Project overview


Liddell Contracting carried out rail beam renewal works for the bridge deck on the Midland Line Bridge 13 for KiwiRail.

Scopes of works included:

  • Removal of old circa 1900s wooden rail beams and old sleepers
  • Installation of new steel pre-fabricated rail beams and new sleepers
  • Design, drawing, fabrication and installation of new steel and FRP grating walkway
  • Raise and improve an existing rail crossing to a private property
  • Before works began we discovered the bridge needed five structural transom repairs, a structural upright repair and over 200 painting spot repairs across.

Challenges and solutions

A big driver for the project was getting the rail beams, sleepers and track replaced without disturbance to the normal running of the midland line. As the line is mostly used for milk shipping we achieved this by timing it for the milking off-season. The remaining works and variations were then expertly planned and executed around planned train movements for the remainder of the project.

As a safety precaution, we fabricated and installed panelling on the inside face of the truss bridge to prevent any construction materials from causing damage to vehicles or engineering tasks, or creating a distraction for motorists.

This massive project touched all parts of the business with every Liddell employee from every branch (civil construction, workshop/engineering, blast and paint, and design/drafting) involved in some way shape or form.

This project was a success in its engineering and civil construction phase. The quality output for the difficult tasks is an example of the expertise that can be offered by Liddell Contracting.

To enable us to remove and replace the rail beams we designed, built and commissioned a bespoke gantry crane, fabricated inhouse at Liddell.