Over the Christmas holiday period, Simcox staff were busy performing this contract directly for KiwiRail as part of the 300m long, 12m wide triple box Waitohi Culvert Upgrade. This project was completed over five stages under multiple rail and port operational areas. We had great support from our long-term vertical building and precasting partners, Robinson Construction Limited and Precast Systems Limited.

Below are some interesting facts about the Christmas period BOL (block of line) work alone – with around 5,000 man hours in a 10-day period, we’re happy to report that all work was completed safely, without any injuries, serious near-miss incidents, environmental issues, or public complaints.

Leading into the works:

  • The teams undertook robust planning, integration, resourcing, preparation, safety reviews, and methodology refinement.
  • Site enabling works to ensure the site was ready for a safe and efficient working layout, access, and delineation from operations.
  • 1,500m3 of railway ballast was imported via rail and stockpiled on site.
  • Transported and rigged an additional 100t crane.
  • Mobilised specialist track panel lifting equipment to remove and reinstate rail tracks safely and more efficiently.
  • Approximately 75 new culvert lid panels were transported and stacked neatly – each panel roughly 13m long and weighing 13 tonnes each.
  • Organised a team of 50 personnel to deliver the work over the holiday break, working day shift and night shift.

Construction works:

  • Removed 10 individual track sections, each approximately 30m long – Completed over Christmas and Boxing Day.
  • Excavated approximately 2,500m3 of railway ballast and track formation within 24 hours.
  • Removed approximately 250 old culvert lids and carefully stored on site.
  • Drilled around 700 holes in culvert walls to connect the new lids.
  • Installed 65 new lids within four days.
  • Backfilled 1,500m3 within 24 hours.
  • Refurbished removed track sets and reinstalled 10 yard tracks/panel sets and three refurbished turnouts within three days.
  • Rail yard was operational on 6 Jan as planned.

Our teams have more works to finish off and are looking forward to what 2024 brings!

We are truly grateful to the whole wider team that made it possible - KiwiRail iReX Construction team, Tamper crews, KiwiRail protection staff, KiwiRail operation teams (Rail ops, Interislander, Signalling crews, CT), Marlborough District Council, Port Marlborough NZ, Robinson Construction, Precast Systems, Martinus Rail, WSPJ, Vitruvius, Murphy Civil and Groundfix as well as our own Isaac Group company - Liddell Construction. Many people from these entities sacrificed spending the Christmas period with their families to achieve this significant result over a scheduled two-week block of rail lines (BOL). Please take a moment to enjoy the construction timelapse video and acknowledge the efforts, commitment, and achievement of the entire team that dedicated their precious time away from family and friends to undertake this work.