Arc Infrastructure has partnered with pipeline industry experts AARO to complete major upgrades on a number of culverts on the Esperance Branch Line (EBL) and Leonora Branch Line (LBL) using leading technology that allows trains to continue using the lines during works.
The process, called ‘resleeving’ or Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) internal lining, is a form of pipe relining technology used to extend the life of culverts with minimal intervention. GRP internal lining extends the life of a culvert by around 50 years, and can take place without the need to close the line, resulting in zero downtime for customers.
The EBL and LBL works used Ultraviolet Cured in Place (UV CIPP) technology, which involves inserting a custom made glass reinforced plastic sock (the ‘sleeve’), which is then expanded to the pipe’s diameter and cured in place by ultraviolet light. During curing, the liner hardens against the host pipe, restoring the structure and extending the culvert to near-new condition.
The liner thickness for each location is designed based on site specific parameters and railway loading. The liner is designed as a stand-alone system, so in case of failure to the host pipe, the GRP liner can take the required loading.
The Arc Infrastructure rail network contains 5,500 culverts across the operational network. Culverts, which are pipe structures that allow water to flow under the railway, are essential parts of the overall track structure. However, culverts are not easily replaceable under normal traffic.
Resleeving is widely used in water and sewerage pipelines, but is a relatively new process in the rail infrastructure industry, with the first installation on Arc’s network occurring in 2014. It is a good alternative where full replacement of a culvert is not required, achieving significant cost savings and removing the need to shut down the line.
The ongoing annual culvert program will this year focus on approximately $600,000 worth of replacements and upgrades.
Project Engineer Nelson Sein Win said the project team had achieved a great outcome.
“The Arc team again worked with AARO to complete the culvert resleeving and we were really happy with what we achieved together. Using this resleeving technology has resulted in considerable cost savings while significantly extending the lifespan of these culverts, all without any interruption to our customers,” Nelson said.
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