• Arup

    South Morang Rail Extension

    Melbourne, Australia

Project Summary


The South Morang Rail Extension will increase capacity, improve reliability and introduce extra services needed to meet growing demand for public transport. The AUD 650 million project includes the redevelopment of two existing stations – Thomastown and Epping – plus a 3.5 kilometer double rail track extension to South Morang, where station expansions include a modal interchange and 500 parking spaces. Arup’s scope was to provide structural engineering, mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic services for each station design. But the project had to be designed and constructed under tight timeframes to minimize disruption to existing rail services.


Because of Arup’s previous success with Bentley’s Structural Modeler (now OpenBuildings Station Designer) it chose that tool for modeling and documenting the stations and pedestrian footbridge structure. Other design applications were used for different disciplines. To accelerate procurement of fabricated steelwork for each station, which was critical to meeting tight deadlines, Arup provided the builder with complete, 3D steelwork models thanks to Bentley software’s integrated structural modelling (ISM). Bentley’s ISM tools also enabled Arup to work with other design disciplines in a 3D BIM environment, no matter what application they were using.


Working in a 3D environment allowed teams to review the steelwork connections and determine how to sequence the fabrication. 3D PDFs of complicated connections were sent to the fabricator to help communicate the connection detail. In the end, Arup produced about 580 services drawings and structural drawings accurately and on time and facilitated collaboration with more than 100 Arup contributors to the design. Efficient collaboration and strategic use of software also reduced costs.


OpenBuildings Station Designer and MicroStation were used to complete engineering drawings and documentation, and also to prepare document complex steelwork connections in 3D. ISM was used to successfully transfer models between OpenBuildings Station Designer and Autodesk Revit in both directions, providing bi-directional change management. ISM dynamic collaboration increased efficiency and overall project productivity amongst the design disciplines involved in the project.
  • Use of 3D PDFs of steelwork connections gave the fabricator greater insight into the design intent, saving time and reducing costs.
  • Arup produced 580 services drawings and structural drawings accurately and on time and efficiently collaborated with more than 100 Arup contributors to the design.
  • The accuracy and time savings achieved by giving the steelwork fabricator a detailed 3D model not only saved the fabricator time and money, but it also benefitted the entire design team.