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Drawing on decades of local, state, national and global knowledge, we’re well equipped to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your rail business.

We partner with rail operators, infrastructure owners, maintainers and financiers, suppliers and contractors, government, planners and regulators in management, and operation and maintenance of railway systems.

We're on board with metropolitan, suburban, intercity, high speed, and light rail & tram passenger rail clients. Our freight rail contacts include heavy haul, interstate, bulk, light general, shuttle and intermodal stakeholders.

Through various contracting mechanisms, we offer the most viable processes for railway owners and project financiers.

Enhance your rail performance through improved procurement, management and maintenance of long-life assets: the basis of rail infrastructure.

GHD provides services for the following rail transport modes:

  • Light rail
  • Heavy haul and freight rail
  • Heavy rail passenger
  • High speed
  • Monorails

Rail transport planning

  • Route selection using GIS or CAD based packages
  • Demand forecasting including ticketing and revenue
  • Feasibility studies
  • Project definition
  • Project evaluation
  • Land use planning
  • Economic evaluation
  • Mode selection and evaluation
  • Feasibility studies
  • Revenue analysis and ticketing review

Engineering design

  • Geotechnical engineering and survey services
  • Roads and civil earthworks- MX, BRT, 12D, ACad civil3D, B Open Roads
  • Track work and alignment design including full BIMM capability
  • Bridges, structures and building design
  • Hydrology and drainage
  • Roads and services
  • Station design and upgrade
  • Electrification (overhead wiring) and power systems
  • Railway systems, including signalling, power and telecommunications
  • Workshop and depot design
  • Feasibility and concept design
  • Cost estimation Implementation plans
  • Hydraulic design, analysis and assessment
  • Hydraulic modelling of drainage and outlet works including computational fluid dynamics
  • Inundation mapping
  • Options studies for waterway interface upgrades
  • Geotechnical assessments
  • Stream gauging, flood assessments and reservoir yield studies

Environmental and approvals

  • Environmental assessment management
  • Planning advice and approvals
  • Statutory approvals
  • Groundwater/recharge modelling and yield analysis
  • Foundation design including treatment and improvement, consolidation and stability
  • Embankment zoning and slope stability analysis
  • Construction materials assessment and investigation
  • Numerical modelling (2D & 3D)
  • Vegetation reviews – Noxious weeds/ line of site/ programming/ sustainability
  • EIS assessment for rail corridors and facilities
  • Advice for landowner negotiations

Tender and construction phase services

  • Development of tender documentation including specifications, engineering cost estimates and construction programming
  • Construction phase project and technical management
  • Materials management and quality control
  • Public complaints and negotiations on behalf of client

Operational support

  • Asset management services (including asset condition below)
  • Asset valuations and condition assessments
  • Development of rail safety documentation including standing operating procedures, operation & maintenance manuals and emergency action plans
  • Infrastructure surveillance, instrumentation and monitoring
  • Rail safety assessment and safe working analysis
  • Operations and management. Including operational modelling
  • Plant and equipment registers and planning and costing

Condition assessments

  • Track condition assessment including Track recording, degradation and analysis
  • Civil (earthworks, pavements and drainage, structural) assessment
  • Hydrology assessment to determine floodway capacity
  • Overhead wiring assessment
  • Power systems assessment
  • Signalling assessment maintenance and upgrading advisory
  • Track stability management and planning
  • 2,5 and 10 year maintenance plans

Engineering assessments / Rehabilitation design

  • Upgrade of track due to damage or wear deterioration
  • Track realignment and efficiency (curve easing, etc.)
  • Structural upgrade to bridges and other structures
  • Drainage upgrades to improve flood mitigation
  • Geotechnical design to accommodate saturated embankments and cuttings
  • Wheel rail interface and dynamics
  • Lubrication strategy

