Cross River Rail Project, Brisbane Australia

The Cross River Rail is Queensland Australia's largest infrastructure project spanning 6.3 miles of rail line including 3.7 miles of twin tunnels under the Brisbane River and Central Business District. The project is expected to improve quality of life, generate thousands of jobs, activate urban development across the whole region, and help the economy keep growing.

The project has been a great opportunity for State and local government to work in partnership with private industry to meet the needs of a very broad range of stakeholders.

Through its “Project DNA”, which stands for “Digital Network Approach”, the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority (CRRDA) made a commitment to put digital modeling at the center of everything it does. Step one of that process was to work with the government to obtain a detailed 3D model of the full length and breadth of the core project rail line, tunnel and stations.

According to Peter Quick, Director, Program Controls of CRRDA, “The surrounding digital environment needs to be at a similar quality to the infrastructure being modeled. Driving multiple 3D model design iterations (BIM, geospatial, gamified/immersive etc.) off a single Common Data Environment meant that all areas of the model needed to progress at a similar pace, and we needed a strong/detailed 3D photogrammetry layer to complement these design iterations.”

Aerometrex delivered high resolution 3D mesh models with an accuracy of +/- 2 inches in late 2018 that have been used throughout the project phases up until now and will be updated as the project moves through its life cycle. We worked closely with the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) as well as private partners such as V2i Group, who worked on delivering the vast amounts of spatial data via a gaming engine to allow real-time performance and ease of use by anyone.

Graeme Newton, CEO of CRRDA, states, “A combination of the 3D layers and gamification allows you to literally walk around the model before it gets built and make decisions using visualization – decisions linked to crowd movement, disability access, etc. Using the 3D model and time lapse, you can visualize the development over time and bring the project to life; you can see what the final product will look like and where the project currently stands.”

The CRRDA project really was a first of its kind in Australia where BIM, GIS and 3D modeling have been fully integrated on a major infrastructure project and across multiple use cases. A key learning that has been stated by the CRRDA team, is to acquire the 3D modeling early, so it can be used consistently across the project life cycle and not just as a sales and marketing tool for the project. These lessons have now been taken on board and used for similar projects across the state.

Project DNA and the 3D modeling shall continue to support stakeholder engagement, investment attraction, community consultation, simulations, and project planning activities.

It shall enable collaboration via 3D visualization through to real time operations and maintenance. An example of this is the Cross River Rail Experience Center which is a very popular space where the Delivery Authority can meet with community representatives and groups, deliver a school engagement program, host stakeholder information sessions and assist their engineers with ongoing design and delivery of the project’s future tunnels and stations.


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