Bridge 105 – Improving Rail Efficiency

The Bay of Plenty section of the East Coast Main Trunk line (ECMT) carries over a third of New Zealand’s rail traffic and is the most densely operated section of the national rail network.

A high performing rail network is critical to the Bay of Plenty region and its connections to upper and central North Island.

Chief Executive of NZ Transport Agency said, “The efficient movement of freight through the upper North Island is vital to New Zealand’s economic success.”

As part of the Governments strong focus and efforts on improving freight efficiency, recent rail line upgrades included the Bridge 105 ECMT Replacement in Tauranga.

Fulton Hogan were selected as the main contractor to deliver this project, which involved replacing a fire span bridge with a new 3-span bridge structure. KiwiRail closed the rail line so the existing bridge could be lifted out piece by piece and deconstructed. The rebuilding of the new bridge structure then had to be constructed offline so (a temporary) rail could continue to operate. Once the new bridge had been constructed, the construction team had a 48-hour window while KiwiRail closed the rail line again to slide the new bridge back into the final position. This involved the construction team working late into the night to get this done within the timeframe. 

As part of the Bridge replacement, Moddex was contracted by Fulton Hogan to supply & install over 100m of service access handrails to both sides of the bridge.

Our client said,
“Moddex is essential to this project as the handrails are an essential part to the operational aspects of the bridge for maintenance purposes – there are people that have to get onto the bridge and inspect it once it’s in place.”

Moddex Modular Efficiency

Being a modular system, we were able to fit in with the unique construction of the bridge. Our handrail systems could be installed on the new bridge structure which was built to one side of the main line and then shifted into place. This provided the construction team with edge protection during construction which did away with the need and cost of temporary fall protection, as well as supplying the final operational aspect for future maintenance of the bridge. 

The Moddex handrail was attractive to the client as the modular build ensured fast installation and on-site flexibility which removed the possibility of costly and time-consuming on and off-site customisation at the installation stage. Our proprietary slotted kickplate was also of great benefit because it could be retrofitted on site which eliminated the need for drilling. This brought install efficiencies as no site drilling means no metal filings are needed to be cleaned up. It also eliminated the need for zinc spraying bare steel from drilling.

Low lifetime cost of ownership

The project required a heavier galvanised coating than usual due to the bridge’s relative nearness to the sea. The Moddex handrails were supplied with a coating in excess of 600+HDG as per the designer’s specification. The process to get this level of coating was to use back pipe which was whip blasted then galvanised. This provided the ultimate protection against corrosion and gave piece of mind that the handrail would continue to provide maximum site safety into the future.

As with this project, our pre-designed modular handrail configurations will give you the peace of mind in knowing that your Moddex system will deliver a fast installation time, a low lifetime cost of ownership and a streamlined, quality finish to all your projects.

Moddex have given us the full package of design, supply and install. It looks sharp, does the job and was quick to install.

Rodney Stone, Project Manager at Fulton Hogan

Ready to find out how Moddex can help you? Contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.