Eastern DeviationSERVICES USED: Project services, Studies and project management
Client/Asset owner: Rio Tinto
Location: Pilbara, WA
Duration: May 2012 – Jan 2013
As part of Rio Tinto’s Rail Capacity Enhancement Project the ‘Eastern Deviation alternative’ was developed in parallel to the baseline central corridor expansion. The Eastern Deviation involved a nominal 11km section of new dual track (the purpose being to relocate the central corridor off the MCC iron ore tenement) which was effectively ‘sterilised’ as a result of the incumbent and proposed new rail infrastructure.
The project was particularly complex on the basis of previous engineering study solutions being capital and schedule intensive, primarily as a consequence of a significant volume of earthworks (> 1,000,000m3) of which the majority was in rock, in addition to major impacts to existing utilities/infrastructure.
The key scope of work elements included:
- Rail horizontal and vertical geometry, including dual track and modifications to existing track
- Earthworks and drainage design including access road and intersection design
- Tunnelling design
- Signalling and communications
- Significant stakeholder management (~ 25 entities)
The project also involved an investigation into tunnelling options to mitigate the extent of earthworks, which was a first for Rio Tinto. The engineering was sufficiently developed to prove the viability of the tunnelling option and associated cost effectiveness. However, this option was not carried through as a result of a new alignment solution being developed which significantly reduced the quantum of earthworks and the extent of which was in rock.
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