World first 3D GPS Guided
Rail Laying machine

3DX first heard that Laing O’Rourke had a large rail project in Port Hedland Western Australia. This project was 280 Km long and was to transport Iron ore for (FMG) Fortescue Metals Group to the newly constructed port at Port Hedland, 3DX saw this as an opportunity to understand how rail construction was carried out and the construction andoperational procedures. We learnt that to lay rail and sleepers in a simultaneousprocess was extremelylabour intensive in regards to Survey. This where we saw the opportunity to reduce costs and increase productivity and reduce time = costs. The survey involved bashing steel pegs (pins) in the ground every 10 meter and surveying the correct horizontal alignment where a string-line was attached at this position where a steering wand contacted the string which controlled a the left and right steering direction. This is a similar process used in concrete slip-form paving construction in freeway construction projects. This has been the traditional way this type of method has be done. 3DX saw this was a problem, the contractor didn’t because they didn’t know there was a better way or for lack of a better word “a solution”. To a problem they dint know they had. The result was that Laing O’Rourke could now work 24 hrs a day with not over the top night lighting. With unprecedented accuracy and speed in their words this put the project 6 months ahead of schedule to the point earthworks held them up. The steering was automated and was accurate to within 10mm, this had never been achieved before. This project reportedly brock several world records in speed and accuracy.



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