Browsing Tag: rails

    Articles

    Professionals Program – Rail Systems

    November 14, 2019


    Signalling is a crucial component of any rail
    project. The safety of train movements and the control
    and management of trains depends on it. Railway signalling has evolved over the years,
    and is now a highly sought after skill in today’s market. We’re working hard to introduce high capacity
    signalling into Melbourne’s network and that is going to change the way trains operate. There are many opportunities across our major
    railway projects for people who are interested in signalling. This field is a specialist one, and our projects
    provide an excellent way to learn and develop skills that allow you at the same time to
    contribute to major projects.

    Breaking Ground: Station box excavation at North Melbourne
    Articles, Blog

    Breaking Ground: Station box excavation at North Melbourne

    November 12, 2019


    So we’re here at Arden Street, the site of
    the new North Melbourne Station. We’re excavating the station box, it’s about
    20 metres deep and 250 metres long. We’re excavating using a 30-tonne telescopic
    excavator. They’re used to telescope down, and grab the
    material in a deep excavation. Once the excavation is completed, we’ll prepare
    the west box for the TBM assembly. The TBM will be delivered in small parts,
    then they’ll be lowered deep into the box using a 400-tonne crawler crane. Once the TBM is assembled and commissioned,
    we’ll then launch the machines and they’ll tunnel towards Kensington. So once we assemble the TBM and commission
    them, it’s quite a milestone for the project. It represents a different phase in operations,
    we’ll have a tunnel boring operation that will happen concurrently with the station
    excavation and the station construction. The bore tunnel excavation will go on for
    approximately 2 years. Authorised by Victorian Government, 1 Treasury
    Place, Melbourne.

    Rail Projects Victoria Graduate Program
    Articles, Blog

    Rail Projects Victoria Graduate Program

    November 9, 2019


    I was attracted to working at the Metro
    Tunnel Project because it’s delivering one of the biggest projects that’s going
    to shape the future of Melbourne at the moment. I commuted through the rail loop
    so many times and I’ve always wanted to be part of the rail infrastructure and
    fix the current congestion. I really wanted to be part of a graduate
    program just because everything’s been organised in terms of a learning series
    and then having the opportunity to develop skills and have time to do that. The Grad Program is structured in a series of rotations so you get to move around the business and move around your discipline and figure out
    what you really want to do. We are given real work and
    responsibilities from day one. It’s really structured which I like,
    a lot of learning opportunities. outside of your individual specialization. I’m learning absolutely everything
    from scratch which is just great. It’s a massive learning experience. I’ve been given my own tasks and your
    own project and your own responsibilities I think there’s not many situations or
    many work environments where you’re working with engineers,
    lawyers, accountants, you know… program managers, roles that I didn’t even
    know existed before coming into this. It’s given me experience working
    in corporate but also working in the government. Coming from
    a private background it’s quite different but there’s lots of support and learning
    available and also the staff are very helpful and they don’t mind answering
    questions from us grads. When you’ve got the project like this you’ve got
    the best in the business so having access and exposure to experts it’s really
    exciting, and also going out on site and learning from them and their experience
    has been a great opportunities. So I really enjoyed having a mentor within the
    project and also be able to expand yourself professionally and personally
    and have a more in-depth knowledge of what’s actually happening on the project,
    especially coming from the support function such as finance, it’s really
    great to see the project progress from early stages and seeing it come together. There’s a lot of graduate training that is involved
    and it involves all the grads as well so you actually gets a bond with them and
    you get to see what they’re doing as well and different disciplines which
    is actually really nice. So there’s 24 of us this year and since
    day one we’ve all been really good friends, so it’s nice to have familiar faces
    around the office and go out to lunch and we hang out after work. I feel like I’ve really fit into the team We all come from diverse backgrounds but we all
    really fit in. We have a common goal as well. Being around really like-minded people who are
    always willing and happy to help. The advice I would give to graduates applying
    for this program is to just go for it It’s a really great program, it really doesn’t
    matter what field you come in there are just so many opportunities for everyone
    of different fields to contribute. There are a lot of cogs in the wheel
    I guess and even the project scope is actually massive and
    definitely should not be underrated. And just working on a project this size, it’s
    going to go for a few years, there’s lots to learn and it’s a great opportunity. So I think I’ll be pretty cool to sit on the train going through the tunnel in seven years time and be able to think ‘Hey, I worked on this’. Authorised by Victorian Government
    1 Treasury Place Melbourne

