Transit-oriented time travel has become a virtual reality, thanks to Brisbane’s revitalizing $5.4 billion Cross River Rail

In Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, the Cross River Rail is a critical public transit infrastructure project designed to boost the quality of life, grow the economy, generate thousands of jobs, and stimulate urban redevelopment and revitalization all across the region.

Transit-oriented time travel has become a virtual reality through ground-breaking new virtual reality experiences developed by Cross River Rail. It allows users to not only view what each of the project’s station sites will look like by 2025, but experience also what the station site looked like in 1819.

Virtual Songlines is the brainchild of Brett Leavy, a First Nations Aboriginal and self-styled “Indigenous Digital Jedi.” He’s widely respected as one of the world’s most advanced practitioners of using digital tools to bring cultural heritage to life.

Many consider this a game-changer for how major infrastructure projects—like Cross River Rail—can be leveraged as an education opportunity.

Virtual Songlines image courtesy of Brett Leavy.

By time-hopping forward to 2025 and back to 1819, it means we can study not only how people will move through cities in the future, we can experience in exquisite detail how the First Nations people ever did.

And thanks to innovative technology developed right here in Queensland, it gives students a highly personal glimpse into how our traditional owners and elders lived life in what is now one of the world’s fastest growing cities.

Schools, students and the general public are welcome to visit the Cross River Rail Experience Centre in Brisbane to experience this stunningly beautiful and highly-detailed cultural experience.

Cross River Rail Delivery Authority CEO Graeme Newton said the project has commissioned and supported the development of the technology not just for education purposes but as part of the Project’s commitment to the use of 3D digital engineering as part of project delivery.

3D modelling combined with VR allows us to experience Cross River Rail’s new underground stations as built environments before they are constructed and while we are still finalising designs,” Newton said. “This helps our designers, engineers, and expert advisors plan specific details for each station and ensure best possible outcomes for areas like accessibility and way finding as well as above station development.

By supporting Virtual Songlines, we are also able to immerse ourselves in the same station environments as they were in 1819, which gives us a fantastic opportunity to ensure the future design of our station environments honours and reflects our cultural heritage,” Newton added.

Back in July of 2019, CIMIC Group companies, Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors, and UGL, as part of the Pulse consortium, reached contractual close with the State of Queensland to deliver the Tunnel, Stations and Development PPP package of the Cross River Rail.

The Pulse consortium will deliver tunneling works, new underground stations, and ongoing maintenance services for Cross River Rail, South East Queensland’s largest infrastructure project. The State Government is providing a $5.4 billion capital contribution for construction.

Revenue to the CIMIC Group is approximately $2.73 billion. Contractual close occurred on 30 June 2019, with construction to commence later this year.

CIMIC Group has led the development of the project’s proposal, with lead sponsor Pacific Partnerships providing 49% of the equity finance, with the remaining 51% to be provided by DIF, BAM PPP PGGM and Ghella Investments & Partnerships.

CPB Contractors will deliver the design and construction in a joint venture with Ghella, BAM International and UGL. UGL will also provide maintenance services for the project over 24 years.

CIMIC Group Chief Executive Officer Michael Wright said, “CIMIC Group’s integrated approach to PPP projects is based on our end-to-end capabilities across a project’s life cycle. As Australia’s premier rail infrastructure and services provider, we will finance, design, construct and maintain the new tunnels and rail stations, in partnership with the State Government, to deliver world class rail assets and services for South East Queensland.

CIMIC Group companies CPB Contractors and UGL have also been chosen by the Queensland Government as preferred contractors in an Alliance partnership to deliver the Rail, Integration and Systems (RIS) package of the Cross River Rail project.

More recently, on October 2, 2019, Cross River Rail selected Hatch as their design consultant. Hatch’s role is to deliver the civil design for the station precincts, the rail alignment and permanent way design― both surface and in tunnel― as well as other services including pedestrian modelling at the stations and providing durability requirements for the whole Tunnel, Stations and Development design team.

We are very excited to be part of this dynamic team delivering cutting edge technical excellence for the Cross River Rail project and are committed to providing solutions for the toughest challenges to create positive change for our clients and communities,” said David Moran, Hatch’s Managing Director of Infrastructure Australia.

During design, Hatch will focus on managing key technical risks to maintain the design and construction program, meeting the construction budget and provide constructable solutions by working closely with the CPB-led Design and Construct contractor and the other members the design team.

Featured image of Brisbane’s skyline via Shutterstock.

Watch 3-minute “time travel” video.

See Cross River Rail website.

You must be logged in to post a comment