2. Surveying for the Toowoomba tunnel project

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To begin with, weโ€™ll need a solid understanding of the Toowoomba tunnel project's aims and objectives.โ€

Watch the video below, which outlines the basic process and timeline of designing and delivering the Toowoomba tunnel.


Hereโ€™s an accompanying 3D model of the proposed tunnel that was created by the Inland Rail team. Spend a couple of minutes navigating the model to visualise what it will look like and what additional safety features it has...

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And an aerial image of the proposed tunnel corridor.

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So, how does surveying factor into this project?

One of the most complex yet common challenges in a project like this one is that rail lines have to be extremely flat. As surveyors bring their assessments in, you'll discover that the Toowoomba ranges are anything but โ€“ full of hills, valleys and floodplains, they present a significant challenge to engineers whose jobs it is to get a train moving smoothly and safely along this part of the alignment.

Check out the video below, which details why trains struggle to go up steep gradients ๐Ÿš‚ โ›ฐ

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If you canโ€™t go over the hill, then your best option is to go through it. Rail tunnelling is used to effectively punch a hole through the hill at a flat alignment. This process is highly complex, and involves moving lots of materials, making cuttings, and building embankments.