    Rail Projects Victoria Graduate Program – Rahul
    Articles, Blog

    Rail Projects Victoria Graduate Program – Rahul

    November 8, 2019


    Hi I’m Rahul. I’m the IT Systems grad
    for 2018. I was attracted to the Metro Tunnel Graduate Program because I’ll have the opportunity to work on
    Victoria’s largest public transport project. Also I think it will bring great benefit
    to my home city of Melbourne. What I like is that I have opportunity to do rotations and sample different roles throughout
    the duration of this program. I’m currently working in the Business System team.
    It’s my first rotation so sort of providing the IT needs to all the staff,
    and the team that I will be joining next is the Project Systems team that are
    looking at the backend systems and looking at software and programs we
    can bring in to help our staff members. My biggest takeaway so far is to take on
    all the opportunities that you may have available to yourself and to show
    initiative to the interests you have. You never know where that may take you. What I love about this program so far is that it’s given me experience working
    in corporate but also working in the government. Coming from a
    private background it’s quite different, but there’s lots of support and learning
    available which the staff are provided. I love working on the project because I
    think I’m supporting and contributing to the future of Melbourne. The population
    is only getting bigger, I think this would be a great benefit for Melbourne. I suggest to grads that are applying for
    this program to ensure that your resume and experience is up-to-date but also
    remain positive and confident throughout the process.

    Metro Tunnel – New Break Back Piling technology
    Articles, Blog

    Metro Tunnel – New Break Back Piling technology

    October 19, 2019


    The Metro Tunnel Project is using
    cutting-edge technology to reduce noise dust and vibration. Works are progressing
    to build a new underground station at Parkville and four other underground
    stations in Melbourne for the Metro Tunnel Project. And we’re always looking
    at ways we can minimize the impacts of construction on the surrounding
    community. Traditionally piling works use heavy
    machinery to cut and chisel off the piling caps during the final stage of
    piling. Known as breaking back the piles this is generally a noisy and dusty
    process that generates vibration. To minimize noise, dust and vibration
    impacts we’re using state-of-the-art technology and an innovative method to
    break back the piles. It involves placing polyethylene sleeves over the
    reinforcement cage down to the desired cutoff level. Next an array of purpose
    designed flasks with PVC tubes are fixed to the reinforcement cage to the cutoff
    level. Once the concrete is set, an expanding mortar agent is poured into
    the polyethylene sleeves the expanding mortar forms a horizontal crack at the
    cutoff level. This process will result in less noise, minimal dust and less
    vibration. The Metro Tunnel Project is using cutting-edge technology to reduce
    noise, dust and vibration. Authorised by Victorian Government, 1
    Treasury place Melbourne

