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ISSUE 3 | 2019

Owning safety Bombardier’s product safety platform – See Page 31

Special feature: Below Rail & Track Infrastructure PAGE 38 SUPPORTED BY:

Cutting edge plastics for rail PAGE 37

Probing BHP’s Pilbara derailment PAGE 35

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From the Editor


News up Front



Bombardier’s safety evolution


Report probes BHP derailment


BELOW RAIL & TRACK INFRASTRUCTURE 38 Manco rail expert discusses drive types for RRVs 41 Cattron’s remote ballast wagon tech boosting efficiency and safety 42 Fraenkische’s RailPipe an innovation opportunity for Australia 48

45 STRAILway plastic sleepers an improved wood alternative


47 New and improved ballast cleaning machines from Loram 48

Q&A with Melvelle Equipment CEO

50 Dassault Systemes’ new approach to rail possession time management 65 38


Dotmar provides cutting edge plastics for rail


ISSUE 3 | 2019





Women in Industry

Owning safety Bombardier’s product safety platform – See Page 31

Special feature: Below Rail & Track Infrastructure PAGE 38

Cutting edge plastics for rail PAGE 37

Bombardier Transportation has renewed its approach to product safety, and is now using it to drive business transformation and customer satisfaction. Read more on page 31.

Probing BHP’s Pilbara derailment PAGE 35




From the editor

Published by:

Oliver Probert Editor - Rail Express

Election shows futility of bipartisan planning goal


epending on precisely when you’re reading this edition of Rail Express magazine in its print or digital format, you may already know the result of Australia’s federal election, scheduled for May 18. It’s always tricky publishing a magazine around such a major event, without really knowing exactly when a copy will arrive on a reader’s desk, or circulate around their office. Once the votes are tallied and our next Government is chosen, the promises made by the losing side will become meaningless overnight. For rail, some major promises will go ahead, and others will be forgotten. And boy, have there been promises. In the lead-up to this election, both the Coalition and Labor have promised different level crossing removals in multiple states, varying levels of funding for a mix of urban rail projects, differing plans for freight, and – perhaps most significantly – totally different approaches for building future fast or highspeed inter-city rail. Each of these promises is made with a specific seat or number of seats in mind, by a party looking to secure shaky ground, or wrest an electorate or two from their opposition. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Every election, be it state or federal, voters are treated to a parade of promises from each of the major contenders. To some extent, that should be a feature of elections – parties presenting their differing policies, and allowing the voters to decide. But rail has campaigned for years for a more bipartisan approach to major investments. When Labor was last in power,

it established Infrastructure Australia, an independent body designed to advise the Federal Government on all infrastructure spending decisions over $100 million. The idea of that body, welcomed by the rail sector, was to develop a more bipartisan, long-term program for infrastructure in this country. Don’t bother checking whether many of the rail projects promised by the Coalition and Labor this election cycle have been approved – or even considered – by Infrastructure Australia (IA) yet, because they haven’t. Perhaps in some unwritten fine-print, these promises are being made on the condition that IA’s independent approval is achieved, but to voters, a promise is a promise. And as we’ve seen in the past, advice from the independent body is not always followed by either party when it doesn’t favour their agenda. With a massive project pipeline and a skills crisis on the horizon, the rail sector is begging federal politics for some stability. In its election agenda, outlined on pages 60-61, the Australasian Railway Association stresses the importance of stability, and bipartisan long-term planning, to the economic success not only of the rail sector, but of the nation. I couldn’t agree more. Please enjoy this issue of Rail Express, which is pleasingly light on federal election coverage for the aforementioned reason. For up-to-date coverage of the election and its impact on the rail sector, I would encourage you to visit our website,, and subscribe to our email newsletter.



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Dalla Valle calls for ‘chance to compete’ as road volumes grow PACIFIC NATIONAL BOSS AND Freight on Rail Group of Australia chair Dean Dalla Valle has reiterated the need for governments to bridge the policy divide between road and rail freight, after the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported a rise in road volumes in FY18. The ABS’s latest motor vehicle usage survey estimates 214,789 million tonne kilometres of road freight movements in Australia in FY18, up 5 per cent since FY16, the last year surveyed. Seventy-seven per cent of tonne kilometres were handled by articulated trucks, 19 per cent by rigid trucks, and 4 per cent by light commercial vehicles. Tenty-eight per cent of total kilometres driven on Australian roads in FY18 were by freight vehicles. Thirty per cent of road freight was crude materials like stone, sand and gravel. Manufactured goods made up 12

per cent of freight movements, while food and live animals represented another 11 per cent. Victoria had the highest volume of freight moved by road, followed by Queensland, then New South Wales, and Western Australia. Dalla Valle said the figures were more evidence of the need for reforms to help get more freight on rail, a result which would be better for the nation. “There is a rapidly growing policy divide between road and rail freight,” Dalla Valle said. “As rail freight operators, all we ask for from government is a level policy playing field – give us a chance to compete on equal policy terms.” Dalla Valle questioned the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s review into fatigue laws, following pressure from the trucking industry. He also highlighted

a recent push by the NatRoad trucking lobby for an increase to the maximum width allowed for heavy road vehicles to be increased another 5 centimetres. “You have to tip your hat to the trucking sector,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong – [truck operators] have every right to fight for greater productivity and efficiency in their sector.” But, he continued, “if allowed to continue, this unrelenting push for relaxation of rules in the heavy vehicle sector will merely result in more freight volumes shifting from trains to trucks”. “Government agencies seem to be falling over themselves to appease the trucking sector’s every whim. Bizarrely, this is happening at a time when Australians want to see more real trains and less road trains hauling goods and commodities.”


Pacific National boss Dean Dalla Valle says reforms are required to increase freight-by-rail volumes.




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Expressions of Interest opened for Inland Rail PPP ELIGIBLE PARTIES HAVE BEEN invited to express their interest in the Public Private Partnership to deliver the most technically complex section of the Inland Rail project. The Expressions of Interest phase has been opened for the contract to

The ARTC expects a strong field to formally lodge interest with the PPP.



design, build, finance and maintain the section of Inland Rail from Gowrie to Kagaru, which includes a 6.5-kilometre tunnel through the Toowoomba Range. The tunnel will be the largest-diameter diesel freight tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere.

Inland Rail CEO Richard Wankmuller said he expected a strong field to formally lodge their interest in the PPP. “This is an important step which facilitates shortlisting of parties for the issuing of the PPP Request for Proposal, scheduled for later this year,” Wankmuller said on March 29. “There is a clear benefit in going to the market now through an EOI so all interested parties may become aware at a relatively early stage of key requirements from both the Australian and Queensland governments.” The critical tunnel section through the Toowoomba Range was identified early in the development of Inland Rail as a genuine candidate for private sector involvement, due to the scale and complexity of the task at hand. “The PPP process will harness the private sector’s experience and innovation to deliver the worldclass engineering solution required to conquer the Great Dividing Range,” Wankmuller said. “This is the type of challenge that excites multi-national contractors, investors and financiers. I am expecting international consortia will


Inland Rail will move double stacked freight trains inland between Melbourne and Brisbane.

bid to have their name associated with this iconic project. “The geology and topography of this section, which is located mostly within protected corridors, pose many challenges and we are currently undertaking further site investigations to give us a better understanding of the conditions and inform the final design. “The more involved potential partners are while we are undertaking investigations and working to progress the three project Environmental Impact Statements, the better those parties will be able to adjust their thinking on potential design solutions and innovative construction methods.” Wankmuller said the PPP’s Request for Proposal is expected to be released later this year once the Australian and Queensland governments have finalised a bilateral agreement for the delivery of  Inland Rail.

a lack of growth in coal volumes through the Port of Brisbane. Fullerton wrote a letter to the editor published in the Australian Financial Review, firmly disagreeing with a number of assertions made in an exclusive story by the newspaper on March 26. The original story states 7.2 million tonnes of coal was reportedly exported from New Hope Group’s Queensland Bulk Handling terminal at the Port of Brisbane, and the terminal remains at its 10 million tonne per annum capacity. The story points to Inland Rail’s approved business case, which estimates a coal export figure of 12.9 million tonnes by 2024-25. The story also asserts the Inland Rail line will “stop at the Queensland border,” and raises questions over the structure of the Australian Government’s equity funding model, and its incorporation into the ARTC’s balance sheet, due to the nature of its delivery model. “Apart from misunderstanding the strategic case for building Inland Rail, [the story] had a number of inaccuracies,” Fullerton wrote in response. “The business case is not built on coal volumes. The business case for building


the project is inter-capital freight. That is, freight meeting Australia’s population growth and even-faster-growing freight demand. “Inland Rail does not ‘stop at the Queensland border’,” he continued. “Inland Rail runs to Acacia Ridge, which has a direct dual gauge rail connection to the Port of Brisbane today.” Furthermore, Fullerton noted 93 per cent of total benefits generated by Inland Rail will accrue to non-coal traffic, and took issue with numbers cited in the original article as required port volumes at Brisbane for non-coal freight. “The reference to expected volumes through the Port of Brisbane is incorrect,” he wrote. “The numbers cited include inter-capital freight volumes. This is domestic freight that originates and is destined for consumption in our major cities. It is not destined for ports.” He concluded: “We have a choice as a country. Building Inland Rail and creating a freight future our communities, motorists, future generations and our economy are asking for and expect. Or, move freight by road and expect to spend double (or more) on building more highways to meet this need.”

ARTC boss rejects Inland Rail business case doubts

Australian Rail Track Corporation CEO John Fullerton hit back at a story in March suggesting the business case for the Inland Rail project is ‘unravelling’ due to

The PPP covers the most complex and difficult sections of the project.





St Marys hub to give Pacific National ‘Four Ps’ of freight Train shuttle services between St Marys and Port Botany could remove up to 80,000 truck movements a year in Sydney.

PACIFIC NATIONAL SAYS A proposed St Marys Freight Hub will give it a network of major intermodal hubs to revolutionise freight movements across the length and breadth of Australia. Pacific National chief executive officer Dean Dalla Valle in March said the company’s proposed St Marys intermodal terminal will become the fourth ‘P’ in its national freight spine. “Port Botany, Penrith, Parkes and Perth,” Dalla Valle said on March 4. “Australia’s largest rail freight operator has set in motion a plan to revolutionise freight movements across the length and breadth of the country.” The freight rail operator, formed as its own entity through the breakup of Asciano in 2016, has partnered with container logistics firm ACFS to make the proposed St Marys Freight Hub a key part of the supply chain for retail and consumer companies based in the Western Sydney region. Pacific National says up to five train shuttle services a day between St Marys and Port Botany will facilitate 300,000 teu of containers per annum, removing between



70,000 and 80,000 truck movements from Sydney’s roads. “St Marys is located within close proximity to the key industrial and commercial estates of Eastern Creek, Erskine Park, Wetherill Park, Arndell Park, and Marsden Park; not to mention the future Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek,” Dalla Valle said, adding the hub would be “a stone’s throw” from the M4 and M7 motorways and Great Western Highway. It would also have direct access to the T1 Western Rail Line, for a 58-kilometre shuttle to and from Port Botany. Dalla Valle said Pacific National’s future goal is to offer its customers, including regional exporters, more efficient and productive connections to rail heads, ports, and intermodal freight terminals where trains and trucks meet. “Once the north-south Inland Rail is completed, the east-west spine at Parkes will have a faster and more efficient connection to the ports of Melbourne and Brisbane,” Dalla Valle said. Pacific National’s Parkes terminal,

currently under construction, will be tailored to the 1,800-metre, double-stacked freight trains planned for the future Inland Rail route between Melbourne and Brisbane. Parkes will form the junction between the Inland Rail and Australia’s existing east-west railway, providing access to Perth. The St Marys hub will be designed to receive 1,200-metre regional trains from Parkes to be broken into 600-metre port shuttles to better access stevedoring terminals at Port Botany. “The Penrith region will act as a conduit for regional freight between Western Sydney and Western NSW and further afield to Australia’s second largest port at Botany,” Dalla Valle explained. Pending local and state government planning approvals, Pacific National aims to start construction of St Marys Freight Hub this year. First stage of the proposed freight hub development will support 60 full-time construction jobs. When operational, the freight hub will create 150 new full-time jobs in Western Sydney.


