BlueScope Train Maintenance Gets Elevated Safety at the Port

BlueScope Steel’s largest operating plant in Port Kembla, New South Wales, features an intricate network of internal and externally-connected rail lines. These lines are for both taking in newly-mined coal from nearby pits in the Great Dividing Range escarpment area and to transport molten iron internally to the blast furnace.

At an internal maintenance facility, BlueScope required maintenance access to rail cars, which was placed in a difficult position 6.5m away from an existing walkway, and 3.2m in an elevated position.

Further to this, the situation was made more complex due to the fact it could not be a fixed walkway; it needed to be able to be crane-lifted into position and moved via rollers to provide access to different rail cars along the length of the train.

BlueScope commissioned Sydney-based portable height access designer and fabricator SafeSmart Access for a design.

SafeSmart’s Alf Dartnall was the primary point of contact for the project.

“SafeSmart worked with BlueScope to develop a CAD model and design a walkway that fulfilled all key customer requirements,” says Alf. “It needed to be able to be crane-lifted, mobile, to be manoeuvred to different access points, and it needed to feature an optimum weight to strength ratio.”

SafeSmart’s newly-installed bridging system at BluesScope Port Kembla can be repositioned by gliding it along the existing rails.

The in-house design team, using CAD 3D technology and measurement data from BlueScope’s facility and rolling stock, developed a new system from scratch. The same CAD 3D technology was also used to during a ‘virtual fit test’.

The system was manufactured in-house at SafeSmart’s New Zealand-based factory and delivered to site well within deadline.

Alf Dartnall is getting great feedback from BlueScope’s rolling stock maintenance facility stakeholders.

“The end result was ideal for the client, providing a safe and effective access system to their rail cars whilst being very easy to install and use. And the high tensile aluminium construction makes the system highly resistant to extreme environmental conditions as well as quick to remove and redeploy.”

The resulting walkway for BlueScope is compliant with AS1657.

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