    “Riding the Rails” on CBS News Sunday Morning
    Articles, Blog

    “Riding the Rails” on CBS News Sunday Morning

    October 17, 2019


    Riding the rails is one way to see the
    country – for some travelers, the only way. Our Bill Geist has tracked them down. You may have thought as I did that train hopping hobos had gone the way of the
    old steam engines, but they’re still out here riding the rails. there’s even a convention of hobos in
    gridirons an unconventional convention to be sure all manner of hobos are here there are
    older veteran hobos like Chuck who’s now retired from the rails and has a wife
    and a house he was last year’s king of the hobo do they treat you like royalty
    when you go to these places oh yes good to be king they’re younger hobos like stray cat
    they all have hobo names I’ve been riding on and off for about nine years
    this year I haven’t any particular plans I might ride the whole year there are full-time hobos like stretch
    here and his faithful traveling companion burlington stretch has been
    hopping trains for more than 25 years he was born up in Helena Montana ten years
    ago in a boxcar and he’s never known any other kind of life know how many people
    are full-time like you are a lot really there’s probably maybe a thousand now and there are part-time hobos like admin
    how much time do you spend riding the rails every year now I only spend like
    six to eight weeks he started riding the rails in the early 70s these days when
    he’s not in a boxcar he lives in this house in Minneapolis a successful
    businessman named Todd waters who’s married with children he is a wanderer
    from the beginning his wife Dory accepted his hobo ways he needs freedom
    he needs spirit that’s his way of rejuvenating so yeah I understand why he
    does it and it’s just who we part a big part of who he is every year admin gets
    the itch to hit the road it’s so hard for me in the spring when
    rails are beginning to get all the heat and you have that creosote smaller smell
    and to us that’s perfume and and when I smell that in the early spring I’m gone
    his family not only understands 20 year old daughter Alex accompanied him on a
    recent journey where they took these home movies they never knew what
    sleeping in the woods without a tent and a campfire in your cellphone you know
    really would feel like the name hobo derives from farm
    implement carrying young men who caught trains to look for work after the Civil
    War so what’s the difference between a hobo and a tramp or a hobo and a bum the
    hobo works and wanders the Tramp dreams and wander he’s the intellectual and of
    course the bum well he just drinks and wanders and that’s as unlikely as a hobo convention may
    seem Mayor Jim Wilson said it’s been held here for ages
    first one was nineteen hundred and eight year yes amazing
    Somu ride the room that’s kind of illegal right yes it is so you don’t
    promote it they may not promote it but they sure celebrate it there’s the hobo
    parade the big Mulligan stew dinner the
    traditional hobo did it’s not as bad as it looks
    there’s the ceremonial unveiling of the 2007 hobo king and queen portrait by
    artist Leanne Castillo make me your king I will not disappoint ya 2008 king and
    queen hopefuls make campaign speeches before a new pair of Royals is voted in
    Queen Connecticut pussy and king stretch it means the world to me it really does
    I have tried to settle down many times but it doesn’t work Oh down at what they call the hobo jungle
    they sing hobo songs they welcome guests we W promoter of the hobos an honorary
    hobo and after a hobo wedding they dance somewhere beyond the blue beneath the
    cross made of railroad ties the hobo family gathers to honor those
    who’ve recently as they say caught the westbound old hobo sitting in a sati by
    the track dreaming are the yesterday’s that never can come back they stopped by
    Brits hobo Museum where curator Linda Hughes shows them the colorful history
    of hobo culture like ancient hobo hieroglyphics that warn of dangers and
    opportunities nice lady tell sob story right so you tell her a story and cheese
    she might give you a meal that’s funny was the Depression kind of the golden
    day oh yes of the golden age for hobo yes that’s when most of the people were
    hobo we they had no other choice they had to go out and find work blanket
    or labor right but why in this day and age the Wonder lost it’s in their heart
    and they can’t get rid of it hobos answers to why usually Center on freedom
    I wanted to be out there sleeping artists stars and that was freedom to me
    I think that they’re homesick for their freedom you know comfort gets in the way
    but if they go out you know on the edge for a while and then they come back and
    decide comfort they’re more freedom not that hobo life is ideal this a lot
    of times when you don’t have any food we have to go dumpster diving to feed
    ourselves and everything if he runs out of dog food or I can’t find work or
    anything like that as the 2008 Brit hobo convention winds down hobos say their
    goodbyes they’ve got to get moving they really
    can’t stay adman opsin northbound headed for home the king of the hobos and many more are
    already there

