Wingello to Bundanoon

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The existing track between Wingello and Bundanoon winds its way along the northwestern escarpment of the Shoalhaven, making for a dramatic but winding railway. Curves here are as tight as 400m radius, restricting speeds to about 90km/h for the existing XPTs and only about 120km/h for future tilting trains. Unfortunately there are only limited opportunities to re-use the existing alignment, so a substantially new alignment will be needed. We’re also heading into more densely-settled territory, and there are a significant number of stately historic homes in the general vicinity of where we’re going, so we can expect a our civil works and land budgets to increase substantially from now on.

Alignment Design




The total cost of the sector is $152.1 million ($11.08m per kilometre). Expenses related to civil works were high, mainly due to the numerous crossings required to maintain access to properties, as well as noise mitigation on new corridor in built-up areas. Signalling costs were also relatively high, due to the fact that both Penrose and Bundanoon Stations require signalling upgrades. Nevertheless, the total cost is in line with the Hot Rails average, and far below the typical cost of the Rudd Government study in 2013 (more than $65m/km).

Component,Cost ($m),Percentage
Civil works,33.4,22.0%

Wingello costs

The earthwork balance for the sector is -120,000m3, which is a fairly substantial amount of fill to source. The previous sector at Marulan also had a fill deficit which had to be sourced from the Goulburn cut; this sector will have to source its fill from closer to Sydney.

1 – Wingello exit

Northbound view from Wingello Station. Image: Hot Rails

Section length 2090m, sector start. This section is entirely on existing corridor, starting at Wingello Station and ending adjacent the Johnson Point Fire Track. I’ll go ahead and presume the corridor is wide enough to accommodate an existing track on the north side (you can clearly see an access track in satellite imagery), and there are no grade separations or other civil works required. Therefore the only costs will be upgrading one track, adding a new track to the north, and installing new fencing (security fencing for part of the distance due to being within a village). The existing southern track will be retained as a dedicated freight track, requiring no upgrade.

  • Track
    • Upgrade 1, add 1: $3.92m
    • 3 low-speed turnouts: $2.1m
  • Signalling
    • 2090m of cable: $265k
    • 3 turnout signals: $12m (!)
  • Civil Works
    • 1900m of security fence: $190k
    • 2280m of chainlink fence: $114k

Section total $18.59m

2 – Kareela Road to Penrose

Section length 3450m, starting at 2090m. This deviation bypasses a curve in the exiting track, rejoining the existing corridor at Penrose. Exiting the existing corridor, the new line passes close what looks like three stately homes, one of which will require an overpass to maintain access. At least one and possibly two small houses will also need to be acquired and demolished. A deep valley is crossed with a 300m viaduct, which maintains access to another grand house. Upon entry to Penrose, up to five small houses will need to be acquired, and some work will need to be done to maintain access and privacy to others (most significantly a noise attenuation wall).

Alignment detail at Wingello and Penrose showing affected properties. Imagery: Google Maps

Alignment detail at Wingello and Penrose showing affected properties. Imagery: Google Maps

  • 275m Penrose Bridge, 10 spans of 27.5m each
    • $8.97m
  • Earthworks
    • 500m fill, 6m high: $1.01m
    • 580m cut (rock), 7m deep:$2.39m
    • 380m fill, 5m high: $592k
    • 680m balanced cut-fill, 5m deep: $995k
  • Track
    • 3450m new dual track: $7.76m
    • 1 low-speed turnout (for freight line): $700k
  • Signalling
    • Cable: $438k
    • 1 turnout signal (for freight line): $400k
  • Civil Works
    • 6350m of chainlink fence: $318k
    • 3175m drainage: $635k
    • 2x minor grade separations (simple) @ $1.25m each
    • 2x minor grade separations (complex) @ $2.5m each
    • 1820m of noise attenuation wall: $8.74m (yes, a good night’s sleep is really expensive!!)
  • Land: $4.74m total, comprising:
    • 40m corridor requires 10.8ha @ $50,000/ha
    • 7 houses acquired at $600,000 per each

Section total $48.79m

3 – Penrose to the Shangri-La Bridge

Section length 4210m, starting at 5540m. Shares the existing corridor at Penrose for about 700m before a new alignment north of Kareela. A couple of big cuts and fills are required over some undulating country, but nothing too serious. A gentle right-hand turn towards the end of the section takes advantage of terrain to minimise earthworks. A bridge of 140m total length is required at the end of the section; however the small size of the creek it crosses means we can get away with a modest 20m span. 3 houses to the east of Penrose will have to be acquired at an estimated cost of $600,000 each.

  • 140m Shangri-La Bridge, 7 spans of 20m
    • $4.17m
  • Earthworks
    • 320m cut, 3.5m deep: $270k
    • 250m fill, 2m high: $120k
    • 340m balanced cut-fill, 2m deep: 153k
    • 640m cut (rock), 9m deep: $3.81m
    • 830m fill, 9m high: $3.05m
    • 240m fill, 7m high: $605k
  •  Track
    • 4210m new dual track: $9.47m
    • 1 low-speed turnout (for freight line): $700k
  •  Signalling
    • Cable: $535k
  • Civil Works
    • 8140m chainlink fence: $407k
    • 4070m drainage: $814k
    • 3x minor grade separations @ $1.25m each
  • Land: 2.45m total, comprising:
    • 40m corridor requires 13.1ha @ $50,000/ha
    • 3 houses acquired @ $600,000 per each

Section total $30.31m

4 – Bundanoon approach

Northbound view towards Bundanoon Station. Note the third, unused track on the left. Image: Hot Rails

Northbound view towards Bundanoon Station. Note the third, unused track on the left. Image: Hot Rails

Section length 3980m, starting at 9750m. The run in to Bundanoon is fairly simple, although with a couple of fairly significant cut-and-fills. Three houses must be demolished to access the existing rail corridor at Bundanoon. The existing rail corridor at Bundanoon is a gentle left-hand turn of approximately 4000m radius, although some realigment of the existing rails will be required to achieve a perfect curve. The corridor is wide enough to accommodate triple track, with a new track to be added on the north side. This will require a rebuild of the northern platform at Bundanoon Station, which will be redeveloped into a medium-size regional commuter station

  • Earthworks
    • 120m fill, 8m high: $369k
    • 570m fill, 8m high: $1.75m
    • 900m cut, 11m deep: $7.06m
    • 470m fill, 6m high: $947k
    • 550m fill, 4m high: $633k
  • Track
    • 3980m new dual track: $8.96m
    • 3 low-speed turnouts: $2.1m
  • Signalling
    • Cable: $496k
    • 2x turnout signals: $8m
  • Civil Works
    • 5540m chainlink fence: $277k
    • 2520m steel palisade security fence: $252k
    • 3070m drainage: $614k
    • 2x minor grade separations @$2.5m each
    • 1km of noise attenuation wall: $4.8m
  • Station upgrade:
    • Assume $10m for mid-size commuter station requiring substantial rebuild
    • 100 at-grade car spaces @ $7000/space
  • Land
    • 40m corridor requires 10.9ha of land @ $50,000/ha
    • 3 houses to be acquired at $650,000 each


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