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Coalition victory confirms Bankstown line conversion SYDNEY’S BANKSTOWN LINE WILL be segregated from the Sydney Trains system and incorporated into the Sydney Metro network after the Coalition overcame a four per cent dip in its primary vote to win the New South Wales state election in March. Labor’s Michael Daley called Liberal leader Gladys Berejiklian to concede defeat shortly before 10pm on election night, marking Labor’s third consecutive loss in Australia’s most populous state since it gave up power in 2011. Once the votes were fully tallied the Liberal-National Coalition combined for 48 seats, one more than the minimum needed to form a majority government; 35 were Liberal seats, 13 were National. The Nationals’ primary vote dropped 0.95 per cent and it lost three seats, one to Labor and two to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, which finished with three seats. The Liberals’ primary vote dropped 3.1 per cent, but it lost just one seat, conceding Coogee to Labor. Labor’s primary vote dipped 0.8 per cent, but the party secured 36 seats, taking one each from the Liberals and the Nationals. Three seats were won by the Greens, and three more by independents.

Michael Daley stepped down as NSW Opposition leader in March.

Sydney Metro Southwest sealed

Prior to the election, Daley had vowed to cancel the conversion of the Bankstown line to metro standard, a project being planned as part of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project, which is already well underway. Under the plan the 13.4-kilometre

stretch of the Bankstown line between Sydenham and Bankstown will be taken off the Sydney Trains network and converted to suit automated metro trains. With Sydney Metro Northwest scheduled to open just weeks after the vote took place, connecting Rouse Hill to Chatswood, tunnels are being bored for the next stretch of greenfield railway, from

An overhead view of the Sydney Light Rail project in construction.





NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Chatswood through to the CBD via an alternate route through the lower North Shore, and on to Sydenham. Greenfield construction of that route would conclude at Sydenham, where the existing corridor will be used to take the rail line through to Bankstown. Labor argued the plan effectively handed a public asset over to a private operator – Sydney Metro is being operated privately – and would also remove unionised drivers from the line, given Sydney Metro trains are driverless. Instead of converting the line Labor committed to spend $3 billion upgrading existing railways around the Sydney Trains network – a promise the Coalition did not directly match.

Future lines promised

While both Labor and the Coalition promised to build the next stage of Sydney Metro, Sydney Metro West to connect the

city with Parramatta, the Coalition went a step further, promising just days before the vote to get to work planning four more Metro lines in its next term: • An extension for the planned Metro West line, to take it from Westmead to the future Western Sydney Airport • An extension for the in-development Metro City and South West line, to take it from Bankstown to Liverpool, and • A pair of extensions for the planned North South Rail Line project to the new Western Sydney Airport: • one linking St Marys to Rouse hill via Schofields; • the other linking Western Sydney Airport to Macarthur.

Light rail seat Liberals’ only loss

The only seat lost by the Liberals was in Coogee, where ousted Liberal MP Bruce Notley-Smith had campaigned to convince

locals light rail construction pains would be worth it in the long run. “I’m still absolutely committed, that once it’s up and running, people are going to love it,” Notley-Smith had told The Guardian prior to the vote, referring to the Sydney CBD and South East Light Rail project, which extends to the beachside seat. “There’s inconvenience caused by any major infrastructure project, but retrofitting light rail into some of the most densely populated areas in the biggest city in Australia was going to have challenges.” The seat was won by Labor candidate Marjorie O’Neill, who enjoyed a 4.6 per cent swing in her party’s favour since last election, on a two-party-preferred basis. O’Neill, a lecturer with a PhD in management economics, criticised the Liberals for poor planning and their approach to safety around light rail in the lead-up to the election.





Contract awarded for three crossing removals A CONTRACT TO REMOVE THREE level crossings and build two new stations in Melbourne’s southeast has been awarded by the Victorian Government. Level crossings will be removed at Park Road and Charman Road in Cheltenham, and Balcombe Road in Mentone, under a $536 million contract awarded to a consortium of Lendlease, Acciona Coleman Rail and WSP. To facilitate the removal of the three level crossings from the Frankston line, the railway will be lowered during a twomonth shutdown midway through 2020. Cheltenham and Mentone stations, both heritage-listed, will be incorporated into the design of the new stations, and a third track will be built at Cheltenham to allow for more trains, the Government said this week. The project will also include more than three kilometres of walking and cycling paths connecting the stations, better lighting and accessibility, landscaping, new open space, parking, and potential residential and retail development, transport infrastructure minister Jacinta Allan said.

The contract will see the removal of three level crossings from the Frankston line in Melbourne.

“Cheltenham and Mentone are going to have a busy year and I thank residents in advance for their patience during construction, which will deliver more trains, more often,” Allan said. The Government said five heritagelisted trees in the Mentone station gardens will be protected in their current location during construction. A major landscaping program will create a new ‘garden bridge’ across the rail

trench near Balcombe Road. The Lendlease, Acciona Coleman Rail and WSP consortium already removed the Seaford Road level crossing and is also removing three crossings in Carrum. It will continue to coordinate with Metro Trains Melbourne on the new work. In all, the Andrews Government’s Level Crossing Removal program is removing 18 crossings and rebuilding 11 stations on the Frankston Line alone.

A 3D mock-up of the new Cheltenham station.



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$235m North East line upgrade put to market The upgrades to Victoria’s North East line will include resurfacing and the replacement of ballast.

THE AUSTRALIAN RAIL TRACK Corporation is calling for expressions of interest for a $235 million upgrade of Victoria’s North East line. The major contract will include track grinding, drainage upgrades, track improvements at level crossings, bridge upgrades and the installation of new ballast on the North East line, which runs from Melbourne to the NSW border at Albury-Wodonga. The work is funded by the Australian Government and will be delivered via the ARTC. ARTC boss John Fullerton on March 26 said the time had come to seek a major contractor to help deliver work along 316 kilometres of the railway. “ARTC has been hard at work ensuring all appropriate management, planning, procurement and approval processes are in place for the project,”  he said. “It’s important we get this project right and we are going through a staged, robust process ensuring that we find and procure the best available engineering companies



to deliver the major packages of work along the North East line.” From the expressions of interest phase will be formed a shortlist of companies who will be invited to proceed to a formal Request for Tender phase. The upgrade is focused on improving track reliability, providing smoother journeys and reducing causes of major delays to passenger services between Melbourne and Albury. This will be achieved, the ARTC says, by improving the performance of the North East line from an ARTC freight standard, to that of other regional passenger lines in Victoria. The ARTC said work to be undertaken along the North East line includes: • Install two new sets of crossovers between Seymour and Benalla to improve track access for work crews to minimise disruption of the works program. Crossovers also allow greater operational flexibility, helping to maintain reliability. • Add, replace and compact new railway ballast (the rocks around the track). This

provides a stable base for train operations by improving the track’s foundation and drainage. • Remove mud-holes where ballast has been contaminated to improve drainage. • Resurfacing including packing and compacting more ballast in between the rail and sleepers. • Upgrade the track machinery (turnouts) that enable trains to be guided from one track to another, such as at a railway junction. • Relocate overhead signal wires to underground to decrease risk of signal failures due to trees falling on wires or line wire theft. • Install additional backup power supplies including solar in some locations to minimise signal outages due to power supply. • Drainage improvements by creating and reforming trackside drainage to ensure water flows away from tracks properly. • Grind rail tracks so there is a smoother, even interface between the track and wheels of the train. • Replace older timber top bridges with


new concrete and ballast top bridges. • Improve the track at level crossings to make journeys smoother.

Gippsland, Bendigo, Shepparton package

Expressions of interest are also being sought for a major contract to upgrade Victoria’s Gippsland, Shepparton, and Bendigo and Echuca regional rail lines. Upgrade works for the three regional routes will be packaged up as the next major contract delivered under Regional Rail Revival, a $1.75 billion program jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments. “Packaging these projects together will mean works on these crucial regional upgrades can get underway and allows the most capable and experienced construction companies in Victoria to compete for this multi-million-dollar package of works,” federal infrastructure and regional development minister Michael McCormack said on March 27. McCormack said the scope of works planned for the Gippsland line, between Melbourne and Bairnsdale in the state’s east, had been refined and finalised following

detailed investigations over the past year. The Gippsland line project will include upgrading signalling, duplicating track, extending a crossing loop, adding platforms at four stations, building a stabling facility, modernising train detection at level crossings and renewing the drainage structures beneath the rail. In the state’s central north, the Shepparton line project will include platform extensions and stabling to suit VLocity trains, level crossing upgrades and an extension of the Murchison East crossing loop, all to enable VLocity trains to travel to and from Shepparton for the first time. The Shepparton work under the contract is ‘stage two’ of the overall upgrade for the line. Stage one delivered a stabling upgrade at Shepparton station, and 29 extra coach services between Shepparton and Seymour to connect with train services. A planned third stage – currently in the business case phase – would enable nine return services on the line. Further west, work on the Bendigo and Echuca line will include signalling upgrades from Bendigo to Epsom and


Eaglehawk to give passengers in the City of Greater Bendigo a metro-style train service. Together, Victorian transport infrastructure minister Jacinta Allan said the package of works would mean “more regional Victorians can look forward to better train services sooner”. “The specialist project teams at Rail Projects Victoria have undertaken extensive investigations to determine the infrastructure needed to deliver benefits to passengers on these lines,” Allan said. With planning and site investigations well underway on all three lines, Allan said construction should get underway as early as next year, with a targeted completion in 2022. Elsewhere, work is already well underway on the Ballarat line under the program. “We’ve seen the unprecedented construction taking place along the Ballarat line, including upgrades to signalling and level crossings, crossing loops, station upgrades, duplicated track and stabling,” Allan said. “This project is a sign of what’s to come on the Shepparton, Bendigo and Gippsland lines.”

Victoria’s North East rail line runs all the way to the NSW border at Albury and Wodonga.





Bombardier signs $361m NGR modification deal BOMBARDIER TRANSPORTATION HAS announced a $361 million contract from the Queensland Government to deliver modifications to the New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) fleet. Bombardier will coordinate with industry partner Downer EDI to undertake work to modify the NGR fleet in line with the state’s revised design specifications. The new contract covers design and delivery, as well as ongoing maintenance over the remaining term of the NGR publicprivate partnership. A recent inquiry found the $4.4 billion procurement of the NGR fleet was hamstrung by miscommunication and distrust between the state’s delivery agencies, which led to the approval of a design which was later found not to comply with disability standards. This was despite the inquiry’s confirmation that Bombardier, the rollingstock lead in the delivery consortium, clearly outlining to the state no design could be made that complied to both the project guidelines, and the disability standards.

Modifications to the NGR fleet in Queensland will be carried out in Queensland.

With the state now set on a set of rectification guidelines, Bombardier’s director for the NGR project Paul Brown said the company was proud to partner with the state to continue the fleet’s delivery. “This variation order is an important request from our customer, and we will continue to work closely with them to deliver the NGR project in line with the enhanced specifications set out by the Queensland Government,” Brown said.

Bombardier’s new managing director in Australia, Wendy McMillan, said the NGR project was an important one for Queensland. “With 70 per cent of Queensland’s future population growth targeted in the southeast region, the NGR fleet will bring a significant 26 per cent capacity increase to the South East Queensland rail network to meet the growing demand for rail services,” McMillan said.

The NGR fleet is in operation in South East Queensland, and has boosted network capacity significantly.




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Governments sign up to work on SEQ City Deal

Brisbane mayor Graham Quirk, Queensland’s deputy premier Jackie Trad, and federal cities minister Alan Tudge.

