Minimbah Bank Third Track - Singleton NSW Minimbah Bank Third Track - Singleton NSW Minimbah Bank Third Track - Singleton NSW Minimbah Bank Third Track - Singleton NSW Minimbah Bank Third Track - Singleton NSW

Minimbah Bank Third Track - Singleton NSW

Project featuring the Adbri Landmark & Geogrid System.

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General Information

The Minimbah Bank Third track project involves the upgrading of the Hunter valley Coal network between Belford and Whittingham in the Hunter Valley NSW extending from Ch224.2kn to Ch 235.06km. The project is located approximately 10km south of Singleton on the main North Rail Line. Specifically the Project will widen the existing rail formation to accommodate the third track.

By improving the grade of the rail, speed and efficiency of the rail line will be increased. Major infrastructure elements included in the project are as follows:

- Approximately 10.8 km of track including turnouts, junctions and signaling;

- Approximately 10.8 km of earthworks including drainage and minor structures;

- A rail underbridge (major culvert) at the western end of the project route;

- Grade separation of Range Road level crossing;

- A new rail underbridge at Mudies Creek;

- A new rail overbridge and associated road works at the Golden Highway; and

- A retaining wall of approximately 5m in height and 550m in length to retain the third track fill batter from encroaching on the New England Highway road reserve.


About The Project

The Minimbah Bank Third Track project is a key part of ARTC’s ongoing plan to keep rail capacity ahead of market demand for Hunter Valley Coal Operations. At present, the Hunter Valley rail network coal capacity averages around 107 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). Current industry forecasts indicate demand on the Hunter Valley rail network will increase to 165 mtpa upon completion of this project.

A number of retaining wall alternatives were investigated for the fill embankment stabilisation. These included both gabion faced/geogrid reinforced soil embankments and reinforced soil wall options utilising precast concrete panel or segmental block facing using both extensible and inextensible soil reinforcement.

The Minimbah Bank Third Track project is a key part of ARTC’s ongoing plan to keep rail capacity ahead of market demand for Hunter Valley Coal Operations. At present, the Hunter Valley rail network coal capacity averages around 107 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). Current industry forecasts indicate demand on the Hunter Valley rail network will increase to 165 mtpa upon completion of this project.

A number of retaining wall alternatives were investigated for the fill embankment stabilisation. These included both gabion faced/geogrid reinforced soil embankments and reinforced soil wall options utilising precast concrete panel or segmental block facing using both extensible and inextensible soil reinforcement.


Engineering Info

ARTC engaged both GHD & RCA Australia engineering consultancies for structural/ civil and geotechnical design of the proposed works. Stability analysis (SLOPE/W) was carried out specifically in the location of the filling embankments overlaying alluvium. Both drained and undrained stability of the embankments was assessed using SLOPE/W adopting the Morgenstern-Price method. Embankment settlement and erosion protection measures were also assessed with particular regard to keying into existing embankments and associated subsurface drainage measures at these locations.

One major design criteria was the ability of the system to cater for the design loads of a 2:1 embankment above the wall profile in addition to the 40kPa rail loading, fascia/geogrid connection strength being paramount under peak and serviceability criteria.

Another key consideration in the system to be adopted was constructability due to staged construction and overall production (m2/day) maintaining both facing erection and backfilling operations concurrently. After major consideration of all alternatives the preferred system was that of the Adbri Landmark & Miragrid XT Reinforced Soil System (RMS QA Specification R57 Approved System) which ticked all the boxes from design through to construction and OHS considerations.

Minimbah Bank Third Track - Singleton NSW

Design Criteria

One major design criteria was the ability of the system to cater for the design loads of a 2:1 embankment above the wall profile in addition to the 40kPa rail loading, fascia/geogrid connection strength being paramount under peak and serviceability criteria. Another key consideration in the system to be adopted was constructability due to staged construction and overall production (m2/day) maintaining both facing erection and backfilling operations concurrently. After major consideration of all alternatives the preferred system was that of the Adbri Landmark & Miragrid XT Reinforced Soil System (RMS QA Specification R57 Approved System) which ticked all the boxes from design through to construction and OHS considerations.

The Adbri Landmark System represents a breakthrough in reinforced soil wall engineering. Combining innovative thinking with time-tested engineering principles, Anchor Wall Systems has developed the next-generation segmental retaining wall system. A few advantages of the system being: positive mechanical geogrid connection with the facing (extruded polymer Lock bar); The lock bars are inserted into the aligned channels in a course of blocks and subsequently rotate within the channel to provide a positive mechanical connection between the block and the polyester geogrid soil reinforcement; superior overturning and block to block shear resistance; flexibility to be used with both soil and rock anchored solutions; faster installation times without additional costs of scaffolding.


Scope Of Works

Minimbah Bank Third Track - Singleton NSW

As part of this project Retaining Solutions Design Construct scope of works included: the design of the reinforced soil walls to AS4678 “Earth Retaining Structures” ; supply & installation of: Landmark full height blocks, Landmark half height blocks, Landmark foundation blocks, capping units, extruded polymer Lock-Bar, Miragrid 8XT & 10XT polyester geogrid soil reinforcement (lengths varied from 4m, 9m and 12m), 20mm drainage aggregate, 100mm dia socked and slotted drainage aggregate pipe, installation of 225mm diameter unslotted FRC pipes @ 20m centres which discharged into a reinforced concrete drainage channel at the base of the wall, and spreading & compaction of the imported RSW select backfill (approx 20,000m3 of 40mm minus DGS) used within the reinforced fill zone.

Retaining Solutions crews worked dayshift and nightshift rosters. Dayshift crew were installing approx between 100 to 150m2 of Landmark facing units during the day, while the nightworks crew were installing drainage aggregate behind the facing column and up to 3000tonne of RSW backfill. The overall construction of the Landmark wall was 25% quicker than the specified Gabion/Miragrid XT solution.

The works were carried out to a very tight construction programme on time, within budget and most importantly satisfying ARTC and Hunt8r Alliance strict project guidelines. Retaining Solutions produces with every wall complete, full quality documentation e.g Inspection & Test Plans, Daily Quality Verification Checklists in addition to detailed daily site diaries detailing operations and overall checks carried out over the duration of the wall construction from levelling pad placement to capping unit installation. This level of documentation proving to be both beneficial to both developer/owner and Retaining Solutions.


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Project Specs

  • Application - Embankment Stabilisation
  • Product - Adbri Landmark & Geogrid System
  • Finish - Rockface "Sunstone"
  • Area - 2150m2
  • Max. Height - 5.320m
  • Length - 550m
  • Loadings - 2:1 Batter Dead Load
    40kPa Live Load
  • Design life - 100 years
  • Owner - ARTC
  • Client - Hunt8r Alliance
  • Construction - 2 months

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