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Stitt River Rail Bridge

ClientTasRail
Value$350,000
StateTasmania
CompletedSeptember 2011

The Stitt River Rail Bridge is located in Rosebery on Tasmania’s rugged West Coast. The bridge is 50 metres long and sits 15 metres above the river. By modifying the methodology, VEC was able to reduce interruption to the rail service by two days and minimise the amount of time spent working at heights. The entire project was streamlined to be completed in just three days.

The Project

The project comprised the replacement of the rotten timber transoms and the rail, installation of ‘check’ rail, minor strengthening works of the supporting pier and adjustments to the approaches and abutments.

The major challenges were working at considerable height above the river and limited access - the bank on each side of the track was steep and covered with thick scrub, with the northern approach alignment through a narrow cutting.

The only access to the site was along the track through a public walkway, with the road 15m below and some distance away from the base of the bridge.

Problem Solving

The methodology involved a hi-rail excavator operating on the bridge, slewing 180 degrees to remove existing components and place new components for assembly by workers on the bridge. This method was going to require an estimated five day rack closure with consequential interruptions to rail operations and impact on the client.

During the planning, it was identified that, with some work, the car park to the Stitt River Falls walkway could provide a suitable platform on which to base a mobile crane.

This enabled the machinery to be based on solid ground, resulting in substantially less work from heights and a three-day turnaround - two days less than originally forecast.

Three-day bridge Site works involved bridge carpenters and labourers undertaking site preparation and assisting with placement of the new panels. Welders strengthened the pier and welded new transoms to the existing structure. The rail crew secured and welded the rail and adjusted the approaches.

On day two the team removed the existing rail and transoms, replacing them with new infrastructure. On the third day, heavy rain failed to hamper efforts, with the resourceful rail crew rigging up a shed over the trolley, allowing the rail joints to be welded. The track was handed back to the client in time for the scheduled train at the end of the day.

Head Office

10b Industrial Dr, Ulverstone,
TAS 7315

PO Box 812
Ulverstone, TAS 7315
info@vec.com.au

Phone +61 3 6425 6530
Fax +61 3 6425 6112

Hobart Office

Level 3, 116 Bathurst Street
Hobart, TAS 7000

PO Box 812
Ulverstone, TAS 7315
info@vec.com.au

Phone +61 3 6425 6530
Fax +61 3 6425 6112

Melbourne Office

Level 10, 567 Collins Street, 
Melbourne, VIC 3000

PO Box 812 
Ulverstone, TAS 7315
info@vec.com.au

Phone +61 (03) 9278 5100
Fax +61 3 6425 6112

Queensland Office

2 Burke Street,
Woolloongabba, QLD 4102

PO Box 812 
Ulverstone, TAS 7315
info@vec.com.au

Phone +61 3 6425 6530
Fax +61 3 6425 6112