A CITY DEAL WILL BE DEVELOPED by local, state and federal governments which could help build a connection for Inland Rail into the Port of Brisbane. The development of a South East Queensland City Deal was on March 15 committed to by federal urban infrastructure minister Alan Tudge, Queensland deputy premier Jackie Trad, and Brisbane mayor Graham Quirk. The signing of an agreement came a month after the state and local governments released a combined blueprint of ideas for the deal, including a crucial connection for freight into the Port of Brisbane in that blueprint. Inland Rail, the multi-billion-dollar freight project connecting Melbourne to the Brisbane area via an inland route, is under construction, but so far no solid plans are in place for the line to extend in its full capacity to the Port of Brisbane. Opposition transport spokesperson Anthony Albanese

has frequently referenced the missing link as a must-build project. The Federal Coalition didn’t reference the link specifically when Monday’s announcement was made, but with the statement of intent now signed, negotiations toward the final terms of the City Deal will take place over the next 12-18 months. “South East Queensland is experiencing one of the highest rates of population growth in Australia,” Tudge said. “This City Deal enables the three levels of government to develop long term plans to cater for this growth.” Trad said the SEQ City Deal was a unique opportunity.

“South East Queensland is growing rapidly and we need all governments to work together to make sure our infrastructure is fit for the future,” she said. “This City Deal will be firmly focused on collaborating with industry and the community to improve our region’s competitiveness, enhance liveability and, most importantly, create jobs.”

Representatives at the state and local level want to see Inland Rail continue into the Port of Brisbane.



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Major contracts announced for Cross River Rail A TRIO OF CONSORTIA HAVE BEEN selected to deliver the major contracts for the Queensland Government’s $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project. The state in April announced preferred bidders for contracts to deliver the tunnel and stations, the rail systems, and the European Train Control System (ETCS) for the new $10.2-kilometre rail line. The Tunnel, Stations and Development (TSD) contract, a PPP, has been awarded to the PULSE consortium: CIMIC Group companies Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors and UGL, alongside DIF, BAM and Ghella. The Rail, Integration and Systems (RIS) contract will be delivered by the UNITY Alliance: CPB Contractors, UGL, AECOM and Jacobs, with partners HASSEL, RCS Australia, Acmena, Martinus Rail and Wired Overhead Solutions. The ETCS will be delivered by Hitachi Rail STS. Work is expected to begin under the major contracts in late 2019.

“I congratulate the proponents on advancing to this stage,” deputy premier and state treasurer Jackie Trad said, making sure to thank those bidders who were not successful for their efforts. “Across the three works packages, there have been hundreds of people working tirelessly behind the scenes to develop the comprehensive bids and I thank them all for their hard work.” Trad also took the opportunity to criticise the Federal Coalition for not contributing to the project. “We have fully-funded this $5.4 billion project because we were sick of waiting on the LNP in Canberra to come to the table,” she said. “As one of Australia’s fastest growing regions, we have to build the infrastructure we need now to ensure we keep pace with this growth.” Despite previously being approved at the federal level, this version of Cross River Rail was not successful when it went before Infrastructure Australia, the national independent advisor.

Infrastructure Australia said last year the Cross River Rail plan failed to pass its cost benefit analysis, and cited doubts over the projected passenger growth in the state’s business case. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Thursday said the project was a necessity for the people of South East Queensland. “This megaproject is a defining moment for Queensland and vital as our population booms,” the premier said. “As well as improving connectivity across the entire southeast, it will create new precincts at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street, Roma Street and Exhibition, helping Brisbane evolve as a worldclass city.” Cross River Rail will deliver a new 10.2-kilometre rail line between Dutton Park and Bowen Hills, including a 5.9-kilometre twin tunnel under the Brisbane River and the CBD. It is designed to “unlock the bottleneck” at the core of the region’s transport network. Cross River Rail is set to transform Brisbane’s passenger rail network.






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Barr spruiks future lines as Canberra light rail opens ALMOST 25,000 PASSENGERS RODE Canberra’s new light rail line on its formal opening day on April 20. An overcast Saturday morning did little to discourage locals from flocking to the opening of the new line, which brings light rail to Canberra more than a century after Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin proposed trams as a core component of their designs for Australia’s capital. Ten of the new network’s vehicles were deployed for opening day, running 130 trips and covering 1,560 kilometres of travel up and down the new line, which connects the northern town centre of Gungahlin with Civic, the central district of the city. “Thank you to everyone who came out today for a great celebration of our city,” ACT chief minister Andrew Barr said. “The Gungahlin to City route is the first stage of a broader program to connect Canberra’s town centres. The launch turnout shows how invested the community is in the future of Canberra. While light rail is a new concept for many people, the positive feedback we’ve received tells us that we are on the right track in improving the connectivity and liveability of our city.” Barr said work was continuing on the chosen second stage of light rail,

Canberra’s new light rail line attracted nearly 25,000 passengers on its opening day in April.

which will connect Civic to the southern town centre of Woden. With a north-south spine complete, the next priority would likely be an east-west connection between Belconnen and the city’s airport, via Civic. Further extensions – south to Tuggeranong, east to Fyshwick, west to the Molonglo Valley – would also be on the cards after the Woden link is complete. ACT transport minister Meegan

Over 300 local businesses were contracted to work on the Canberra Light Rail project.



Fitzharris called the opening of light rail “the biggest change to public transport since our city was founded”. Canberra Metro chief executive Glenn Stockton called the opening “historic,” and spoke about the number of businesses engaged during the threeyear construction. “More than 300 local businesses were engaged as contractors to the project and 70 per cent of the workforce were from the Canberra region,” Stockton said. He also noted the impact the construction had had on local residents and businesses. “I extend my most sincere thanks to the people of Canberra and local businesses for their patience and understanding as construction of this major project progressed,” he said. “Infrastructure development of this magnitude and complexity inevitably does impact people and communities. We recognise this and appreciate the community’s support throughout the construction period.” The first stage of a planned wider network, Canberra Light Rail is a 12-kilometre line connecting Civic, Canberra’s city centre, with the northern town centre of Gungahlin. It includes 13 stops, and will be serviced by a fleet of 14 light rail vehicles.



Costs drive Viterra off Eyre Peninsula railways VITERRA WILL TRANSITION TO ROAD transport for the movement of all grain on the Eyre Peninsula in FY20, citing high costs and the poor condition of rail infrastructure for the move. Viterra, which operates a storage and handling network serving in South Australia’s key growing regions, said on Tuesday it had made an effort to resolve its rail issues, working with operator Genesee & Wyoming Australia and the state government in an attempt to bring costs down. However the company’s commercial and logistics manager James Murray said the condition of rail infrastructure, the restrictions it placed on operations, and ultimately the cost had all contributed to rail no longer being efficient or cost effective to move grain. “We have a long term commitment to

providing grain storage and handling services to Eyre Peninsula growers and maintaining Port Lincoln as a key export terminal for South Australian grain,” Murray said. “Since 2010, Viterra has spent $128 million on maintaining and improving our supply chain and services to growers and exporters on Eyre Peninsula. As a customer of the rail service, Viterra spent a significant amount of time working with GWA to assess a number of different options to continue using the rail network.” The current rail agreement between Viterra and GWA concludes on May 31. From June 1, the company will shift to road transport only on the Eyre Peninsula. “This is a significant decision for the business, one we have very carefully assessed and considered,” Murray said. “We have made this decision based on

the current situation and the information we have available. If the situation changes with rail on the Eyre Peninsula and it becomes efficient and cost effective compared to road freight, we will certainly reconsider our options.”

Viterra remains open to returning to rail if conditions improve.

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CBH continues network investment, six contracts awarded GRAIN HANDLER CBH HAS AWARDED contracts for upgrades at six of its West Australian receival sites, part of a budgeted $150 million in planned network projects in 2019. CBH named contractors for upgrades which will add 700,000 tonnes of new permanent storage to its WA grain handling network, which consists of major and minor receival sites all around the state’s grain railways. WCP Civil will deliver upgrades at Broomehill (77,400 tonnes), Lake Grace (84,000 tonnes) and Gairdner (46,800 tonnes). Georgiou Group will deliver a 152,000-tonne upgrade at Cranbrook. WBHO Infrastructure will deliver a 236,000-tonne upgrade at McLevie, and a 122,000-tonne upgrade at Dowerin West. “The awarding of these contracts continues to maintain the pace that CBH established in 2018 to continually enhance the network,” CBH general manager for

project delivery Andrew Porter said. “We have now finalised contracts for over two-thirds of our approved expansion projects pipeline for this year, and in coming weeks we expect to award contracts for the remainder of the projects.” The contract announcements came a month after company said it would continue to deliver a Network Strategy that already added more than 650,000 tonnes of new capacity last year, by adding 800,000 tonnes of new storage and associated inloading and outloading equipment across its WA network in the new year. “Our growers are operating in an increasingly competitive environment and with this in mind, we’re preparing the network so it’s not just the best in Australia but it rivals the best in the world,” CBH chairman Wally Newman said. “By continuing to invest significantly into the network, CBH can keep its network fees competitive, increase throughput

capacity and efficiency, and meet export demand at the right time to capture value for our growers’ grain.” More than 96 per cent of CBH growers’ crop last season was received at the cooperative’s top 100 sites, identified in the Network Strategy. General manager for operations Ben Macnamara said investment via the Strategy was helping meet growers’ requirements and on farm harvesting and logistics capacity. “CBH has adopted the Plan-BuildOperate model, which ensures the significant ongoing investment into the network is well thought out and delivered on-time and effectively built for the benefit of growers,” Macnamara said. “Our plan is refreshed every year after extensive analysis and consultation, and this helps us to inform decisions on inloading and outloading grain and storage options at each of the core sites.” CBH is investing in its grain receival network, which connects growers to export markets via rail.




Teams shortlisted for Metronet projects THE WA GOVERNMENT HAS shortlisted a pair of consortia to deliver the Thornlie-Cockburn Link and the Yanchep Rail Extension, a pair of major builds under its Metronet urban rail program. State transport minister Rita Saffioti on April 6 said a team of Coleman Rail, Clough and Georgiou Group, and a team of CPB Contractors and Downer, have proceeded to the next stage of the tender process to build the two rail projects, which are being bundled together under an alliance model. The Thornlie-Cockburn Link will deliver a 17.5-kilometre connection between Thornlie and Cockburn Central stations, along with two new stations. The Yanchep Rail Extension will extend the Joondalup line, from Butler to Yanchep,

adding three new stations. With construction planned to begin within the calendar year, and more than 3,000 jobs expected over the span of both projects, Saffioti said the shortlist announcement was an important milestone. “The two projects will transform the way people in our suburbs access the public transport network,” the minister said. “We are creating new links to the far northern suburbs of Perth and giving eastern and southern suburban residents other options - including better links to jobs - than the existing radial rail links into the city. “I look forward to being able to announce the preferred consortium later this year, which will stimulate thousands of jobs throughout the supply chain.”

Many community sessions are being held under the Metronet program.

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Auckland City Rail Link contract awarded, $1bn added to price tag A CG mock-up of the entrance to the developing Aotea metro station.

THE MAJOR CONSTRUCTION contract for Auckland’s City Rail Link has been awarded, and the overall cost of the project has been revised upwards by more than NZ$1 billion. After what was described as an “exhaustive” tender process, the Link Alliance was announced in mid-April as the preferred bidder for the major package of work to build the CRL, a rail link which will create a central loop in Auckland, facilitating major growth in passenger rail capacity through the country’s largest city. The Link Alliance is comprised of Vinci Construction Grands Projets, Downer NZ, Soletanche Bachy International NZ, WSP Opus, AECOM New Zealand, and Tonkin + Taylor. CRL Ltd, the joint Auckland Council-NZ Government team directing the project, said the Link Alliance was selected “on the basis



of a strong proposal that offered an experienced construction management team, significant commitment to the Alliance from executives of the construction firms involved, an efficient construction methodology and innovative engineering ideas”. CRL Ltd on April 17 outlined its revised cost envelope for the overall project, which is now NZ$4.419 billion, up from the previous estimate of NZ$3.4 billion. Breaking the higher cost estimate down, CRL Ltd said $250 million of extra cost is to accommodate revised plans for longer trains, and $327 million is in additional construction costs. Beyond this, $152 million of the higher price is listed as “non-direct” costs, and $310 million of extra cost is being put down to contingency and escalation. CRL Ltd chief executive Sean

Planning today for a city that will be much bigger in the future reinforces the benefits the City Rail Link will deliver to the way people travel, work and live in Auckland

Sweeney said the revised cost reflected “significant changes impacting the project in the past five years”. “No-one could have foreseen the competitive pressures that have occurred



Work starts early at Ōtāhuhu

Construction works continue on Auckland’s City Rail Link, which has undergone upward cost revision.

in the construction industry over the past few years and the impact that has on costs, particularly for a project the scale and complexity of the City Rail Link,” Sweeney said. “Eighteen months ago, the value of work in the infrastructure pipeline on both sides of the Tasman was $80 billion – the value of that work is now estimated at $230 billion.”