    Metro Tunnel Archaeology: Unearthing Melbourne’s Past
    Articles, Blog

    Metro Tunnel Archaeology: Unearthing Melbourne’s Past

    October 16, 2019


    Even though archaeology happens all the
    time in Melbourne it rarely happens on the scale that we’re seeing as part of
    this Melbourne Metro project. We’re not just excavating one or two properties
    we’re looking at the area of a whole community, it’s half a city block in some cases. (Evan:) We’re doing this project and opening up these areas that will
    ultimately form entrances to the tunnels. There’s a real opportunity here to
    recover some artefacts that will hopefully help piece together some of
    the history of Melbourne and contribute to a different aspect other than just
    delivering huge infrastructure. Once archaeology has been impacted that’s it
    you actually don’t get another opportunity to investigate it. So it’s
    very important for a project of this scale that the excavations occur so that
    we get that information out of the ground, so to speak, analyse it and
    contribute to our understanding of the history of Melbourne. (Jeremy:) The site’s really interesting
    because it has potentially a range of different layers: it’s got the
    indigenous layer, the archaeology of Aboriginal communities before European
    settlement in the 1830s, and it’s got that pioneer generation of Buckley and
    Faulkner and then of course Melbourne has a massive period of transformation
    in the 1850s with the discovery of gold the population absolutely explodes, it
    becomes a very wealthy city and the architecture changes again, and then
    throughout the 19th century we see continual growth and change, so all
    these phases and they’re all different should be reflected in the
    archaeology of these sites. (Meg:) There’s a huge opportunity for the
    broader community to be exposed to the archeology and this is really fantastic
    because actually the broader community owns this past and this is where
    archeology is so exciting because you’re not reading about it, you’re actually seeing it. (Jeremy:) We expect to find two sorts of things:
    we’ll find the remains of buildings the foundations, the remains of fireplaces, doorsteps, gardens potentially, so a range of almost architectural features, but we’ll also
    find a lot of artefacts that were used and discarded by the people living in
    Melbourne at this time. We could potentially get over half a million
    artefacts. Of course the value of the artefacts is not in this sum total of
    numbers that we find but it’s in the information that it gives us that we
    don’t already know about early Melbourne.

    Diversity and inclusion at Rail Projects Victoria
    Articles, Blog

    Diversity and inclusion at Rail Projects Victoria

    October 15, 2019


    I’m a proud Taungurung man. Our Mob is part
    of the Kulin nation. I guess RPV supports me in my role by encouraging flexible working
    arrangements. When I saw the role I thought this was a great opportunity to make an impact
    on Victorians, particularly from an employment perspective, but also from a business perspective
    in trying to encourage our contractors to employ people who come from disadvantaged
    communities, but also support new businesses whether they be from social enterprises or
    Aboriginal businesses. It’s a really exciting challenge working in
    the regions, communities are very different to city communities so you really get to immerse
    yourself in a region and understand the experience of the transport network from a very different
    perspective. We support the wellbeing and inclusion initiatives
    and events at Rail Projects Victoria, we run Steptember, we do something for R U OK? Day
    every year, White Ribbon we’re a big supporter of and the department is a big supporter of. We’ve played a big role in National Reconciliation
    Week, NAIDOC Week, International Women’s Day which is also important in an inclusion aspect
    given the discrepancy in numbers with women in engineering and thinking about ways we
    can improve that and be a leader. I think it’s the people that make this place
    a really special place to work and no doubt that supports me to do what I can do, but
    it also makes me happy to want to come to work every day. It’s been really nice to have the scope to
    build the team in a way that allows everyone to come together and be at their best. I’ve got three kids, all keeping me busy after
    hours, the arrangements here to work flexible really supports not only the work that I do
    but also supports me and my family because I think that’s equally important because kids
    grow and they grow quickly and that time you just can’t get back.

