Revitalisation of the Collie River Rail Bridge is underway to support the coal and alumina industries.
A half a million dollar re-sleepering and re-railing project is underway on the rail bridge over the Collie River in the state’s South West to continue to support the coal and alumina industries.
The upgrade of the bridge will ensure Arc Infrastructure continues to provide customers with access to safe and reliable infrastructure for transportation of coal from the Premier and Ewington Coal Mines to South32’s Alumina Refinery and Soundcem, where the coal is used for power generation. There are approximately 1 million tonnes that travel over this bridge each year or approximately 250 trains per year.
This section of the rail network is a critical part of the supply chain for WA’s coal and alumina industries and for this reason it is important there is minimal disruption to train operations and trains can continue to operate while works are undertaken.
Arc Infrastructure’s structures supervisor Shane Hooper said the nature of the work performed on a bridge standing at over 10 metres off the ground meant that specialist skills and accreditations were required by the team to ensure the upgrade was carried out safely.
“The upgrade of a bridge at that height requires a specific skill set and each employee who worked on top of the bridge was accredited to work at heights and use specialist safety equipment,” Mr Hooper said.
“The nature of the work also means that the time required to replace each sleeper is significantly longer than a standard re-sleepering program.”
Scaffolding was constructed at the side of the bridge to allow the team to carry out works on the side and under carriage of the bridge while employees who worked on the top of the bridge were required to be qualified to work at heights and used a rail specific restraint harness.
The revitalisation program involves the replacement of 180 timber bearers on the ten metre high bridge, 110 sleepers on the approach, and the re-rail of 25 metres of rail.
The re-sleepering work has been completed and was carried out by Arc Infrastructure’s local maintenance and major projects teams and local contractors over a two week period. Scaffolding remains constructed on the bridge and the remainder of the works, including the re-railing, will occur later in the year.
The Collie River rail bridge upgrade is part of Arc Infrastructure’s annual structures maintenance program carried out across the network to ensure all bridges, culverts and other structures are safely and suitably maintained.
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