In addition, he noted a number of changes to the scope of the project itself. “Last year, a decision was made to increase the scope of the project to accommodate longer, nine-car trains at stations,” he said. “Planning today for a city that will be much bigger in the future reinforces the benefits the City Rail Link will deliver to the way people travel, work and live in Auckland.”

A week before the major contract announcement, KiwiRail started building a new section of rail to a third platform Ōtāhuhu Station in Auckland’s south as part of improvements to prepare the network for the City Rail Link. A new 1.3-kilometre section of track will be built alongside the main line at Ōtāhuhu, and four new crossovers will allow rollingstock to switch between tracks. The 11-month build will allow a third platform to be used at Ōtāhuhu, facilitating improved services when the City Rail Link opens in 2024. KiwiRail acting chief executive Todd Moyle said the operator was proud to create stronger connections through a modern and more efficient transport network for Auckland. “We have ambitious plans for New Zealand’s transport future and the City Rail Link is part of this,” Moyle said. KiwiRail will deliver the Ōtāhuhu rail works while Auckland Transport will upgrade the station itself. The City Rail Link includes construction of twin 3.45-kilometre-long rail tunnels between the current dead-end station at Britomart in the CBD and the existing Mt Eden station on the Western Line, and two underground stations. The total estimated cost for the City Rail Link now stands at nearly NZ$4.42 billion, according to the project’s directors.



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Driving customer satisfaction and business growth through safety Bombardier Transportation Australia’s approach aims to promote safety as a driver of cultural change, and satisfaction for its end user.


N A COMPETITIVE MARKET, rollingstock manufacturers and maintenance operators are under constant pressure from customers to meet a range of performance targets. How does a business compete in this space while ensuring safety remains a top priority? Bombardier Transportation’s Todd Garvey, Head of Sales, Australia and South East Asia Region, says the company’s new product safety management system is embracing safety as a driver of business transformation and customer satisfaction, helping the company’s workforce and customers understand safety as a key component of the total cost of ownership. “In this industry there’s no exceptions for safety,” Garvey told RISSB’s Rail Safety 2019 conference in Melbourne in April. “For companies like Bombardier and others we must have an excellent safety record, because it’s a key value for our customers as it is for

us. We put product safety at the beginning of the conversation with our customers, and this supports customer satisfaction and drive business growth.” Garvey noted the importance of a company like Bombardier maintaining safety as its top priority, while simultaneously striving to meet the types of key performance measures expected by its manufacturing and maintenance customers – reliability, availability, cost efficiency and so on. “High quality mobility solutions are needed to meet the transport task, and at Bombardier we’re dedicated to delivering and maintaining highly reliable products,” he said, “but the safety of our products is the main priority.” Looking to enhance this position, Bombardier has been taking regular measures and efforts to better undertand the role it can play to improve rail safety, and how rail vehicles they manufacture and maintain fit into the environments in which they operatre. Bombardier’s Product Safety Policy

ABOVE: Bombardier is delivering Queensland’s NGR fleet.

The safety of our products is the main priority




is built on five commitments: • To define product safety requirements based on the applicable laws and regulations in each country. • To ensure that product safety requirements are fulfilled during the development and delivery of its products and services. • To proactively analyse incidents or accidents to continuously improve product safety performance. • To continually review and update its safety management process. • To deploy and maintain a robust Product Safety Management System within the organisation, to clearly define roles, responsibilities and improvement cycles. “At the heart of the policy is people,” Garvey said. “We ensure that product safety is part of the induction process when employees join the company and regular trainings are conducted to eliminate complacency, and to foster a culture of change.” Key to the policy was developing a clear structure for safety, making sure individuals understood their responsibilities at every stage. “The program starts with executives within of each product group, who are responsible for the product safety within that group. Then there are independent technical experts within the business, who conduct audits, monitor safety performance, and ensure the structure is coordinated. There is also a product safety assurance team, and product



engineers are also responsible for their product’s safety,” Garvey explained. “These roles are well defined, it’s well known who’s who, and the skillsets of individuals are well suited to these roles so that they can be a very strong part of our business.” “Product safety is given a strict push from our leadership globally,” Garvey explained. “Because especially on a product that already has a really good safety record, it could have been easy to be complacent and ask, ‘Why should I do this?’. But everyone does it.

ABOVE: A major aspect of the safety strategy is an open discussion with employees.

BELOW: Bombardier’s global leadership stressed the importance of compliance across all product lines.

“Leadership ensures safety is not compromised when it comes to commercial challenges, and this leadership permeates through the product safety hierarchy, but also creates awareness within our organisation. “Product safety doesn’t work unless we get the culture right.


Garvey says Bombardier’s safety culture is a worldwide platform – if/ when an incident occurs or an error is found anywhere in Bombardier’s global operation, that information is transmitted to all arms of the business. “If we have a very small issue here in Australia it would be documented in our worldwide safety bulletin, and shared through that global network of individuals. Likewise, if there’s an incident on any of our products anywhere on the planet, it’s shared with us in a very short period of time, so we can also learn from it,” Garvey said. “It’s about learning and collaborating through our global opertions, and maintaining and improving the overall competence of our organisation.”

Safety in practice

A big part of the safety policy is growing more aware of the root causes for safety issues around the product line. The policy targeted three key areas which had been the source of a disproportionate amount of safety issues: bolting and torqueing, software development, and the adherence to maintenance instructions, which collectively were responsible for around forty per cent of safety related incidents. Responding to this, Bombardier encouraged its workforce to speak up about safety issues they perceived. With bolting and torqueing as an example – it was found to be the source of around twenty per cent of safety related incidents – Garvey said Bombardier worked with employees to take stock of how issues were arising. “Some of the root causes, which can seem quite simple, were improper torque settings, improper torqueing processes, issues with bolt quality, and issues with the wrong bolt size or coating,” he explained. “Messages to our employees were around communicating the gaps they saw in the torqueing process, only using qualified tools, and not to modify or alter those tools in any way.”

The targeted initiative was accompanied by powerful safety messaging across the business. One campaign depicted children riding Bombardier vehicles, accompanied with phrases like ‘Be Tom’s guardian angel. Make sure each and every bolt will hold, and the train runs safely.’ Posters were put up around the company’s offices, design studios, production halls, and meal rooms. “The aim was to send the message that everyone is responsible for product safety, and it’s not just about the product; it’s about the people,” Garvey said. “As you move through the product lifecycle, from the very first idea of a tender, to the end of the maintenance term of the contract, team members all along the way are being challenged to meet safety requirements, and understand the role they play in the safety of that product. “They’re responsible when we go through a bidding process, when we offer a product to a customer, and when we’re delivering a product to a customer, to ensure the product throughout its lifecycle is going to be safe.” Garvey said Bombardier had seen “a huge difference” in product safety related incidents from these targeted campaigns, and the results are “really pleasing to see”.

Total cost of ownership

A big part of Bombardier’s safety transformation was to understand the value of safety to customer satisfaction. “When a fleet owner or operator is looking at their total cost of ownership, there’s a lot of traditional focus around the investment costs, management costs and operational costs of rollingstock,” Garvey explained. “But the highest potential cost to an operator could be an incident cost. From fatality and injury costs, to repair costs to the product and property, to the cost of ongoing investigation and litigation associated with a serious incident, and also the public relations cost – the potential brand damage, which can be quite hard to measure. “We take any little safety issue seriously, because while it may not have led to a major issue today, maybe it will five years or ten years down the track,” he said. “Everybody is responsible for product safety, and everyone needs to understand the role they play in the product cycle, and how they can contribute positively to the safety culture within the organisation.”

ABOVE: Bombardier Transportation Head of Sales, Australia and South East Asia Region, Todd Garvey, spoke at the RISSB Rail Safety Conference in Melbourne.

Everyone is responsible for product safety ... from the very first idea of a tender, to the end of the maintenance  term




Crew went to wrong train prior to BHP derailment Workers sent to assist the driver of an iron ore train mistakenly went to the wrong train prior to a runaway and eventual derailment last November, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has said.


LOADED TRAIN ON BHP’S PILBARA railway reached 162km/h during its 91-kilometre runaway early on the morning of November 5, 2018. To end the runaway, the mining company’s Perth-based control team forcibly derailed the train at a crossover 120 kilometres south of Port Hedland, destroying two locomotives, 245 ore cars, and two kilometres of track infrastructure. No injuries were reported. The incident began when the train, heading north loaded with iron ore for export at Port Hedland, stopped 210 kilometres from its destination when communication between the lead locomotive and the combined end of train monitor was lost, triggering an automated 120 per cent ECP emergency brake application. After radioing Hedland control, the driver placed the train’s reverser control to the centre (neutral) position, turned the generator field off and fully applied the locomotive independent brake before exiting the cab, according to a preliminary report released in April by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). He was told via radio that due to the loaded nature of the train, and the track declining at 1.5 per cent, 101 per cent handbrakes were required to secure the train. He disembarked to begin applying the handbrakes to the train’s 268 ore cars. Around the same time, personnel from the Redmont maintenance gang were sent to assist the driver. Roughly 30 minutes later, the Redmont gang told train control they had arrived at what at the time they thought was the train in question. It was suggested they begin applying handbrakes to ore cars starting from the back, working their way towards the driver, who was working from the front. According to the ATSB report, the Redmont gang then began mistakenly applying handbrakes along the wrong train, an unloaded train on the southbound track; a train which had been stopped by the blocking protections set up by train control to protect the loaded train which needed attention. Approximately 50 minutes after the loaded train had originally stopped, the driver – still alone – reportedly heard air venting from the ore car brakes, and shortly after noticed the train

beginning to move forwards. Drivers of nearby trains were ordered to stop and move to a safe place during the runaway. BHP’s control team derailed the train by setting the crossovers at Turner South and Turner North to switch the train between adjacent tracks. The train’s two head end locomotives entered the crossover at Turner South travelling at 144km/h. They, along with the first ore care, remained coupled and on track, travelling roughly 1.6 kilometres before stopping. Ore cars in position 2 to 134 of the first rake, the pair of remote locomotives in the middle of the train, and ore cars 1 to 112 from the second unit rake derailed near the crossover. The remaining 22 ore cars of the second unit rake remained coupled and on track. According to a statement published by Fairfax, BHP believes the mix-up by the Redmont gang was not a factor in the eventual runaway of the train. The mining company has blamed the incident on equipment failure and driver error. “Our initial findings show that the emergency air brake for the entire train was not engaged as required by the relevant operating procedure,” a company spokesperson said in the fortnight after the incident. “In addition, the electric braking system that initially stopped the train, automatically released after one hour while the driver was still outside.” The ATSB, which does not look to attribute blame through its investigations, said it is continuing to gather information ahead of a final report into the incident. A range of other factors will be investigated in coming months.

Our initial findings show that the emergency air brake for the entire train was not engaged as required by the relevant operating procedure

LEFT: The ATSB’s site diagram showed the extent of the damage.