Rail inspections and investigations

  • Failure impact assessments and hazard/consequence classification
  • Post-incident inspection and assessment
  • Risk assessment including quantitative and qualitative assessments, event trees, fault trees and consequence assessment for individual dams
  • Portfolio risk assessments
  • Owner’s Engineer and review panels
  • Site investigation and inquiries (independent and joint analysis)
  • Investigations and appraisals

Specialist technical advice across all disciplines including:

  • Permanent Way (Track)
  • Bridges and tunnel structures
  • Railway geotechnical - formation, cuttings, embankments
  • Rolling stock engineering
  • Operations and management including operational modelling
  • Asset & maintenance management including rail data management systems
  • Depots and maintenance facilities
  • Terminals, yards and stations
  • Railway safe working
  • Electrical- OHW /overhead line
  • Power - substations and traction
  • Signalling including commissioning
  • SCADA & wayside systems
  • Railway communications

To get in touch with one of our professionals, click on the 'key people' tab.

For further information, contact:

John Portwood
Service Line Leader, Railways – Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East
T: +61 7 3316 3158
E: John Portwood

Mark Murphy
Service Line Leader, Railways – North America
T: +1 501 224 1926
E: Mark Murphy

Arriva Trains – Great Western Franchise Bid


Arriva Trains commissioned GHD to provide extensive technical support through both the pre-qualification and bid stages for the Great Western Franchise. GHD was the lead technical advisor for:

  • Revenue and demand forecasting, including assessment of impact of exogenous factors, rail-on-rail and modal competition, changes in service provision or quality
  • Delivery of a compliant Revenue Model with associated Record of Assumptions and Operating Manual
  • Capacity management, including advising on fleet deployment, assessment of services against specified crowding limits, impact of crowding on revenue and supporting creation of a Delivery Plan to accommodate passenger growth
  • Delivery of a compliant Crowding Model with associated Record of Assumptions and Operating Manual, providing a train-by-train, stop-by-stop view of crowding
  • Fares and revenue protection
  • Timetable specification and evaluation, including analysis of impact of net revenue and TSR compliance
  • Environment & sustainability and asset management
  • Assessment of impact of engineering work and bid writing support in respect of Delivery Plan "Management and Delivery of Infrastructure Change"

Read More . . .

Bridge reviews - Geelong, Australia


GHD was engaged by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to inspect bridges along the Melbourne to Adelaide railway line between Geelong and Wolseley.

The client required structural inspections to determine the bridges' current condition, load carrying capacity and future life expectancy.

Read More . . .

Darra to Springfield Transport Corridor, South East Queensland, Australia


GHD was engaged by Queensland Rail (Horizon Alliance) to deliver the Darra to Springfield Transport Corridor Project, a major transport initiative required to service the future needs of the growing western corridor region.

The Queensland Government built a new passenger rail line from Darra to Springfield and duplicated the Centenary Highway between Richlands and Springfield. This project is part of the State Government’s South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program 2007 – 2026 and will be delivered in stages.

Read More . . .

Doncaster to Water Orton (D2WO), United Kingdom


D2WO is the latest part of the UK rail network to be tackled as part of the gauge enhancement programme to clear the route for large container freight traffic. GHD is collaborating closely with the contractor, Carillion, to provide design management service. As the vital link between design and delivery, GHD is managing the development, review, submission and approval of designs against a very tight programme of track possessions whilst driving efficiencies and value engineering initiatives.

Read More . . .

Epping to Chatswood rail line, Sydney, Australia

In terms of scale of investment the Epping to Chatswood rail line (ECRL) will represent one of the most significant rail infrastructure project ever undertaken in the Sydney Metropolitan Network.

The rail link now connects to Chatswood via Epping, providing an alternative route for train services from Sydney’s outer west and Central Coast to access the Sydney CBD. The link is also crucial to the further development of the rail network into Sydney’s north-west sector.

Read More . . .

