MidWest Rail Upgrade, Australia

MidWest Rail
Key facts
System Sub Ballast Mat
Installation 2013
City Narngulu to Mullewa
Country Australia



MidWest Rail Upgrade, Narngulu to Mullewa (WA):

The MidWest Rail network runs from Morawa north through Mullewa and west to Geraldton port, Western Australia. This 184 kilometre rail network was originally designed and built 100 years ago and was ready for a upgrade to support the regions growing export industries.

The project brief specified a robust, safe and sustainable rail freight network between Morawa and Mullewa.  60 kilometres of new rail infrastructure was subsequently built on a new rail formation adjacent to the existing alignment. New rail structure –  bridges and culverts – were also constructed. These consisted of concrete dual gauge sleepers, ballast and 60 kilogram per metre rail.

The bridges and culverts required a robust and proficient ballast matting that could absorb the vibrations created by the fast moving passenger trains with axle loads in excess of 21 tonne but also withstand vibrations and pressures put on the ballast and structures by bulk heavy haul freight trains with axle loads in excess of 28tonnes.

The specifications required the SBM:

  • To have a long service life.
  • Be able to handle the increased rail capacity from 3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 25mtpa, and potentially well beyond to 75mtpa
  • Be quick and easy to install and have a flat service to limit the impact when the trains enter and exit the bridges and/or culverts (smooth transition from soft earth to a hard concrete structure with limited/visible transitions);
  • Can reduce structure-borne noise emitted through the railway tracks and rail bridge structures;
  • Can minimize the effect of excessive vibrations on the adjacent bridge and tracks;
  • Can increase the life expectancy and integrity of the ballast; and
  • Can handle axle loads in excess of 28 tons


The 10mm Projex Damtec Sub Ballast Matt with the Damtec Re-Enforced SBM tape was used for this project not only because it achieved all the above requirements but also because it was cost effective, easy and quick to install.

The SBM was joined together with reinforced SBM tape to create the smooth service required. The smooth service prevents the ripping of the SBM when ballast tampers do their services.

See photo as an example (please note: these are example photo’s and are  not necessarily from the same project).


MidWest Rail


We are happy to state that the installation of the Sub Ballast Matting was completed on budget and ahead of schedule, enabling mining and agricultural customers to fulfil their immediate and very substantial export goals.
Client – Brookfield Rail
Product used: 10mm Projex Damtec Sub Ballast Matting – (Manufacturer Kraiburg, Germany)
Cstat ≥ 0,1N/mm3 (6 x 1.25m/roll=7.5 m²)



Posted on

30. October 2017