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ISSUE 6 | 2018

On the move Bombardier’s new boss on the company’s fresh approach

RAIL EXPRESS is compulsory reading and a vital tool for all people working in and around the rail sector. Rail Express is Australia’s authoritative business to business rail publication.

New minister for ‘congestion busting’ PAGE 10

Giving regional drivers an elite set of eyes PAGE 58

Certification, Training & Workforce feature PAGE 35

New toys for CQUniversity's Crash Lab students PAGE 51

Public transport in outer suburbs PAGE 45

Timetable for Vic's regioanl rail overhaul PAGE 21

ISSUE 4 | 2018

Combining the resources of our respected journalism team and our unparalleled industry contacts and affiliations, Rail Express provides extensive, comprehensive and balanced coverage of breaking news and trends in key areas like infrastructure, investment, government policy, regulatory issues and technical innovation. Published both in print and digitally every second month, the Rail Express magazine is the only publication to have both the official endorsement and active participation of the main railway associations in Australia and the broad support of the rail industry. The only way to ensure you get every copy of Rail Express is to subscribe today. Visit

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A material difference: Getting the specs right in today’s rail market With a massive pipeline for rail and rollingstock in Australia and New Zealand, suppliers must be keenly aware of what’s on offer in the global market for modern materials desired by operators and track owners.


GROWING PUSH TOWARDS European standards for materials in rail supply has created a greater need for a range of specific, modern solutions. Steven Creed and Nicholas Farrell from Dotmar Engineering Plastic Products (Dotmar EPP) tell Rail Express this trend has driven the need in Australia for a wider knowledge base, and a range of modern materials. “We’re noticing a change in the level of specification for plastics in particular,” explains Creed, Dotmar EPP’s Business Development Manager. “Now the industry [in Australia] is following the trend of specifications out of Europe, particularly for passenger trains, we’re seeing rail manufacturers and maintenance suppliers grapple with those changes, and we’re seeing more of a very technical knowledge requirement in this space.” Examples of heightened levels of specifications include toxicity and flammability measures. “There’s a lot of

interest in specialist plastics for certain toxicity and smoke characteristics, especially for rollingstock going through tunnels and things like that,” Creed notes. Farrell, the company’s Victorian sales representative, says the trend towards more stringent specifications has made Dotmar EPP more of an overall solutions provider, rather than just a supplier of specialised material. “We are well set up to assist with technical knowledge and implement the right solution using the right material for an application,” Farrell says. “We’re able to assist rail companies within the manufacturing and maintenance spaces, helping them establish what polymers are best for certain applications, and then providing a solution based on client requirements through utilisation of our manufacturing capabilities, which include things like plastic routing, turning, milling and so on. “We’ll take an inquiry from a company – a set of drawings and such to work with – and we can machine a part from there,” he says. “If a customer doesn’t quite understand what exactly it is they require for a certain aspect of their maintenance or

manufacturing program, we can help them out with finding the right material and solution, and then providing them with our machining capability.” An importer, distributor, fabricator and machinist of a range of plastic products, Dotmar EPP within the rail sector supplies parts and solutions for manufacturing and maintenance operations, both for rollingstock and fixed rail infrastructure. On the fixed infrastructure side of things, Dotmar EPP has provided clients with a range of products, including track pads and parts for signalling infrastructure. Dotmar EPP looks to provide track owners with a high level of customisation: “Some of the signal parts we’ve provided in the past have had specs going back to the 1920s,” Creed notes. For the rollingstock side of things, Dotmar EPP not only supplies cutting edge parts for new trains, but also replacement parts for older rollingstock, and products like bushings and bearings. Material offered by Dotmar for rail applications includes, but is not limited to Ertalyte (PETP), Ertalon (Nylon), Ertacetal (Acetal), Polystone P7000 (UHMWPE), Polystone P300 (HDPE), Palsun (Polycarbonate) and Ketron PEEK for applications such as bushings, centre bowl liners, wear pads, washers, track spacers, side guides and electrical insulators. The company is ISO 9001 accredited, and has a dedicated quality assessment facility and quality assessment process to ensure all goods that go out to customers are within their specs. ABOVE: Dotmar’s range of materials can be used in many rail applications.

LEFT: The company can work with clients to help establish the right solution to their challenge.




Deciding on the right drive system for your next RRV One of the many considerations to be made by track builders and maintainers deciding on their next road rail vehicle (RRV) for hire, lease, or purchase, is which drive system is most preferable for the application. Rail Express speaks with Manco Engineering Group’s Craig Munro about the options.


HREE TYPES OF DRIVE systems are defined in the Australian Standard for RRVs: Type 1 – self powered rail wheels, Type 2 – friction drive, and type 3 – direct drive. Craig Munro is Manco Engineering Group’s Chief Engineer for Rail. He tells Rail Express each drive system has a set of pros and cons which must be considered before leasing or purchasing an RRV.

Self-powered rail wheels

Self-powered rail wheels provide both traction and braking through the rail wheels. During rail operations road wheels or crawler tracks are lifted above the rails; there is no contact between the road and rail wheels. “Although a higher capital investment is required for a Type 1 RRV, the benefit is its adaptability,” Munro explains. “Rail modules can be manufactured to handle one, two, or all three common rail gauges (narrow, standard and broad) as there is no dependence on road wheels to provide traction.” The extra stability provided by a full



rail base means Type 1 RRVs don’t require stabiliser legs to support an elevated work platform (EWP). “Tractive effort is generally provided via hydrostatic closed loop pumps and motors, either utilising direct wheel mount hydraulic motors, or a chain drive system,” Munro continues. “With today’s advanced hydraulic systems, this drive system can provide electrically controlled, infinitely variable speed with high torque and excellent traction. A Type 1 RRV equipped with an EWP can be easily driven on rail from the workman’s basket via interfaced electronics, something not readily achieved with Type 2 or Type 3 drive systems.” Braking can be controlled either manually by the operators, or it can be safely interfaced with the drive system, automatically applying and releasing based on the drive circuit pressure readings, Munro adds.

Friction drive

Type 2 friction drive systems indirectly derive braking and traction from the road

wheels to the rail wheels; this is achieved via contact from the road wheel directly onto the rail wheel, through contact from the road wheel onto a rail wheel extension hub, or via a layshaft transferring the tractive effort to the rail wheels through the use of a gearbox or chain drive. “Issues with braking, and predominately concerns with roll away when transitioning to or from rail mode have seen this style of drive method fall out of favour in recent years,” Munro says. “While all-wheel braking can be employed to mitigate some of these issues, friction drive rail gear is now seen as old technology.” Additionally, to be driven ‘cab first’ on the railway, a Type 2 RRV’s engine must be driven in reverse gears, which can over time lead to drive issues with the carrier vehicle, as standard gearing is not designed for extended use in reverse. “Additionally, small contact patches on vehicle tyres can lead to premature wear and even failure of the contact tyres,” Munro says. “Additional service and maintenance procedures must be in place to monitor this, and if not, could lead to tyre blow outs.”

Direct drive

Type 3 direct drive RRVs rely on at least one pair of road wheels to remain in direct contact with the rail tracks to provide tractive effort and braking. The steer axle on the vehicle is generally lifted clear of the rail track on larger vehicles, although all road wheels may remain in contact with the rail on smaller RRVs (e.g. an RRV based on a Toyota Landcruiser). “Type 3 systems can have economic benefits over Type 1 systems through lower hydraulic and structural requirements,” Munro says. “However, direct drive systems have inherently lower traction due to the rubber-steel contact, especially in wet conditions where grip can drop to below a quarter of what can be achieved in steelsteel contact under the same conditions. “Where significant grades are encountered, a self-powered rail wheel drive system may be the better choice.” Operators considering a Type 3 RRV also have to understand how the load is shared between the carrier vehicle tyred axles and rail axles, Munro says. “If too little load is transferred to the rail axle, derailment can occur, especially with vehicles that have tandem rear drive bogies. Manufacturers are taking steps to address load share with active suspension systems coming to market. Manco Rail commissioned several RRV in early 2017 with airsuspension and continues to evolve these systems.” Theoretically, direct drive systems would be capable of attaining top speeds similar to those attainable on the road, but safety at higher speeds must be carefully considered. Similar to Type 2 friction drive systems, another setback of direct drive is tyre wear. “Only a small contact patch is made with the rail track, and with a higher loading than seen with friction drive systems,” Munro explains. “This can ultimately lead to localised wear and/or tyre failure.” Furthermore, as Type 3 RRVs do not lift road wheels inside the relevant structure gauge, additional

measures must be undertaken to avoid causing damage to trackside componentry during operation. When using an EWP, chocking of the vehicle suspension systems and/or stabiliser legs may be required, and control of the RRV’s movement from the workman’s basket is not readily achieved, and an in-cab operator will need to drive the RRV along the rail tracks while the EWP is in use, which can lead to communication errors, lower productivity, and the increased chance of hazards for operators. “Generally, direct drive systems are confined to use only on standard and broad-gauge rail tracks due to the need for direct road wheel to rail contact,” Munro summarises. “Smaller vehicles, such as the Toyota Landcruiser, can operate on narrow-gauge tracks with direct drive, however these smaller vehicles are generally not able to meet the needs of operators requiring EWP access to overhead wires or to transport large loads to worksites. “Direct drive systems are a serious limitation for operators wanting a versatile machine capable of  operating on all three track gauges using multi-gauge hi-rail gear.”

ABOVE: Hydrostatic, self-powered rail gear.

Contact: FAR LEFT: Type 3 direct drive is used in the above wire tensioner RRV in Melbourne.

LEFT: An example of a Type 1 RRV with self-powered rail wheels, with all road wheels lifted clear of the rail track.



New Zealand Rail 2019 19 – 20 June 2019 | Pullman Hotel Auckland

FEATURING INSIGHTS FROM OVER 30 INDUSTRY LEADERS INCLUDING: Danny Broad, CEO, Australian Railway Association Peter Mersi, Chief Executive, Ministry of Transport Greg Miller, Chairman, KiwiRail Todd Moyle, Acting Chief Executive, KiwiRail John Fullerton, CEO, ARTC

Caryn Anderson, Executive General Manager Port Growth and Planning, Port of Melbourne Michael McLellan, Managing Director, Knorr Bremse Australia Alan Howard-Smith, Stakeholder Manager, Downer NZ Sandi Robertson, Senior Project Manager, Aurecon

Dr Sean Sweeney, CEO, City Rail Link Ltd

Sarah Sinclair, Partner - Construction and Infrastructure, MinterEllisonRuddWatts

Alan Piper, GGM Sales & Commercial, KiwiRail

Michel Ladrak, Managing Director, Transdev Auckland

David Shepherd, General Manager, Metro, KiwiRail

David Franks, CEO, Keolis Downer

Devina Hassanaly, Smart Mobility Leader, SYSTRA

Glen Mackie, Technical Manager, Forest Owners Association New Zealand

SITE TOUR: CITY RAIL LINK PROJECT Delegates will enjoy a guided walking tour of Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL) – the largest infrastructure project ever to be undertaken in New Zealand. The group size is limited to 40 pax. Bring along your closed walking shoes and register at the time of your booking. DINNER SPONSOR





Remote operation making ballast replacement safer and more efficient Rail Express speaks with the Australian distributor for Cattron’s remote ballast car control system, designed to be a wireless, safe and efficient solution for ballasting operations.


