Imagine having to build a 1 420km railway across some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world, with summer temperatures reaching 50C in the shade and a three month monsoon season…..
This was the massive logistical task for the engineers and construction partners to overcome when building the Alice Springs to Darwin railway. The railway needed to operate up to 48 coaches on the Ghan and highlighted the importance of not only interstate rail passenger traffic but also interstate rail freight growth. The railway was built in deserts and tropical areas and material supply stretched the rail manufacturing industry. The Alice Springs to Darwin Railway was brought in on time and below a very tight budget, partly due to the expertise of railway engineers.
Railway engineers study design proposals and advise on the construction, maintenance and repair of railway systems including tracks, terminals, tunnels and train stations. They study the natural features of proposed routes and plan the types of rail beds, rail size and curves to meet train speed and load requirements. They also conduct traffic surveys to establish suitable routes for rapid transit or urban railway systems.
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