Kyaw Lwin

Overhead wiring firsts for Melbourne

Overhead Wiring Design & Review Lead, Metro Trains Melbourne; BE (Mechanical), Curtin University of Technology; Member of Engineers Australia; Chartered Engineer

Creativity and innovation were the order of the day when it came to the Melbourne rail system’s overhead wiring works on the city’s new elevated railway.

The Caulfield to Dandenong section of the network was the first to receive attention under the city’s level crossing removal project, which saw nine level crossings replaced with an elevated line. The existing ground level railway continued to operate while the elevated railway was being constructed.

Among the firsts achieved by the overhead wiring project was the development of the first 66 kV insulator overhead wiring cantilever arrangement in Melbourne, which meant that protective bonding cables would not be required for the project, thus complementing the visual appeal of the angled masts.

It also dramatically reduced material usage and installation times.

Among the firsts achieved by the overhead wiring project was the development of the first 66 kV insulator overhead wiring cantilever arrangement in Melbourne.

The project also saw the development of the city’s first braced dual anchor mast arrangement, and its first use of a Tensorex spring tensioning anchor system for mainline overhead catenary and contact wires, which resulted in a sturdy and compact anchor assembly unit requiring no heavy weights or guide rods.

This eliminated the safety risk to the public posed by the proposed use of a heavyweight overhead wiring anchor assembly. Because Tensorex requires no maintenance, it also optimised operational and maintenance practices.

Kyaw Lwin CPEng’s contribution to the work resulted in him being awarded the 2019 Young Railway Engineer of the Year by the Railway Technical Society of Australasia. He was also selected to present at the 2019 World Engineers Convention on the topic “OHW Creativity and Innovation applied on the Elevated Railway”.

The new elevated railway has been a key improvement for the local communities it serves. It has removed a physical barrier between suburbs and created hundreds of thousands of square metres of new open space, as well as community facilities and additional car parking.

Judges’ comments:

“The creative and innovative solutions to overhead wiring issues demonstrate the application of considerable innovation in response to a real problem. Effective public transport systems are essential for the vibrant and effective functioning of modern cities.

This application details how a series of novel approaches and achievements have been rolled out in eliminating level crossings and improving usability of both the road network and the space underneath the now-elevated railway lines. A great innovation that makes the urban environment a better place.”

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