Cross River Rail takes shape with world-first engineering feat

Rocklea station

brisbane, concrete, cross river rail, queensland,


Advanced method of construction being used on Queensland’s first underground train line to revolutionise transport through the South East.

The mezzanine of the underground Woolloongabba station is taking shape, using a sophisticated construction method never seen anywhere in the world.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said massive concrete beams were installed with millimetre accuracy at the project’s Woolloongabba site to create the future station’s mezzanine level.

“Anything made up of 180 concrete beams – each weighing up to 70 tonnes – would be considered impressive in its own right,” Mr Miles said.

“But what makes this station construction phase so remarkable is how the beams are installed.

“After being assembled, the concrete beams are lowered into the station box, moved into position and then turned 90 degrees in the air inside the cavern before being fitted into place.

“The margin of error within the cavern for this delicate manoeuvre is mere millimetres.

“It’s the engineering equivalent of keyhole surgery or a ship in a bottle.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said more than 450 individually cast concrete segments have been made and delivered to the site to construct the mezzanine using a mobile gantry from inside a cavern, demonstrating how mammoth a task it is to build.

Mr Bailey said the project’s three remaining underground stations were well progressed, with mezzanine beams starting to be installed at Boggo Road, Roma Street and Albert Street later this year.

Meanwhile, he said the rolling program to rebuild six southside stations being delivered as part of Cross River Rail was also progressing, with Rocklea the next to close from Monday 12 September to late 2023 to allow for the works to be carried out safely and efficiently.

Mezzanine beam fast facts:

  1. About 458 individual segments are being cast to make the mezzanine beams at Woolloongabba (up to three segments used per beam).
  2. Each precast beam weighs between 65 to 70 tonnes and comprises up to three segments each (weighing between 20 to 25 tonnes).

To install the beams:

  1. Individual segments are delivered to the site.
  2. Beams are pre-assembled using stressing cables (the full beam of three segments) or steel strut (two single segments attached to a central steel beam for lifting operations).
  3. Assembled beams are lifted into the station box by a crawler crane with an 800-tonne lift capacity.
  4. The beam is loaded onto the segment transporter, moved into the cavern and delivered to the segment loader.
  5. The beams are then lifted by the segment loader and rotated into position for installation.
  1. Lifting beams with a mobile gantry from inside a cavern in this way is a world first.

Rocklea station rebuilds fast facts:

  1. Rocklea is one of six southside stations between Fairfield and Salisbury being rebuilt as part of the Cross River Rail project.
  2. Rocklea station will close from Monday, 12 September, until late 2023.
  3. Station features will include an additional (third) platform to accommodate increased service capacity; a new station building; upgrades to platform finishes, including digital information screens; a new overpass and three new lifts; a new enclosed bicycle shelter; and a new shade canopy on each platform.
  4. Alternative travel options are available to support customers during the closure, including StationLink route 109 and route 116 from Brooke Street and routes 598 and 599 on Muriel Avenue. To continue travelling by train, use the park ‘n’ ride at Salisbury station.

Source: © The State of Queensland 2022

Image source: © The State of Queensland 2022

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