ALLASTING IS A KEY PART OF track construction, and ballast replacement is a crucial component of track repair and regular network maintenance. During such operations, the manual operation of ballast car hopper doors not only puts workers in danger, it can also be slow and inefficient. Manually opening and closing ballast car hopper doors means workers are forced to navigate uneven and unsteady ground, while performing slow and awkward work. Alongside the usual hazards of working close alongside a moving rail vehicle, injuries are possible from the manual operations of release levers. Longer-term health risks also exist, with harmful dusts like silica sometimes present during ballast operation. The aim of the ballast car control system from US firm Cattron is to remove these proximity risks from ballast replacement operations. Using a handheld remote control, the system takes the operator away from the ballast car and the riskprone ballast formation, giving him or her freedom of movement and the ability to work in a safer, more efficient manner with a better vantage point. Robert Comber is Director of C5Solutions, the Australia and New Zealand distributor of the Cattron remote ballast car operation system. He tells Rail Express the ballast car technology from Cattron is already in use on multiple railways around the country, and all around the world. “A receiver is fitted onto each wagon in a ballasting consist,” Rob says. “The

operator can walk alongside the track – at a safe distance – with a hand controller, which allows them to dial up the number of a wagon, and open a number of doors on that particular wagon to drop ballast where they want it, as the train moves slowly down the track.” With a large pipeline of projects around the Australia and New Zealand region to build new track, upgrade existing track, and maintain older networks, Rob says ballasting operators should be seeking out the most efficient and safest options available. “In the past ballasting workers had to use a crank wheel to open the doors on the bottom of a wagon to drop the ballast. Now they can stand back away from the roll-off of the ballast formation, and they can view what they’re doing from a safe distance,” Rob explains. “This technology has been around for some time, and the Cattron product has proven to be the most reliable in the challenging rail environment.” Cattron’s technology is already used by most major operators around the region, and was used to assist the major track repair program after the Mount Isa railway was heavily damaged by floods earlier this year. “With the amount of investment going on and planned in the Australian rail sector, especially in the construction and upgrade of new tracks, efficient and safe measures around ballast operations will be critical to achieve the necessary targets,” Rob says. The system’s dustproof and watertight receivers can operate in temperatures as high as 60°C. The handheld remote

ABOVE and TOP: Remote operation of ballast dumping cars is a safer, more efficient option.

control, weighing 1.4 kilograms including battery, transmits to the array of receivers on the 450-470 MHz spectrum (usually on a free to air channel around 472MHz), and works up to 100 metres from the consist with an average response time of less than 60 milliseconds. The remote features spring return to centre toggles, maintained toggles, and pushbuttons. Safety features include a push-to-operate safety bar on the remote and watchdog timers. Rob adds that the technology has additional uses outside of just ballasting; it can be configured to offer remote control unloading of bulk products, like grain, iron ore, and mineral concentrate. Cattron also provides remote control solutions for locomotives, cranes and mining equipment.  Visit: Contact:




Proven track drainage solution ideal for Australia’s fast rail developments The emerging fast rail sector in Australia could benefit from proven European technology. German firm Fraenkische says its RailPipe drainage solution would be ideal for future developments.


ITH GERMAN ICE TRAINS travelling at speeds of up to 330km/h, you need to maintain a perfectly flat, straight track, without any bumps or dips, which are normally caused by settlement issues relating to poor drainage under the track. For this purpose German firm Fraenkische developed its RailPipe system, which fully complies with the Deutsche Bahn DBS 918064 Rail Standard.



“In fact, when it comes to railway drainage solutions, RailPipe SN16 Drainage Pipe is the first twin-wall pipe to meet all the standards and requirements of Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the German Standards Authority (ASA) here in Australia,” Fraenkische’s business manager for Australia, Stephen Herd, tells Rail Express. “RailPipe can therefore be used for all pressure ranges of the roadbed and track.”

ABOVE: High speed rail requires a perfectly even track, making good drainage crucial. BELOW: RailPipe can be placed directly in the inside pressure range of the below-rail infrastructure.

RIGHT: RailPipe comes in three main perforation formats.

With its unique, highly permeable perforation design, RailPipe is designed to help a drainage system rapidly accumulate infiltration water, and quickly direct it to proper drainage channels. Fraenkische has positioned itself as a market leader and innovator in drainage solutions for the civil infrastructure, roads and railway sectors in Germany and across Europe for the last 30 years. Herd says given the collection of fast rail, regional and urban city upgrade projects already funded, RailPipe could be a “game changer” for conventional drainage methodologies still being practiced in Australia. “This technology represents real innovation for the Australian market, as most rail drainage solutions are placed outside of the track and are usually traditional materials like concrete or steel which are susceptible to corrosion,” Herd says. Rail drainage systems traditionally have suffered from from corrosion and rust over time, due to the excessive exposure to water and runoff frequently seen in the below rail environment. In many remote Australian locations, this issue is amplified by conditions ranging from aridly hot and dry, to snow and ice, to tropically humid and wet. This means network operators must perform frequent inspections, maintenance and replacement works. As an example, the Australian Rail Track Corporation in March began the tender process to upgrade 316 kilometres of its network along Victoria’s North East line. The $235 million upgrade program includes the addition and replacement of railway ballast, drainage upgrades and the removal of mudholes where ballast has been contaminated. Herd says Fraenkische designed RailPipe as a single solution for multiple applications. “Not only can it be used outside of and in the external pressure range of the

track, but also in the inside pressure range,” Herd explains. “RailPipe has passed rigorous quality control by the external centre of MFPA Leipzig in terms of safety and stability. The thorough testing included dynamic fatigue tests determining the fatigue strength in 10⁸ load cycles. The results proved the durability of the design as it was still able to hold its integrity. This is why RailPipe easily complies with the minimum 100-year design life requirements in Australia.” RailPipe’s SN16 twin-wall design comprises a smooth inside layer and a corrugated exterior, allowing the pipe to be placed directly in the inside pressure range of the below-rail infrastructure; a unique capability for a corrugated polypropylene pipe in the rail sector, Herd says. In addition, for operations and maintenance, RailPipe complies with the Pressure Jetting Standard DIN 19523, which requires twin-wall corrugated pipes to be able to withstand water pressure cleaning of 450W/mm². Herd says RailPipe can handle 1100W/mm², making it an extremely hard-wearing pipe for track drainage. Burial depths can vary within the railbed for drainage applications, so RailPipe has been approved for use from 1m to 6m below the track. RailPipe is manufactured in a fully unperforated format, UP, with this pipe preferred for water transport. Fraenkische then adds perforations to the pipe for different applications, with three main designs available: the Multi-Purpose (MP)

pipe includes perforations along 120 degrees of its circumference, while the Locally Perforated (LP) design features 220 degrees of perforations. The Totally Perforated (TP) pipe has perforations all along its circumference. “RailPipe’s capabilities can be especially useful along key sections of rail corridors with reactive soils with weak load-bearing capacity that require effective drainage under the track,” Herd says. “Without effective drainage, settlement and washouts can be a regular operations and maintenance challenge, and this has been seen at times along key stretches of railway in Australia. By quickly and effectively draining excess water runoff away from these areas, an operator can prolong the life exectancy of the track geometry.”. Contact: Stephen.Herd@




Australasia’s largest dedicated bulk handling conference & exhibition

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BELOW RAIL & TRACK INFRASTRUCTURE BELOW: The STRAILway sleepers are extruded, rather than moulded, meaning they can be cut to unique lengths if required.

Recycled polymeric sleepers a green, long-lasting alternative The wooden sleeper is one of the longest-standing components of railway construction, but recycled polymerics can now offer a green alternative.


HOENIX AUST (AG) IS THE Australian distributor of both STRAIL level crossing systems, and STRAILway polymeric sleepers. Phoenix Director and Civil Engineer Andrew Roseman says the STRAILway plastic sleepers have a lot of potential in the Australian market. “We can use the STRAILway polymeric sleepers in most metropolitan and light rail applications in Australia, as well as lower freight tonnage applications,” Roseman tells Rail Express. Beyond the immediate opportunities for the product in the Australian market, Roseman believes the STRAILway sleeper could achieve a higher rating making it suited to heavy-haul rail corridors. “The product at the moment is rated to 22.5 tonne axle loads, but we’re looking to do some additional testing at Monash University’s Institute of Railway Technology to achieve our ultimate goal of getting that rating up to 30 tonnes,” Roseman says. “STRAIL has only so far done testing to 22.5 tonnes because that’s the German standard, but in a heavy haul environment like we have in Australia, we’d like to enter into that market as well.” Roseman says a major selling point for the STRAILway sleeper is that, while many other plastic sleepers are formed via a mould, STRAILway sleepers are extruded in a single line, and can thus be delivered at any desired length, depending on the application. The base material used in the STRAILway plastic sleepers is extruded

post-industrial plastic recyclate, reinforced with fibres. Using materials from rejected/ off-dimensional select products, ensures that the sleeper is free from contaminants that can be found when using post-consumer non-classified waste, that gives the benefit of being as close to a homogenous material as possible. Special additives are included with the aim of ensuring excellent mechanical properties. During production an endless, homogenous sleeper leaves the machine to later be cut, creating multiple sleepers of the length required. From this moment on, the product can be treated almost exactly like a wooden sleeper: there is no artificial resin, and no complex pultrusion technique or specific parts are required during installation. KRAIBURG STRAIL, the German manufacturer of the STRAILway full recyclate polymeric sleeper, says it is a superior alternative to wood free from dangerous fine glass fibres that can cause exposure risks to workers. “In most countries, wood has to be treated with chemicals, which is done by soaking it in creosote, the tar oil waste product,” the company says. “That is why wooden sleepers will present a problem later on: firstly, they release up to two litres of the environmentally harmful creosote into nature; secondly, it will be difficult to dispose of them.” In Australia, the quality and access to red gum forests for sleepers is also becoming more and more limited and therefore the

need to find an alternative source of sleepers will become increasingly important. STRAILway sleepers have been approved by Germany’s Federal Railway Authority for use in railway switches, with axle loads of up to 225kN and speeds of up to 160km/h. An extensive yearlong testing programme at the Technical University of Munich saw excellent performances in all rail relevant tests.

Fast workability and hard-wearing

On one project in Hungary, the STRAILway sleepers were installed at a rail turnout which meets a highly frequented level crossing near Hódmezövásárhely station, in the nation’s southeast. While it is standard to use wooden sleepers in turnouts in Hungary, it was found that wooden sleepers used at the turnout in question were abrading too quickly as a result of the level crossing activity. After demonstrating to Hungarian state railways the advantages of the STRAILway sleeper in a test installation in March 2016, the sleepers were installed at the turnout in July 2017. A total of 52 sleepers of different lengths – between 2,220mm and 2,240mm – were installed. Crews found a substantial advantage of the STRAILway sleepers was their simple and fast workability, allowing plating to be done directly on site. Once the turnout and STRAILway sleepers were installed, tamping work was carried out, before STRAIL level crossing material was installed.







Latest ballast cleaning tech from Loram Below rail maintenance provider Loram says new shoulder ballast cleaning technology is making major efficiency gains for its customers.


ORAM SAYS ITS FOURTH-GENERATION shoulder ballast cleaner, SBC2400, is the world’s most productive, revolutionising the best-practice for speed, power and productivity in shoulder ballast cleaning. “With railroads facing ever-changing challenges today, it requires us to continue to develop and integrate technologies in order to optimize their programs,” a Loram Marketing Director Brandon Riddering tells Rail Express. “Loram has been working to further optimise the operation and production of the SBC2400, and it is conceivably the world’s most productive shoulder ballast cleaner.” The self-propelled SBC2400 features synchronised 30-inch wide digging wheels to excavate ballast from the tie ends outwards, to the edge of the ballast section. It uses dual scarifer teeth to undercut the tie ends to five inches, helping break up mud pockets and restore drainage. It features exclusive elliptical throw agitation separators and variable screen levelling, like Loram’s market-leading High Performance Shoulder Ballast Cleaner (HP SBC). The SBC2400 is designed to handle 2,400 cubic metres of ballast each hour, at speeds up to 6km/h at typical digging depths of eight inches below the bottom of the tie. “The increased speeds of the SBC2400 have resulted in customers recognizing reduced unit costs and higher work volume completion while Loram delivers unmatched reliability,” Riddering says. Outside of ballast cleaning operations it can travel self-propelled at up to 80km/h, and can be towed in-train at up to 95km/h. “The increased traffic capabilities for the railroad’s remediation investment demonstrates a Loram shoulder ballast cleaning program ensures a healthy, robust railroad infrastructure while delivering maximum return on investment.” The SBC2400 is capable of discharging separated fines up to 8.5 metres from the centreline of the track, and comes fit with a waste conveyor obstacle avoidance system. Loram says it also has the ability to partner with customers to develop new machine deployment methods which can deliver further speed, performance and reliability improvements. “For instance, railroads are including a shoulder ballast cleaner into a surfacing gang arrangement for consistent and increased

productivity,” Riddering says. “Coordinating ballast equipment with gangs has proven to exceed individual machine deployment production and reduce overall costs for our customers.” A global company, Loram has more than 1,000 employees and 230 machines spread across 16 countries. It was founded in 1954 in Minnesota, United States, and over 60 years has grown into an industry leader helping railways preserve their lines, from heavy haul, freight, transit, and commuter to short line railroads. The company is looking to advance technology and automation on its range of ballast maintenance equipment, allowing customers to accomplish preventative programs at minimal cost. In addition to the SBC2400 and other shoulder ballast cleaners, Loram ballast maintenance program offerings include undercutting, high speed track lifting, and spot undercutting/ excavating/trenching. In Australia, where it has worked with companies like Aurizon, the Australian Rail Track Corporation, and Fortescue Metals Group, Loram says it boasts some of the most technologically advanced rail grinding equipment on the planet. Contact:

Loram has been working to further optimise the operation and production of the SBC2400, and it is conceivably the world’s most productive shoulder ballast cleaner

BELOW: The SBC2400’s 30-inch wide digging wheels excavate ballast from the tie end outwards.




