Increased Efficiency: for Public Transport Tunnelling Muck Away

Sydney Metro

Increasing efficiency of tunnelling muck away on Australia’s biggest public transport project.


John Holland CPB Ghella JV


Crows Nest Station, Sydney


Sydney Metro is Australia’s biggest public transport project. It will transform Sydney, delivering more trains and faster services for customers across the network.

Sydney Metro City & Southwest extends the new metro network from the end of Sydney Metro Northwest at Chatswood, under Sydney Harbour, through CBD stations, and south west to Bankstown.

John Holland CPB Ghella (JHCPBG) is building the 15.5-kilometre twin railway tunnels between Chatswood and Sydenham and excavating six new metro stations.


This infrastructure project is being delivered alongside ‘live’ road and rail networks. Many of the construction sites have confined operating space. As a result, JHCPBG needed to maximise available space on the site of the future Crows Nest station.



Conquip contacted JHCPBG during the tender phase and proposed the BulkX system which provides direct-to-truck spoil discharge. They could see the cost and site efficiency advantages from not stockpiling spoil on site.

Our design team partnered with the JHCPBG project team to come up with a best practice excavation solution. We considered vehicle movements, truck capacities and available space around the shaft opening.

We agreed on a solution which was a BulkX free-standing gantry system with an 8m³ and a 13m³ BulkX skip. The 8m³ skip was used for loading the truck while the 13m³ one was used for loading the dog trailer. Using the two gantry cranes within the excavation’s acoustic enclosure, the truck and the dog could be loaded almost simultaneously. This enabled JHCPBG to have a full truck leaving site at least every 10 minutes, equating to approximately 50 trucks loaded each day.


"We chose the BulkX for our spoil load out operations, because it could load directly into trucks. This improved our site logistics by eliminating the stockpile from our yard. We worked closely with Conquip to size the skips to match our truck combinations, optimise the discharge frame configuration and model the cycle times. Early engagement with the Conquip design team meant the equipment was able to be installed and in operation quickly after it arrived."

Gene O’Sullivan, Project Manager, John Holland CPB Ghella