V/Line – Melton Viaduct Structural Inspections


V/Line provides public transport services to regional Victoria. It’s important that rail assets are maintained to the highest standards to support commuters on their journeys. We supported V/Line by undertaking a detailed investigation of the heritage-listed Melton Viaduct at Melton, Victoria.






Originally constructed by Victorian Railways in 1886 as a link between Melbourne and Ballarat, this unique heritage rail structure features late nineteenth century advances in bridge design and construction. Though as heavy trains continue to cross bridges like this, the bolts can wear down and break over time.

Our Solution

  • The bridge sits 40 m above the Melton Reservoir and is also:
    • comprised entirely of wrought iron
    • i 375 m in length
    • formed by four riveted double-lattice truss girders
    • supports twin sets of cross girders and a steel trough deck that bears onto wrought iron lattice trestle piers.
  • Brunton conducted a detailed review into the bridge’s bolts and connections to pinpoint what areas of the structure need to be repaired.
  • Over a six-month period, the team worked with rope access crews to perform multi-day inspections. They then reported on the bridge’s structural integrity to an appointed engineer.
  • Brunton checked and reported on 3,000 structural connections. They conducted any required replacement works and on-the-job maintenance.
  • Brunton wrote a detailed report on the adequacy of structural fasteners and approximately 100 tie braces. They interpreted the checklists and full structural health report to work out how to maintain the viaduct on an ongoing basis.
  • The team sent the report to V/Line and GHD, a leading engineering consultancy. This ensured that
    • the client understood the faults in the bridge
    • the engineering consultancy could help monitor and maintain the viaduct on an ongoing basis.

Our Results

The report mapped which bolts were in good condition, loose, or had a damaged or missing fastener. The clear layout of the report allowed the client to make informed decisions about the bridge’s maintenance in the future.

Brunton’s work allowed the bridge to keep being an important link between Melbourne and Ballarat, ensuring the lifespan of the structure.