‘Other EWPs playing catch-up’: Q&A with Andrew Melvelle Andrew Melvelle, CEO of rail equipment manufacturer Melvelle Equipment, talks with Rail Express about the growing market for elevated work platforms, E-clip removers, and Melvelle’s light weight rapid deployment rail trolley.


AIL EXPRESS (REX): Hi Andrew – could you tell us about the market in Australia and New Zealand for elevated work platforms (EWPs)? Andrew Melvelle (AM): Yes, there’s been growing demand for EWPs in Australia and New Zealand of late simply due to the amount of rail projects going on. Many of the projects need overhead wiring and structures, and an EWP is the most flexible solution for these jobs. REX: Melvelle distributes the rail-mounted EWP from Rail Products UK (RPUK). What’s the genesis of that relationship? AM: I first met the director of RPUK, Mr Derek Burns, and his business partner Mr Johan Verbiezen, at InnoTrans in 2012. It was at that show I first saw the EWP, and right away I recognised it as one of the best-engineered on the market. REX: Why is that? AM: The RPUK machine has a continuous 360-degree turret rotation on all track gauges, even when carrying the pantograph recording arm. This means the operator never has to “unwind” the machine to get to the other side. When deployed, the pantograph attachment records height and stagger measurements continuously while the machine is travelling, significantly differentiating it from its rivals. The continuous uplift force that the pantograph generates allows the track to be handed back at speed. The recroded data can then be downloaded onto a USB for presenting to the customer. Also the unique engineering allows the machine to maintain its 400kg in the basket at full reach on all gauges (including 1000mm and 1067mm). The basket is one of the largest on the market and allows for two men and their gear to work comfortably. The engineering allows the workers to work over the side of the machine on narrow gauge on up to 180mm canted track and grades of up to 1:24.5. In my opinion, this is the best engineered EWP on the market and the others have been playing catch-up for quite some time. The relationship between Manitou and RPUK means that Manitou supports the base machine with factory warranty here in Australia in conjunction with RPUK and ourselves.



REX: And the rail mounted EWP you distribute has been getting extra attention of late – why is that? AM: The recent growth in the market has been driven primarily by the new certification requirements around vehicle twist during travel. It is a recognised derailment issue that needed to be addressed, and very few scissor lift trucks and truck mounted EWPs pass this requirement. The rail mounted EWP from RPUK easily passes these requirements, thanks to its pivoting axle.

ABOVE: The rail-mounted EWP from Rail Products UK is distributed by Melvelle Equipment. TOP RIGHT: Melvelle’s Australiandesigned Light Weight Rapid Deployment Rail Trolley. RIGHT: Melvelle’s E-Clip remover.

REX: Moving on to the E-Clip remover – how does that device work? AM: Our E-clip remover comes in two models, a dual headed machine that will remove the Pandrol E or PR clips from both sides of a rail leg, or the broken clip, single sided model. Both units strike the clip at 1600 BPM at 63KJ while simultaneously squeezing the clip, and when the clip is ejected from the sleeper, the machine design retains the clip from flying. REX: That’s the safer option? AM: Absolutely. A flying clip is one of the most dangerous projectiles on a repadding or re-railing site, and many gang members have unfortunately been struck and maimed by them.

the best payloads. It has the best range for its weight. REX: It achieves that while being battery powered? AM: It does. All of our other products traditionally have been designed around small industrial engines and hydraulics. But the power to weight ratio of Lithium battery technology has changed our thinking and I am amazed at the opportunities we are now presented and the new designs we are creating. The travel range at 10km/ hr is 100km. REX: The efficiency is also helped by the fact the machine is very lightweight, correct? AM: Of course, and that aspect of the design makes it very fast to assemble and dismantle, too. Only one part of the trolley is heavier than 20-kilograms, and at just 45 kilograms that part is still suitable for a twoperson lift. The whole machine can be assembled or dismantled in three minutes by two people, or just two minutes by four people without tools. In an emergency, four people can remove the trolley from the track in under 90 seconds.

REX: What are some other innovations? AM: It has frustrated rail crews for years that the Pandrol E and PR clips become rusted into the housing and impossible to remove. Our unique, patented design hammers and vibrates the clips from the sleeper while supporting the shoulder and arresting the clip once it is ejected. Even if the clip is broken, our “down the EYE” version can be used to drive out the remaining pin. This pin is generally left because clips have been hit by hammers to try to remove or have been badly corroded. The machine is provided in our Track Pack system and can be easily paired with our other work heads to insert new clips if required.

it a green option. The chassis is flexible and easily adapted to any gauge configuration in the world, and the deck comes currently in two configurations: Inspection and Emergency Response. There are no chains to drive wheels and the vehicle can be transported in a utility or station wagon. But most importantly, the trolley is the lightest in the market place with one of

REX: Apart from the speed of assembly/disassembly, what are the other safety features? AM: A patented deck locking system is interlocked with all other removable parts preventing the trolley from moving while an interlock is ‘unlatched’. It features traction control, failsafe braking, Deadman foot control with throttle control, interlocked gates and deck, and a wireless horn. If you have any questions of your own for Andrew, contact: andrew@

REX: The Light Weight Rapid Deployment Rail Trolley was actually designed by Melvelle Equipment in Australia and is already in use on a number of operations. What has made it successful so far? AM: It is all electric and suitable for solar charging and regenerative braking, making




Achieving track maintenance efficiencies through better resource management Maintenance is a necessary evil for any network operator. By harnessing modern intelligent software to optimise the time management of people and machines, major performance improvements can be made. Rail Express speaks with software provider DELMIA Quintiq about the latest it has to offer.


OR EVERY NETWORK OWNER AND operator, important decisions must be made around exactly when and how sections of the network are possessed as part of a maintenance regime. Pros and cons are weighed, crucial decisions must be made, and then the work is followed through, hopefully without any costly errors or delays. DELMIA Quintiq aims to ease the strain on track owners, and solve planning puzzles like this through a single powerful software platform. The global software provider, part of the European-headquartered Dassault Systèmes, has proven capabilities in complex below rail and rail infrastructure projects all over the world. “Rail operators have long depended on whiteboards, Excel sheets, or simple gantt charts for their planning of their resources,” DELMIA Quintiq’s Cameron Collie says. “Yet planning track maintenance is a highly complex process that puts an enormous strain on planners, reducing the time they have to complete value-added tasks.” Collie says DELMIA Quintiq aims to provide planners an integrated and adaptive



planning solution to create an integrated railway maintenance program. The Dassault Systèmes planning platform removes the burden of complexity from planners by providing true decision support. The software planning engine takes into account the myriad of constraints and rules when creating a plan; such as rules of the route, matching employee availability and skills with machine capabilities to complete the maintenance work, and evaluating competing

ABOVE: Rail maintenance operations are usually performed within a tight time frame.

BELOW: An integrated approach to resource management can have a number of benefits.

Boosting efficiency for the Channel Tunnel

timeslots. This ensures alignment and visibility to all stakeholders in a single, integrated view across all time horizons, thereby providing cross team collaboration, minimising ther risk of overruns and removing the possibility of unsafe practices or paper mistakes. The solution makes optimal use of the allotted time windows by scheduling activities within the windows, and ensures time is tightly managed, including – if safe conditions exist – suggesting possibilities for opportunistic maintenance work. The platform is designed to allow an operator to see all scenarios and decision consequences in real time, and take action proactively. Ultimately, these factors combine to create major cost savings for an operator when it comes to network maintenance, and subsequent efficiency and performance improvements across the network. Collie told Rail Express about some of the operational benefits of the type of integrated system the DELMIA Quintiq solution provides. “We recently went live with one of Australia’s largest heavy haul operators to manage major maintenance events, as well as short-term plans for their maintenance crews,” Collie explains. “By empowering the maintenance team with visibility of operating objectives, they are able to optimally align work orders to outages, ensuring more up time with greater throughput. “In addition to the traditional benefits of greater utilisation and efficiency of their teams to execute more work orders, the maintenance division now directly contributes to greater network access, which is a huge collaborative and commercial win to the business.” The DELMIA Quintiq offering is a unique rail planning software, in addition to maintenance planning, the platform is used by local operators such as KiwiRail, Aurizon, Sydney Trains and Queensland Rail to manage their complex crew, fleet and dynamic timetable services.

Overseas, the DELMIA Quintiq solution is being engaged to improve maintenance efficiency on one of the world’s most famous railway tunnels. Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and with up to 400 trains running each day – equating to a departure through the tunnel roughly once every three minutes – the Channel Tunnel is considered the most heavily used railway tunnel in the world. Connecting the United Kingdom with continental Europe, the tunnel is used to move passengers, freight, trucks and cars. But just like every other railway, the operation must halt for regular maintenance work. Unsurprisingly, alignment and allocation of this work program is exceptionally complex and requires meticulous planning. Operator Eurotunnel maintains track, signalling, catenary, and fire extinguishing equipment along the 50-kilometre tunnel, along with all the equipment in the 250 technical rooms between the French and English terminals at either end. More than 200 technicians are engaged during maintenance shutdowns, working between 60 and 70 sites. 15 work train modules are engaged during maintenance. The key objective of the Eurotunnel maintenance team is to complete all the on-corridor activities safely in the minimum time, to enable maximum network access for operations. “One of the ways we’ll achieve greater availability of the tunnel for commercial services would be reducing from two nights of maintenance a week, down to one night of maintenance per week,” Eurotunnel’s Director of Public Affairs John Keefe said. “What we’re looking for from the Quintiq tool is the planning capacity to enable us to concentrate our maintenance activities into just one night, and give us that extra capacity. “Finding the time to do the maintenance necessary to keep the service running at that frequency of departure is essential, and the Quintiq software is going to help us with the fine detail of the planning, and enable us to do a lot more, more efficiently, in the future.”

ABOVE: DELMIA Quintiq’s solution is designed to reduce the risk of cost overrun in rail maintenance.

The Quintiq software is going to help us with the fine detail of the planning, and enable us to do a lot more, more efficiently, in the future




Applying the lessons of Gotthard to the local market Passenger rail owners and operators in Australia and New Zealand are keen to embrace the digital revolution to enhance the efficiency and capacity of their systems. What lessons can be learned from the European market, and one of its biggest ever projects?


