Full project details
In 2011 Laing O’Rourke, in joint venture, finished constructing additional rail track as part of BHP Billiton Iron Ore’s Rapid Growth Project 5 (RGP5). The project aims to increase installed capacity across iron-ore operations in Western Australia.
Located in Western Australia’s remote Pilbara region, the RGP5 Southern Vertical Package is a 50 km rail duplication from Yandi Mine through to Cowra sidings, with a further 2 km for the Chichester deviation works. The project team also constructed a 5 km section of rail duplication at Homestead siding and 3 km of track for the Yandi Wye Mine. This additional parcel of work involved track duplication, as well as the construction of 32 km of new track through Chichester Range.
The project included camp establishment, earthworks, trackwork and forward signalling works.
Laing O’Rourke’s railway sleeper manufacturing company, Austrak, was awarded the contract to supply the project with specialised railway sleepers, known as concrete turnout bearers. Austrak designed an innovative new turnout bearer to suit the requirements of the job that was specially shaped to accommodate next-generation turnout switching equipment.
The RGP5 works demonstrated Laing O’Rourke’s ability to effectively manage large rail projects. This included timing shutdown work so that BHP Billiton’s normal ore-train running was not compromised. Creating a safe work environment for all stakeholders was also essential, with an incident- and injury-free work culture instilled across the entire project.
As a result of the RGP5 delivery, BHP Billiton awarded Laing O’Rourke the subsequent RGP5b and 6a (Jimblebar and Outer Harbour) rail packages.