South Australia & NT Chapter

Geotechnical Aspects of the Alice Springs to Darwin Railway

Mark Drechsler

The Alice Springs to Darwin Railway Project was one of the largest infrastructure projects undertaken in Australia and completes the latest link in Australia’s rail network. The project comprised over 1420 kms of earthworks and tracklaying, 97 bridges, 57 major railway cuttings (> 5 m deep), over 1,000 culverts, 2 million tonnes of ballast and 2 million concrete sleepers. Mark Drechsler provided geotechnical support to the project which included: review of tenders for ballast quarries; design criteria for cement stabilisation of culvert backfill materials; geotechnical supervision of bridges drilling program; geotechnical design and construction supervision of major railway cutting excavations; borrow pit searches; and embankment compaction trials. Mark provided an overview of many geotechnical aspects of the project.

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