While 2013 Engineering Excellence Award Sydney for Infrastructure Projects winner Glenfield Junction appears simplistic in its composition and layout, looks can be deceiving.
The scheme is a critical element of the Glenfield Transport Interchange, which is part of the South West Rail Link, a New South Wales government initiative that aims to improve reliability and address passenger growth on the metropolitan rail network.
Designed and managed by an alliance comprising Transport for NSW, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Bouygues Travaux Publics and John Holland, the project included the design of permanent way, signalling, communications, overhead wiring, station structure, flyover structures, road realignment and associated works, high voltage systems, earthworks and retaining walls.
In addition, the alliance has provided environmental and sustainability management, supporting community and stakeholder liaison and systems assurance. The upgraded Glenfield station facilities feature new lifts, a new aerial concourse, upgraded platforms and platform canopies.
In an unconstrained greenfield environment, the project would have been delivered at greater speed and at a significantly cheaper cost, but a number of challenges called for a more collaborative, innovative effort to ensure efficient and effective delivery.
Delivering within a live rail corridor added to the complexity of the challenge. Numerous interfaces had to be considered, including the Southern Sydney Freight Line, a highly restricted site geography, an ethane gas pipeline, nearby waste landfill, floodplain and protected forest areas and only four weekend track possessions a year.
These challenges led to the development of a number of strategies which influenced the subsequent design and construction methodologies, for which the integration of engineering design and construction activities to optimise the final layout was crucial.
“The success of the project relied on innovative methods of planning, the use of segregation walls and pre-cast concrete and close collaboration with key stakeholders and exceptional effort from an integrated team," said Alliance Leadership Team chair Mike Jenkins.
Other strategies developed by the integrated team included building as much as possible outside of the danger zone and therefore optimising the scarce possessions and alignment within the physical constraints to minimise works.
The judges who conferred the project with the 2013 Engineering Excellence Award Sydney for Infrastructure Projects were impressed with the innovative way this challenging site was managed, particularly the isolation of the work site from the active rail line to facilitate new construction activities
The Alliance team has successfully designed and delivered three major structures in a live railway environment, on-time and on-budget. The Alliance also boasts zero rail reliability incidents with 9,980 customers through the station each weekday.
"The works have already improved public transport connections for South West Sydney," said Darren Hayward, NSW Project Director for Transport.
The key benefits of the South West Rail Link include providing essential infrastructure for the predicted future increases in population in Sydney's southwest; a link to major employment centres including Liverpool, Parramatta and the Sydney CBD, allowing increased and more reliable train services, and providing modern, safe and accessible stations and interchange facilities for rail commuters.
Works are on schedule for the commencement of revenue services in 2016.