping and South Morang
  • continue building elevated structures at the new Hawkstowe and Mernda stations
  • switch the temporary traffic lanes on Plenty and McDonalds roads to allow for excavation and piling works
  • start works on the station buildings
  • continue construction of the Marymede Station pedestrian underpass.

We'd love to meet you

The Mernda Rail info + jobs hub is open five days a week at 323 McDonalds Road, Epping. You can visit between 9:00am and 5:00pm to meet with the project team, see project progress photography and videos, and register your interest in receiving job alerts.

We will also be out and about in the community at our regular community pop ups.

Sign up to receive e-updates to find out about all of our upcoming sessions.

Extension of project hours – Saturdays 3:00pm

To reduce the overall disruption of the project, works on site have been extended from 1:00pm to 3:00pm on Saturdays. We will work closely with nearby residents to keep them informed and manage any potential impacts. We thank you for your patience as we construct the Mernda Rail Extension.

View the PDF print version of this Construction Update PDF, 1.1 MB

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