Major project requires Adept solution

Adept Civil Group has completed a microtunnel bore for the Windermere Railway Services Crossing.

The six-month project was awarded in April 2020, with the sole contractor – Adept Civil Group – having to work through tough lockdown conditions in Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At the beginning of October, Adept announced the project’s completion, saying the entire team came together to reach the milestone on what was a major infrastructure upgrade contract. 

The works comprised a microtunnelled rock bore under the Geelong to Melbourne V/Line VicTrack Rail Line and Armstrong Road at Windermere, which allowed for a new power feed. To carry out the microtunnelling, Adept excavated both launch and retrieval shafts at approximately 10 m deep in solid basalt rock. 

The 10 m deep launch shaft.

The rock bore then consisted of 105 m pipe jacking of a 427 mm GRP sleeve for the installation of two 180 mm and one 125 mm PE power conduits. To complete the bore, Adept used and supplied the Vermeer Axis Micro Tunnelling Machine. 

Adept says constant support of the bore was necessary during the project, including while piloting the 350 mm diameter tri cone head, jacking the 427 mm GRP pipe and backreaming with a 440 mm diameter rock head. 

“The Axis machine was chosen for this project due to the crucial scope of having a fully supported bore at all times under the rail,” the company says. 

“Our microtunnelling machine and our companies unique advanced technology was the reason we were selected by all stakeholders to carry out these critical works.” 

While the team kept busy on the Windermere Railway Services Crossing project and numerous other jobs across Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic, Managing Director Anthony Panozzo said he “couldn’t be prouder”. 

“With a high level of global uncertainty at the moment, the fabric of our team is showing,” says Mr Panozzo. 

“Our objective is to get through these difficult times together and come through the other side of this united as one and hopefully all stronger.”

A committed team

While working through COVID-19 restrictions, many companies have strengthened their approach to safety. For Adept, safety has always been an absolute priority. 

Renowned for its 100 per cent commitment to safety, Adept ensures its in-house training and careful site management keeps it on track for its goal of zero workplace injuries. 

“We achieve this by giving our employees a safe workplace, complying with health and safety legislation and making sure our employees know the details of our health and safety policy,” says Adept. 

The company also holds numerous Quality and OHS Certifications, provides clear work instructions and procedures for each project and then audits its projects to ensure the team complies with health and safety legislation. 

Along with its commitment to safety, the Adept team also works with the organisational philosophy of environmental management by consistent education, communication and improvement. 

“By embracing these principles, we aim to minimise pollution created during any works process and continually monitor our impacts on the environment through ongoing reports, audits and inspections,” says Adept.

This article was featured in the December 2020 edition of Trenchless Australasia. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device, click here.

For more information visit the Adept Civil Group website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Journalist Sophie Venz at

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