TDK had the honour of performing works on the transcontinental route of Australia’s legendary train The Ghan.
Our crew was responsible for the installation of heavy duty galvanised (60.3mm OD, 3.6mm thick walls), conduit and pipe inside the famous Finke River Bridge (the largest bride on route).
TDK’s Project Engineers redesigned the location and method proposed by the Client that not only reduced costs but also improved safety and delivered the project ahead of schedule.
The Finke River rail bridge project provided several interesting challenges that TDK overcame:
The site is extremely remote, situated in Central Australia 140km South / South –West of Alice Springs our planning department implemented mobilisation of plant and machinery, materials and staff with careful planning.
The site is 4 hours from Alice Springs where 2 hours of travel time is along weathered off road tracks, communication between our crew on the ground and the office was critical to ensure we stayed on schedule.
For most of the year the Finke River is a string of water holes but while on site our crew witnessed Mother Nature turn a calm location into a raging torrent. In some locations even light rains would make it near impossible for any 4WDs to conquer.
Access, the bridge is almost 500 metres long and up to 10 metres above the Finke River bed. The bridge has a concrete deck with two main steel girders and cross bracing. We changed the design to have the galvanised pipe built within the confined steel cavity under the deck to improve safety and program.
The unique work environment meant that we needed to engineer a sliding work platform, quick install mounting brackets for the pipe, a custom made slip joint system for expansion due to large heat differentials and custom bends to get the pipe of the bridge and into the ground
We encountered several safety hazards at this site, the works were carried out on a live track but we were also faced with working in confined space, working at height, trains and a sandy saturated river bed that has in the past swallowed 4WDs to their roof.
We devised SWMS unique to this project to ensure that the project was delivered with utmost attention to safety. We utilised a boom lift (on tracks), double lanyard restraining system and engineered a sliding work platform to ensure a safe work environment.
We pride ourselves on our dedication to the safety of not only our staff but anyone on site.