Mulwaree Valley

This is what Hot Rails is all about – twenty-two kilometres of near-straight, near-flat railway corridor just begging for some trains that can really take advantage of it. We don’t need to do anything to this alignment – just upgrade and duplicate the existing track, put in some decent fences and grade separations and better signalling.

Alignment design

Mulwaree Valley plan - click to enlarge

Mulwaree Valley plan – click to enlarge


This sector is 22.3km in length, and since there will be no deviations at all from the existing alignment, and only a single public road crossing, it can be analysed in one hit. Although several creeks are crossed, none of the crossings are particularly large; most of the existing crossings are simple pipe culverts. We can probably subsume this cost under the generic “drainage” cost item, which is assumed to total $200,000/km. Having inspected the alignment, it really is very flat for the most part; earthworks are likely to be minimal. However the balanced cut-fill indicated by the Google Earth analysis will be used as a conservative estimate.

  • Earthworks (very rough, conservative estimates)
    • 15 km balanced cut-fill, approx. 2m depth
      • 180,000m3, $2,700,000
    • 7.3 km balanced cut-fill, approx. 4m depth
      • $175,200m3, $2,803,000
  • Track
    • Upgrade and duplicate: $50,175,000
  • Signalling & Control
    • $2,832,000
  • Civil Works
    • Chainlink fencing (both sides): $2,230,000
    • Drainage: $4,460,000
    • Minor, complex grade separation: $2.5m
    • 5 farm crossings @ $500k each


The total cost of $70.2 million ($3.2m/km) is very low, and reflects the re-use of the existing alignment. Existing curves are 3000m in radius, and can be used with no change in alignment. Gradient is within the desirable range throughout. No alternative routes were considered due to the high quality of the existing route.

Component,Cost ($m),Percentage
Civil works,11.7,16.7%

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