    North Melbourne Station tour
    Articles, Blog

    North Melbourne Station tour

    October 13, 2019


    Currently, we’ve got two TBMs underground,
    Joan and Meg (TBM number one and TBM number two). What you see here is the machines arrive on
    site to the surface, part of the machines are assembled on-site, but the main parts
    of the components are assembled underground, including the cutterhead which is the last
    and final piece that is installed onto the TBM before tunnelling operations commence. In the next couple of weeks. TBM number one
    (Joan) will be successfully launched, and will commence her journey towards South Kensington. The tunnel drive lengths towards South Kensington
    are just over 1,000 meters, so just over one kilometre. TBM number two (Meg) will start about one
    month afterwards, so we’ll have two concurrent TBM operations heading towards South Kensington. Concurrently as the TBMs are making their
    way towards South Kensington, the crews will continue to build the station structure. What you can’t see behind me right now, at
    the bottom of the station structure, concrete slabs and some of the concrete walls that
    have already been concreted. So again, as the tunnelling works proceed,
    the station structure will continue. Once the TBMs have arrived at South Kensington,
    they’ll be recovered through a shaft, and some of the TBM components will be extracted
    back here through the tunnel to North Melbourne Station, and relocated to the east end of
    the station box. Again, we’ve got a repeat process in terms
    of setting up both TBMs and actually commencing their tunnelling journey towards Parkville
    Station. Parkville Station to the east of us is just
    over 1,000 metres in tunnelling length, and those machines will probably start early next
    year some time on their journey towards Parkville Station. When they do arrive at Parkville Station,
    they will not be extracted they will actually travel through Parkville Station and then
    continue their journey towards CBD north. All of the time the tunnelling machines are
    working towards Parkville and working towards CBD north station, North Melbourne Station
    continues to provide those support services for the TBMs. So what support services are we talking about? Well, we’re going to have segments being brought
    in from Deer Park, the segments are individual concrete pre-cast segments, and they form
    what we call a “ring”. A ring length is about 1.7 metres long, and
    each ring contains six individual segments. They all account to about 25-tonnes in weight. These concrete segment rings are installed
    within the TBM, as the TBM progresses. Basically, the TBM advances with an excavation
    cycle, the concrete ring is then installed within the TBM, and the process is repeated
    again. TBM number one (Joan), the cutterhead has
    been successfully installed to the front-end of the machine, and the pressurised steel
    bell is in position. The pressurised steel bell is a very important
    component of the tunnelling operations, as it does provide an environment where pressure
    can be applied to the TBM, and this pressure is necessary to make sure that as the TBM
    breaks through the diaphragm-wall that the ground behind the wall and the groundwater
    stability is maintained and controlled. So the temporary steel bell does avoid any
    use of temporary grout blocks behind the diaphragm-wall area, which again is a very efficient way
    and means of ensuring stability during the initial TBM launch and the initial TBM boring
    which is quite a critical aspect of the tunnelling operations. The TBM cutterhead itself weighs more than
    100-tonne, and the shield is comprised of three individual components, where you have
    the main bearing, you have the drive motors, you have the segment erector, you have the
    TBM operators cabins, and you have the pumps that are required for the slurry operations. The TBM shield itself is approximately 15-metres
    long, and when it’s all assembled and put together in one-piece, probably weighs about
    800-900 tonnes. Behind the TBM, we have what we call the TBM
    support gantries which are individual steel structures, which contain all the support
    elements required for TBM operations. These include, refuge chambers (emergency
    refuge chambers), the transformer packs, crib facilities for tunnelling crews, and also
    houses some of the components that are required to perform the TBM tunnelling operations. During TBM operations, it is quite normal
    practice for the TBM to stop excavation for maintenance crews to go out to the front of
    the TBM to the cutterhead to check for wear and tear on the cutter tools. To be able to do that safely in particularly
    soft ground conditions, the TBMs are equipped with two air-lock hyperbaric chambers. These allow the TBM crews to enter into a
    pressurised environment, as the TBM excavation chambers shall be pressurised. The reason for this pressurised environment
    is to maintain an appropriate level of pressure within the TBM environment, to make sure that
    stability of the excavation is maintained, and to make sure the groundwater stability
    is maintained at the same time. This then allows the TBM crews to go out into
    the excavation chamber and the cutterhead location, to perform whatever potential maintenance
    is required, in a very safe environment for a limited period of time. They can then come back out through the TBM,
    back through the air-locks, and then back out to normal conditions. The very interesting thing about the TBMs
    that are being adapted for Metro Tunnel is that they are what we call “mixed-shield”. This means that there is a continuous circulation
    of slurry-bentonite liquid that runs through pipes that come from the slurry treatment
    plant, go in to the TBM, and then come back to the surface site where the spoil and the
    rock generated from the TBM excavation process is recycled, separated and then prepared for
    disposal to an off-site location. The slurry treatment plant comprises of a
    filter-press unit, a sanding unit, and large tanks to contain spoil-bentonite, as well
    as new bentonite. So the slurry reticulation system itself has
    got a significant amount of capacity, there’s approximately 1,400 cubic metres per hour
    that is generated through the slurry treatment plant, and is pumped to the TBM face. Conversely, it is pumped back from the TBM,
    back into the slurry treatment plant and that’s where the seperation process is again repeated
    and the slurry is recycled and reused within the TBM operations. In the long-term, North Melbourne Station
    is also a strategic hub for the construction purposes, as after-all we have to build the
    station. The station itself is comprised of a relatively
    straightforward concrete structure, comprised of a base-slab, concourse slab, and a roof-slab. But what’s most important in terms of finishing
    the station is to make sure that you’ve got the heart and the lungs of the station box. That is high-voltage, low-voltage, the rails,
    all the mechanical and electrical components that are required for
    a station to operate efficiently and safely. So just a little bit about North Melbourne
    Station construction itself and some of the challenges and technical aspects that we face
    here. The North Melbourne site is geologically quite
    testing, we’ve got a lot of soft soil that we have to tunnel through and that we’ve excavated
    through in the station box. The geological conditions along the Metro
    Tunnel Project are varied but are predominately a geotechnical unit that we would refer to
    as “Melbourne Formation”. The Melbourne Formation is a siltstone sandstone,
    that is generally around 20mp in strength. That means it’s about half the strength of
    concrete, so not an incredibly hard material to excavate through. We do have some areas of mixed ground conditions,
    particularly under the Yarra River, which comprises of harder basalt formations, and
    some of the Coode Island Silts which is a sandy clay geological unit. Nevertheless, the tunnelling method and particular
    the TBMs that have been designed for the Metro Tunnel are more than capable of containing
    and managing these conditions during the excavation process. To help facilitate those excavation works,
    in a safe and very well engineered manner, we’ve got diaphragm-walls which were installed
    and were completed a number of months ago. The key thing about the diaphragm-wall, is
    that it forms a concrete panel that goes around the perimeter of the station box. These panels create a watertight environment
    for both the temporary works, as we can see now with the strutting system in place which
    retains the earth and supports the diaphragm-walls but also from a permanent works point-of-view,
    where the diaphragm-walls themselves actually form part of the permanent station structure. So far today at North Melbourne Station we’ve
    just about completed the excavation works, with some 160,000 cubic metres of material
    being taken out and disposed of. Behind me, you can probably see some of the
    red steel sections. These red steel sections are what we call
    a strutting system. The strutting system is specifically designed
    to make sure that the forces that are exerted on the diaphragm-wall from earth, from water
    pressure and from all the plant equipment that you see around us are able to be accomodated,
    therefore providing a very safe environment to work with, and a very safe structural environment
    to work within. Thank you very much for joining me on this
    tour today, hopefully the talk and the pictures have been insightful. Last but not least, thank you to the ladies
    and gentleman that participate on this project and work very hard to make it all happen,
    and provide what you see here today. Thank you.

