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Cubis Systems Rail Access Pit: Better connecting Australia

Metro Rail Tunnel Early Works officially begun on Monday 19th December 2016, with the first Cubis Systems pre-cast concrete communications cable pit installed in central Melbourne, Australia.

The Metro Rail Tunnel project is estimated to cost $10.9 billion in construction works, letting more trains run in and out of the city increasing customer capacity during peak hours by 39,000 people. Five new underground stations are included in the Metro Tunnel scope, with two new city stations directly connected to bustling Flinders Street and Melbourne Central.

The site of the first Cubis pit installation is one of Melbourne’s busiest intersections, surrounded by multiple tram, bus stops, a six lane wide road and a popular recreational park. Cubis were required to design and manufacture a 3.6 m x 1.65 m x 2.7m pre-cast concrete pit with no floor or end walls to cover 2 existing power and 48 communications cables confined within the site location. Reo starters were installed within the inner pit walls so the end walls and floor could be poured insitu post installing the Cubis rail pit, resulting in complete structural integrity.

Cubis’ engineering and production team were required to deliver the pre-cast access pit to the highest standards of build precision, ensuring the product was robust enough that the missing floor and walls did not alter the pits structural integrity. Due to the volume of the works being completed and the highly populated site location, time was of the essence and required fast accurate installation of the rail cable pit. To ensure the highest quality build was achieved, the Cubis Systems team constructed the pre-cast pit upside down then temporarily braced, flipped and loaded the pit for transport. Bracing was removed onsite post transportation and the Cubis pre-cast concrete pit was installed all within less than 1 week.

Where previously an insitu pit completely poured on site would have been the approach taken for a brownfield project of this nature, site access and timing constrictions eliminated this option. The contractor for Metro Rail Tunnel early works, Multipipe Pty Ltd, approached Cubis Systems to provide a solution having full confidence in the company’s ability to meet the project requirements. Multipipe is one of Melbourne’s leading specialized civil construction companies and have worked with Cubis on numerous projects in the past.