There are 11 heritage listed tunnels that form part of Queensland Rail’s critical link between Toowoomba and Brisbane. The $48 Million state funded project involved lowering the floor of the tunnels throughout the ranges to enable the transport of 9’6” high cube containerised freight by rail, which is increasingly being used to export goods.

The challenge was to analyse the rail vehicle clearance at critical times throughout the construction using spatial information. In order to accomplish this Bennett + Bennett had to establish a method to undertake these complex clash detection calculations in the shortest possible time, whilst having the utmost confidence in the results.

So, how did we do this?

Our Spatial Services team used lateral thinking and formulated a unique algorithm which took into consideration different train sizes, the geometry of motion, combinations of kinematic envelopes and curve overthrows at all cross-sections along a vehicle, as the vehicle moved along the track.

These variables were then analysed against the site spatial information using the as-constructed rail alignments and terrestrial laser scans of the tunnels. The algorithm generated an automated verification report and included diagrams that were prepared within minutes of receiving the as-constructed rail alignment from site. The report could then be signed of and issued by Registered Surveyors within an hour. The comprehensive report and graphical deliverables gave the stakeholders confidence and the information required for the track to be efficiently and safely reopened for service.

What made this component of the Toowoomba Range Clearance Upgrade Project unique was that Bennett + Bennett were able to work alongside engineers to solve the complex problem at hand. By utilising Spatial Services combined with Surveying, and formulating a digital algorithm ultimately ensured a successful project outcome, and the safety of rail personal and passengers.

Bennett + Bennett have recently summitted this project the 2019 Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA) for the category of Technical Excellence. Winners will be announced on October 18th at the Awards Night held in Brisbane.

For more information or to speak with our experienced team, call (07) 5631 8000 or send an online enquiry.