    Rail Projects Victoria Graduate Program – Tim
    Articles, Blog

    Rail Projects Victoria Graduate Program – Tim

    October 9, 2019


    Hi, I’m Tim. I’m a Civil Engineering
    Graduate at Network Transition Project. I was attracted to the program due to the
    sheer size of the project. I always wanted to work in rail infrastructure and be involved.
    I commuted through the rail loop so many times and I just wanted to fix what the congestion
    problem that’s actually occurring. What I most like about being on the program is being involved in different disciplines such
    as civil and power. I get to choose with my manager which aspects I actually most like
    and want to get involved with and they were able to facilitate that. I’m able to
    talk to different staff members of different disciplines and I can always
    get involved in the track, electrical power, overheads, and they always happy to
    give me help and assistance or even to join the tasks at some times. My biggest takeaway is to be around
    subject-matter experts who can facilitate so much knowledge to me and
    being around really like-minded people who are always willing and happy to help. I’m learning from a lot of different staff
    from the traction power to civil and electrical. I’ve been given my own task,
    so it’s your own project and your own responsibilities, and they always
    contribute to the actual whole progress life of the Metro Tunnel. Very, very
    different from an internship. The best part of the program is the training
    and learning that is actually happening on site and also externally. There’s a
    lot of graduate training that is involved and they involve all the grads
    as well so you actually get to bond with them (from different disciplines)
    which is actually really nice, you get to see what they’re doing as well and being
    able to possibly rotate within their sector on the next rotation. The workload changes from week to week from design review to deliverables tracking and
    report writing, so it just depends on what your team needs at the time and
    you’ve got to adapt quickly and just go with the flow. Definitely apply, it’s such a big project. There’s a lot
    to do and a lot to learn and you won’t you probably would really
    initially realise that what you’re actually doing is contributing more
    benefits than one and there are different aspects of the project that
    you’re probably not aware of and you can actually engage with them as well.