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McConnell Dowell specialises in railway development, design, construction, testing and commissioning, maintenance and asset management for mining, light, metropolitan, urban, regional, and heavy haul railway systems.  Our rail capability is supported by Aveng Rail Australia with whom we operate in joint venture on our major rail projects.

We have made a significant long-term investment in the rail sector by purchasing a major fleet of rolling stock, rail plant, equipment, and tools capable of operating on narrow, standard, and broad gauge railway networks. McConnell Dowell has a major rolling stock fleet including but not limited to: Hi-Rail Excavators, Ballast Regulators, Tampers, and Flash Butt Welders. With our sister company Aveng Rail also providing access to a significant fleet of plant and equipment, we have the capacity to undertake major and minor track renewals, network expansion improvements, construction works, and cyclic maintenance activities.

Further investment has been made to ensure we have a dedicated National Rail Plant Yard and Workshop in Victoria, providing a full maintenance and servicing facility. We ensure that our equipment is manned by our permanent, highly mobile, flexible, and competent supervisors, operators, fitters and work crews. This allows us to achieve a high level of reliability for the major plant items we supply to all of our customers.

Our capabilities and experience cover the following key sectors within the rail industry:

  • Track construction
  • Live operational railway
  • Rail systems
  • Civil structures
  • Station and depot facilities
  • Maintenance and asset management
  • Rail safety accreditation

As the core of our rail business, we have undertaken track construction projects throughout Australia. In 2012, McConnell Dowell Rail constructed over 250 km of track, and over 100 turnouts. We understand the planning and logistics associated with building railways in remote and harsh environments, as well as the detailed staging, risks, and neighbourhood considerations required within a suburban train network.

Our personnel have vast experience in detailed and integrated possession/occupation planning to ensure that our construction projects are built in a safe and cost effective manner while simultaneously minimising adverse impacts to the operational train networks. We recognise the importance of minimising operational impacts, and the need to maintain safe working practices in a live railway environment.

We recognise that a railway is a system and that it is therefore important to integrate signalling, communications, traction power, rolling stock interfaces and operational considerations within track and civil infrastructure works. The experience McConnell Dowell Rail personnel have in managing rail systems and interfaces provides surety of schedule and cost.

The McConnell Dowell Group has gained widespread recognition for our skill and experience in the construction of civil structures, especially bridges and tunnels. These projects are supported by our in-house civil design team. We have delivered a vast number of complex structures all over the world, in some of the most challenging environments. In the domain of rail, we have delivered formation, bridges and road-rail grade separations. The McConnell Dowell Tunnelling Business Unit is one of the leaders in the industry.

The McConnell Dowell Group also offers the ability to design and construct station and depot facilities either through McConnell Dowell, or our building subsidiary Built Environs. With recent projects in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, we have demonstrated that top class stations and depots can be constructed safely and to a high quality within a live rail environment.

Through our sister company Aveng Rail we bring to the market a long standing provider of inspection, maintenance and asset management services. Aveng Rail is the leader in this sector in South Africa and brings knowledge and experience to a number of maintenance areas such as re-sleepering, re-railing, ballast cleaning, resurfacing, welding and asset inspection, and preventative maintenance strategies.

McConnell Dowell holds Rail Safety Accreditation as a Rolling Stock Operator across Australia. This demonstrates our effective management and control of our plant, and provides additional assurance that McConnell Dowell can support clients through a fully functioning and auditable Safety Management System. This provides confidence that we can deliver optimum performance while meeting safety requirements.  

Some of our notable Rail projects include:

  • Gold Coast Light Rail, QLD

    The partnership of McConnell Dowell and Bombardier Transportation are working with GoldLinkQ to design and construct the Stage One of the Gold Coast Light Rail (GCLR) project.  Being Queensland's first contemporary light rail system, the completion of this project will bring immense improvement to the face of public transport in the corridor between Griffith University to Broadbeach.  The light rail system will support sustainable development for population and tourist growth in key the activity centres of Southport and Surfers Paradise, with 16 stations scheduled to be ready for operation in 2014.


  • FMG Rail – Mainline Upgrade & Solomon Spur, WA

    Working in joint venture, McConnell Dowell and Aveng Rail Australia are constructing 300km of standard gauge heavy haul track, including 155km of duplication of existing line between Cloudbreak and Port Hedland and a 145km spur line to the Solomon mine in the Pilbara region of North West Australia.  The works included the installation of over 100 turnouts, included 446,219 sleepers and 840,000 tonnes of ballast.


  • Springvale Level Crossing Removal Project, VIC

    As part of the NetworX Alliance, McConnell Dowell has been working tirelessly on removing an existing level crossing from Springvale Road by lowering the rail line beneath the road.  The completion of the project will improve road and pedestrian safety, reduce traffic congestion and improve rail and road network efficiency.  The project consists of 2km of 4-lane roadway, the construction of a new station, complete with a brand new carpark, trackwork, a rail bridge and a road bridge.  The design for the new station includes a roof and forecourt with the intention of forming a community hub for a well-connected, vibrant and safer Springvale.


  • Glenelg Tram Overpass, SA
  • Seaford Rail Extension, SA
  • FMG Stacker / Reclaimer Track Construction, WA
  • Balaclava Station Upgrade Project, VIC
  • Breakwater Bridge (Road over Rail), VIC
  • Narre Warren Road / Rail Grade Separation, VIC


To find out more about the details of our rail projects and capability, please download our Rail Capability brochure here.

To enquire about the full suite of McConnell Dowell Rail plant and equipment as listed in the latest rail plant catalogue, or for any general enquiries, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it