Rail tracks lie deep underneath Brisbane for the first time after the first rail section was installed in Cross River Rail’s twin tunnels.
Major milestone: Brisbane’s new underground making tracks
Installation commenced south of the future Albert Street station and is headed towards the Brisbane River and future Woolloongabba station.
Currently progressing at around 50-100 metres a day, the 40-strong track installation crew will fit out the project’s 5.9-kilometre twin tunnels with about 25 kilometres of rail over the next 12 months creating Brisbane’s first below-river rail crossing in the process.
Unlike surface tracks where rails are laid on top of sleepers and ballast (or rocks), rail in the tunnels is placed on concrete blocks, which are then embedded into the underlying concrete slab.
While track installation is underway below the CBD, rail has also arrived at the project’s northern tunnel entrance at Bowen Hills, with fit-out set to start there later in the year.
Journey into the heart of new Roma Street Cross River Rail station
A network of more than half a kilometre of cavern and tunnels has now been completed beneath Roma Street, heralding the next exciting phase of construction for the key Cross River Rail underground station.
Progress at the Roma Street site means there is now a very real sense of the journey future passengers will take to get to platform level, almost 30 metres underground.
The milestone and a new flythrough of the future station illustrate how Roma Street will become Queensland’s most significant transport interchange once Cross River Rail becomes operational.
Meanwhile, work has progressed well elsewhere on the new underground station, with a cavern arch permanent lining and back-of-house construction underway.
The new Roma Street station will be open when Cross River Rail becomes operational in 2025.
Roma Street tunnels fast facts:
- Including the station cavern and adjoining adits, about 587 metres of tunnels have been excavated beneath Roma Street;
- The 280-metre long cavern will house the station’s platforms, which will be about 220-metres long and set up to 27 metres below the ground;
- The five adits connecting to the cavern have different purposes, including pedestrian access, use for services and electrical equipment, tunnel and station ventilation, and construction access;
- In total, about 126,000 cubic metres of spoil has been excavated to make way for the cavern and adits;
- A further 38,382 cubic metres of spoil was excavated for the station box and 22,700 cubic metres for the services building;
- More than 46,000 people will use the new Roma Street station each weekday by 2036.
New Cross River Rail Boggo Road underground station takes shape.
Cross River Rail’s Boggo Road site is a hive of activity, with thousands of tonnes of concrete and steel used to build the new underground station.
Around 120 workers are onsite in the everyday building of the new station inside the 27-metre-deep box and underground cavern.
Crews have poured enough concrete to fill six Olympic swimming pools and installed steel to outweigh the Eiffel Tower.
Two of the strongest tower cranes in the world – each capable of lifting 330 tonnes at once, or the equivalent of about 47 African elephants – are being used to help move the steel reinforcement into place.
When it opens, the new Boggo Road station will become South East Queensland’s second busiest interchange, with almost 23,000 people expected to use the station each weekday.
Boggo Road station fast facts
- Boggo Road is one of four new underground stations being built as part of Cross River Rail (including Woolloongabba, Roma Street and Albert Street).
- All up, about 17,000 tonnes of concrete (41,000 cubic metres) and 16,000 tonnes of steel will be used for the permanent station.
- Within the cavern, works are progressing on the back-of-house structure, where mechanical, electrical and service equipment for the new station will be housed.
- The two tower cranes on site are the strongest (largest capacity) globally, lifting 330 tonnes each.
- The station’s 220-metre-long platforms will be about 19 metres below surface level.
- Almost 23,000 people will use the new station each weekday by 2036.
- The new underground station will integrate with walkways, cycle paths, Park Road station and bus services, providing improved access to The University of Queensland and the CBD.
The new webinar series sheds light on a transformational project
Cross River Rail has launched a new ‘After Dark’ Online series of educational webinars with monthly episodes showcasing the real-life learnings of Queensland’s largest infrastructure project.
The free episodes feature guests discussing their area of expertise and how it is being applied to the project.
Recent episodes have focussed on innovation, archaeology and sustainability, with experts ranging from Cross River Rail’s Lead Innovation Officer to renowned archaeologists. You can catch up on past episodes at the Cross River Rail Experience Centre’s website.
Six ground-breaking Cross River Rail engineering feats
As Queensland’s biggest infrastructure project, Cross River Rail is completing a scope of work never before seen in the state’s history.
We look at just some of the most impressive feats of engineering completed so far during the construction of Brisbane’s new underground.
The 5.9-kilometre twin tunnels stretching from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills under the Brisbane River and CBD are the critical component of our mega project.
The mammoth excavation task, which used 165-metre-long Tunnel Boring Machines and 115-tonne roadheaders to remove over 400,000 cubic metres of spoil, was completed at the end of 2021 and has become known as Cross River Rail’s “Year of Tunnelling”.
Brisbane’s deepest hole
Our record-breaking Albert Street station box holds the title for the most bottomless hole ever excavated in Brisbane.
Reaching 50 metres below ground at its deepest point, crews generated over 47,000 cubic metres of spoil while excavating the hole, which will house the first new train station in Brisbane’s CBD in 120 years.
Lifting Cross River Rail’s two 1350-tonne, 165-metre-long mega TBMs was no small job, making it all the more impressive that our 280-tonne gantry crane did it twice.
The crane lowered the TBMs into Woolloongabba’s station box before they began tunnelling in early 2021, before relocating to the project’s Northern Portal to extract the mega machines piece-by-piece after they completed their 3.8-kilometre journey.
Over 27,000 4.2-tonne tunnel segments were made to line the 3.8km section of tunnel between Woolloongabba, and the Northern Portal carved out by our mega TBMs.
Cast at Wagners Concrete in Wacol, around 110,000 tonnes of concrete was used to make the segments that now line the tunnels.
The future Woolloongabba station is being built using an innovative jumpform method – a self-supporting method of concrete construction where each level is built on top of the last.
The method has helped crews build the future transport hub up from the bottom of Woolloongabba’s 33-metre-deep station box, with the highest point now 21 metres above surface level.
Crawler crane’s lift
Our new crawler crane at Woolloongabba has been the talk of the worksite recently, and it’s pretty clear why when you see it in action.
With a massive 800-tonne lift capacity, the crane guided our 121-tonne mezzanine loader (yellow machine pictured below crane) 30 metres below ground.
Image Sources: © Cross River Rail Delivery Authority 2021
Cross River Rail is a new 10.2-kilometre rail line which includes 5.9 kilometres of a tunnel under the Brisbane River and CBD.
Construction works will soon commence to deliver important safety improvements on a 1.5km section of Samford Road in Queensland.