Last week in Sydney, the Jacobs WSP design joint venture was awarded an Australian Engineering Excellence Award (AEEA) for its work on the North Strathfield Rail Underpass (NSRU).

The NSRU project was part of the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program, a joint Australian and NSW Government initiative to improve the capacity and reliability of freight trains between Strathfield and Newcastle. The 148-metre rail underpass allows freight trains to cross under the busy Main North Line without impacting faster passenger services. The team developed an innovative design – a shallow-cover, driven tunnel – allowing the project to be completed five months ahead of schedule.


WSP’s General Manager for Rail, Mike Jenkins, congratulated the team on its achievement and commended the innovative design.


‘It is a great honour to be recognised by the industry. While underground construction is nothing new, NSRU is believed to be the first instance in Australia where a tunnel has been constructed under an operational railway using canopy tubing.’


Jacobs’ Technical Director for Rail, Ben Hyde, highlighted the team’s commitment to safety.


‘The project achieved an exceptional safety record – there were no lost time injuries over the 1.8 million man hours worked’, said Mr Hyde.


The NSRU design was undertaken by the Jacobs WSP joint venture with support from Mott Macdonald. The design team was part of the NSRU Alliance comprising Transport for NSW, Bouygues Travaux Publics and John Holland. The NSRU was officially opened in June 2015.


The Australian Engineering Excellence Awards recognise outstanding achievement in the practice of engineering and service to the profession. The 2016 Sydney award ceremony was held Friday 7 October at the Four Points by Sheraton, Darling Harbour.