Gold Coast Rapid Transit, Gold Coast, Australia


GHD assisted Translink and Gold Coast City Council in the preparation of the concept design and Impact Management Plan (CDIMP) for the Gold Coast Rapid Transit Project.

This project involves the concept design for two alternative transit systems for the Gold Coast, a bus rapid system and a light rail system. The system will run between Helensvale and Coolangatta along the eastern Gold Coast Highway route. Construction will proceed in two stages, with the line running to Broadbeach in the first stage.

Read More . . .

Manchester Metrolink - Systems integration of extensions and improvements


Investment in Manchester Metrolink will bring substantial improvement in the existing infrastructure through a System Enhancement Program and through network extensions under Phase 3a and 3b. GHD is taking a leadership role in the systems engineering and integration that will enable the entire system to operate effectively. Mapping the scope and architecture of the extensions and improvements onto existing system architecture allows the interfaces to be understood and managed.

One key enhancement is the introduction of a new Line of Sight (LoS) signalling system across both the existing and extended sections of the network. This creates interface challenges between the LoS signalling contractor, the existing operator/maintainer and the Phase 3a and 3b infrastructure contractors. GHD is helping to manage these so that safety and acceptable service levels are maintained during construction and so the system operates efficiently as an integrated whole when completed.

Read More . . .

Railway Mine Subsidence, Newcastle, Australia


To enable mining to safely continue in a high-use area, our Newcastle team developed an innovative, 'world first', safety management system.

This allowed Xstrata to maintain its mining operations beneath the railway line without disturbing train operations above.

Read More . . .

New Metrorail - Perth, Australia


The New MetroRail project, with a budget of $1.518 billion, is the biggest public infrastructure project ever undertaken in the Perth metropolitan area. It will expand the existing railway network of some 100 kilometres by a further 81 kilometres of new track and will almost double the existing fleet of 96 railcars. Annual patronage is expected to grow from about 31 million to 51 million passenger trips in 2008 and 15 new stations will be built.

Significant alterations to existing structures and roadways above ground were required to accommodate the approach sections of the railway, and for the cut and cover construction of the new stations.

Read More . . .

Network Rail Asset Management Competence Framework

network rail asset management

To date GHD has undertaken over 50 independent 'External Expert' corporate gate reviews for Transport for London (TfL), helping the client determine if its programmes and projects are deliverable, affordable and provide value for money. The projects and programmes assessed range in scope from civil and station upgrade works, information management systems upgrades, passenger ticketing systems upgrades to the introduction of new train control systems.

Each review scrutinizes the project or programme to determine whether TfL should commence or continue with it and to identify key corrective actions.

Read More . . .

Taylors Road Rail Underpass, Melbourne, Australia


GHD was engaged by Abigroup Contractors to deliver the design and documentation of the civil works, bridge works, rail bridge works and associated structures with the Taylors Road Rail Underpass.

The aim of this project was to provide improved road safety and reduced travel times for western suburbs residents.

Read More . . .

Third Rail Receival Facility, Gladstone, Australia

GHD designed the third rail receival facility as part of the AUD750 million expansion of the RG Tanna Port in Gladstone Queensland.

The design and construction of the third rail receival facility in Gladstone is a unique engineering feat due to the challenging design requirements, difficult site conditions and fast track construction.  

Read More . . .

Transport for London Corporate Gate Reviews


To date GHD has undertaken over 50 independent 'External Expert' corporate gate reviews for Transport for London (TfL), helping the client determine if its programmes and projects are deliverable, affordable and provide value for money. The projects and programmes assessed range in scope from civil and station upgrade works, information management systems upgrades, passenger ticketing systems upgrades to the introduction of new train control systems.

Each review scrutinizes the project or programme to determine whether TfL should commence or continue with it and to identify key corrective actions.

Read More . . .

Asset & Facilities Management
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EMS & Audits
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Transport Planning & Traffic
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GHD Library

The GHD library is a collection of relevant resources to this service line.