Southern Highlands Overtaking Opportunities Early Works

Australian Rail Track Corporation

Abergeldie was engaged by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to complete the early works of the Southern Highlands Overtaking Opportunities (SHOO) project in Werai. The early works are integral to the broader SHOO project, which will develop track and signalling infrastructure that will enable the safe overtaking of freight trains up to 1,800m. 

Southern Highlands Overtaking Opportunities Early Works

Scope of works 

The works included:

  • Preparation works including establishment of the compound, installation of 600m of mesh wire rural fencing, removal of approximately 12 trees and delivery of all materials to site.
  • Removal and reinstatement of 273m of both the up and down main lines.
  • Excavation and replacement of the formation to a depth of 1.4m below the top of the rail.
  • Installation of a new ULX service in preparation for the new turnout connection.
  • Access road and embankment widening to accommodate new location cabinets and signalling assets on the down site.
  • Tamping, welding, and adjustment of the new track.
  • Adjustment to the design alignment to bring the tracks coplanar in accordance with the design.
  • Provision of signalling resources to manage the scope of work.

Innovation and complexity

The works were delivered in a compressed timeframe, with contract award taking place in January 2023 and works completed over 66 hours during a Main South Possession in March 2023. This compressed timeline challenged the team, with limited time to prepare and deliver the works.

Other challenges included the strict requirements set out in the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) report and the management of sensitive receivers within the area meant the utilisation of non-rail corridor areas at the entrance to the site was limited.

Delivering early works integral to the broader SHOO project 

Abergeldie played a pivotal role in completing the early works of the SHOO project, as commissioned by ARTC, with these initial works being integral to the broader project. Upon completion of the broader project, the railway track is poised to undergo significant improvements, with upgraded tracks and signalling infrastructure which will enable the safe overtaking of freight trains up to 1,800m.