HRIS GLAETTLI IS THE Technical Solutions Manager for Rail Signalling within Thales’ Ground Transportation Systems business in Australia. Prior to a recent move Down Under, he worked with Thales to deliver signalling solutions for a pair of massive Alpine tunnels: the 35-kilometre Lötschberg Base Tunnel, and the world record, 57-kilometre Gotthard Base Tunnel. The Gotthard Base Tunnel is the longest railway tunnel on the planet. At a maximum depth of 2,450 metres, it is also the world’s deepest traffic tunnel. Excavation began in 2004, 12 years before the tunnel was finished and opened to passenger and freight services, in June 2016. As a member of the rail delivery consortium for the project, Thales integrated its ETCS Level 2 technology into the Gotthard Base Tunnel, facilitating the circulation of more than 300 trains per day at operational speeds of 200km/hr in both directions. After designing and testing in its Zurich laboratory, Thales managed the



production, installation, integration and homologation of rail signalling for the tunnel, within the overall system. Glaettli speaks fondly of his eight years working on the delivery team for Gotthard, and is keenly aware of the lessons learned along the way. “The biggest lesson from the Gotthard experience was the importance of collaboration,” he tells Rail Express, “starting with a collaboration with the railway operator, to determine what the real need was. “It’s really about understanding each other. More collaboration in the early phases of the project is a big reason we were able to deliver an optimal solution over a year early, despite the scale of the project. “Collaboration is one of our key strengths at Thales. We’re close to the customer, we’re open to learn what the particular needs are, and we’re also open to share some knowledge about our product and the processes to apply our product. It’s a win-win. “It’s really important that the operator understands the products of the suppliers,

and the suppliers understand the needs of the railway, so when it comes down to tendering there is a much more informed set of requirements to fulfil which leads to a more efficient and targeted tender process.” Glaettli believes Australian operators could benefit from this same level of collaboration during the early phases of major projects. “Australia has a different way to contract railway suppliers [to Europe],” he notes. Collaboration and mutual understanding are especially important in the current market in Australia and New Zealand, where operators are keen to embrace the global trend towards the digitalisation of rail systems, to enhance their efficiency, capacity and reliability. Glaettli says he sees a number of opportunities in the region where digitalisation can impact passenger operations from the ground up, helping busy operators get more efficient, and boost their capacity. “When we look at Australian cities, we see an increasing need for more trains, to move more passengers per corridor,


across the whole rail network,” he says. “Just about everywhere we look, key railways are reaching their peak capacity, so they need to find ways to operate more efficiently.” Glaettli says Thales is ready to work with operators early in the process to understand their needs. “We have to deliver value for money, so first we need to carefully understand what is the best approach to an optimal outcome for the customer,” he explains. “Often the pressure on the operator comes from legacy systems which are end-of-life, and we will replace them or interface to them, depending on the specific need and operational requirements. Thales assesses the operational procedures of these legacy systems and will configure our systems to help improve them. “The customer can choose what components they want to focus on, and we can configure for them the needed parts; all the way from the axle counter up to the interlocking, and up to the traffic management system.” These components are what Glaettli refers to as the ‘building blocks’ of rail digitalisation. Whether the focus is on traffic control, scheduling, planning, routing, signalling or monitoring, there are advantages to be gained from a digital approach.

with driver advisory systems where applicable. “That’s where it gets really interesting,” Glaettli says. “We can really make use of the Big Data we gather from the network, and we can go into flow control of the network, meaning every train journey is optimised for energy use and time.”


One discussion during a recent RISSB conference in Melbourne focused on the merits of both ETCS (European Train Control Standard) and CBTC (Communications Based Train Control) as contrasting options for operators seeking a modern signalling solution. Speaking with Rail Express, Glaettli weighed in, concurring with the general sentiment that neither solution is universally better than the other. Thales offers both in its signalling portfolio, and Glaettli says finding the right option comes down to the precise needs of the customer. “What we’ve seen is there are really two kinds of networks,” he says. “The first is a metro style network, more suited to CBTC, which is a linewide approach, benefitting from its isolation.” CBTC is the technology being installed on new standalone metro lines being built in Sydney and Melbourne. “Then there is mainline, or regional, where ETCS is more appropriate,” Glaettli continues. “Under ETCS there is a standard interface between the unit on the train and the track, so you can have different vendors at both stages. “ETCS allows for multiple rollingstock types running through the same network, and for mainline use this is a basic need. ETCS is an open standard and is interoperable, because this is a basic requirement in Europe, where we have many countries and operators.”

LEFT: The ‘golden balise’, the final balise installed at the north portal of the Gotthard Base Tunnel.

FAR LEFT: Thales has made a major digitalisation push across its entire business.

BELOW: The Gotthard Base Tunnel is 57 kilometres long, and has a maximum depth of 2,450 metres.

Digitalising a TMS

Glaettli says his team has developed a specific process when it comes to the digitalisation of a rail operator’s Traffic Management System (TMS). Thales has broken down the process of transitioning from a legacy TMS to a fully digital TMS, in three stages. “The first stage is just for the TMS to assess the timetable, isolating its different routes and services,” Glaettli explains. “The second stage, interfacing, is where the TMS is allowed to ‘read’ off the network, but not ‘write’ into the system – instead it simply suggests changes when conflicts arise. “The final stage is a fully integrated TMS, which can not only read the network, but make decisions based on its knowledge of the network, and directly set routes accordingly. We call this automatic conflict resolution.” Thales’ TMS can be coupled with train control systems at varying levels of automation, looping in





Mt Isa line reopened after twelve-week shutdown Freight trains returned to the full length of the Mt Isa line on Monday, April 29, twelve weeks after its forced closure following unprecedented flooding damage.


HE FIRST TRAIN, CARRYING A MIX OF products including containerised freight and minerals, left Cloncurry at approximately 1.10am on the morning of April 29, and arrived at Townsville that evening. Another two trains left Stuart and Partington in the early hours, travelling to Cloncurry and Mt Isa respectively. Queensland Rail chief executive Nick Easy said it was fantastic to see an important supply chain back up and running. “It’s been a long 12-weeks leading up to this day, with our dedicated 400-person strong taskforce working tirelessly to restore the line as quickly as possible, racking up more than 160,000 hours of work in the process,” Easy said. In the days after the line was shut down by the major weather event and the extent of damage was still unknown, Easy dismissed media reports the repairs could take anywhere between six months and a year. “We’re extremely thankful for the hard work of all involved in the line’s recovery and remediation,” he said when the line reopened. “This is a fantastic result for the North West region of our state, which is not only reconnected



by rail from today, but will also benefit from the improved efficiencies along the line,” Easy said. Queensland Rail said the Inlander passenger service, which runs between Townsville and Mount Isa twice per week, was scheduled to resume on May 11.

Repairs cut journey time by 50 minutes

ABOVE: The first train to run the Mt Isa line in April was carrying mixed freight. TOP RIGHT: A hi-rail bus in use during the repair program.

RIGHT: A test vehicle in use during repair works.

Queensland Rail also announced a major silver lining to the shutdown: uninterrupted access granted to repair and maintenance teams following the major flooding event allowed for improvements to be fast-tracked along the line. Those improvements have cut travel times between Mt Isa and Townsville by almost an hour, the state’s transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey said. “QR made the most of the line’s closure to deliver large scale maintenance activities such as rerailing and reconditioning works ahead of schedule while crews had unlimited access,” Bailey explained. “This means QR can now remove previous speed and axle load restrictions on upgraded sections along the line, delivering a significant


the minister said, “and means that as services resume, industry will benefit from productivity enhancements made along the entire corridor.”

Initial timeline proves accurate betterment for the critical North West supply chain connecting industry to the Port of Townsville, supporting the local economy and local jobs.” Bailey said the changes meant a saving of up to 50 minutes of travel time for trains moving between Mt Isa and Townsville. “This is a great achievement by QR,”

Almost four weeks after heavy rainfall led to the line being shut down, Queensland Rail had been able to provide its first solid timeline for repairs. “Our coordinated recovery crew will allow us to condense the Mt Isa Line’s repair time down to eight to twelve weeks, subject to favourable weather and construction conditions,” Easy said

on February 25. “That would have us reopening the line between late April and mid-May 2019.” At that time, 50 sites on the 100-kilometre stretch of rail between Richmond and Hughenden had already been reinstated after they were damaged in the weather event, and the main focus of repair works had shifted to a more than 200-kilometre stretch of flood-damaged track between Richmond and Oorindi. The taskforce also played a role in the recovery of a minerals train that was inundated in the floodwaters at Nelia, east of Julia Creek. A deviation was built around the Nelia site to allow freight and passenger trains to travel around the site, where environmental remediation works will continue. During the major repair works a 60-bed camp was built in Richmond to accommodate employees and contractors working on the recovery, and another 120-bed camp was set up at Julia Creek to accommodate recovery works at Nelia.

Staged return


By March 7, Queensland Rail was able to open the section of rail between Richmond and Hughenden, and shifted their focus to the section between Cloncurry and Richmond. By April 6, the focus of works was down to a final 55-kilometre stretch of track, between Nonda and Quarrels. Easy had noted the final section of track would be the most challenging to repair, given it was the most heavily damaged.








RISSB urges rail sector to brush up on safety The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) has used its annual Rail Safety event to launch a new safety initiative encouraging everyone to start their day thinking about safety. RISSB CEO Paul Daly writes.


T RISSB, SAFETY IS ESSENTIAL. We deliver safe oucomes every day for ourselves, our staff, the industry and ultimately the community. In so many ways we take a proactive approach to safety. Safety and risk mitigation are integrated into all our work practices and represented in the very products that we develop. After all, safety is not only in our name, it’s in our nature. A safety mindset takes our approach to safety beyond regulatory compliance. It’s a way of thinking that starts the moment we wake up and shouldn’t finish until the minute we fall asleep. What better way to remind people to maintain their safety focus all day every day than to place a safety message on the one household item that everyone reaches for every morning – a toothbrush. And what better way to spread the safety message than to put a toothbrush in the hands of attendees at a rail safety conference. Launched at this year’s RISSB Rail Safety Conference, ‘Start Your Day Thinking



About Safety’ is a safety initiative designed to encourage stakeholders to think and act safely before they walk out the door every day. It’s about influencing and encouraging people to make the safest choice in all that they do throughout the day and challenge unsafe behaviours. It communicates the high importance RISSB places on safety and encourages all of our stakeholders to create ane even stronger safety culture in their organisation. So, before your next pre-work safety meeting, before you start your journey to the office, think about what you can do to arrive at work safely and return home to the very people that matter most – your family. Because the actions we take and the choices we make today will impact more than one person tomorrow. Over the next few months, RISSB will be providing industry with boxes of toothbrushes emblazoned with the slogan ‘Start your day thinking about safety’, to hand out to everyone. Whether you are a trackworker, engineer, accountant or receptionist, safety is everyone’s responsibility and RISSB wants everyone

FAR LEFT: Paul Daly speaking at the event’s Rail Safety Dinner.

RISSB wants everyone to start their day thinking about safety, and how they can ensure the Australian rail industry remains one of the safest in the world

to start their day thinking about safety, and how they can ensure the Australian rail industry remains one of the safest in the world. So, keep an eye out for the RISSB toothbrushes which we will be distributing during Development Group

meetings, training sessions, events or forums near you. So, regardless of how you start your day, we want to remind you to ‘Start Your Day Thinking About Safety.’ Paul Daly RISSB CEO

ABOVE: RISSB’s new rail safety toothbrushes.

TOP and LEFT: A lucky group of delegates went on a tour of Melbourne Metro construction.




ABOVE: The ARA has outlined its priorities for the 2019 Federal Election.

Rail – Creating vibrant cities, thriving regions and a connected nation In his exclusive column, Australasian Railways Association CEO Danny Broad discusses the key issues for rail in the 2019 Federal Election


N 2019 AND BEYOND, RAIL IS more important than ever. As Australian cities continue to grow and our freight task increases, the pressure on our road network also increases. Avoiding and reducing congestion is one of the biggest benefits that can be achieved from moving passengers by rail and moving freight from road to rail. Properly planned and funded rail, integrated with other transport modes can ease congestion, reduce travel times, and increase commuters’ access to transport, making cities more liveable and our economy more productive. The Australasian Railway Association, in consultation with the one hundred and fifty-one rail organisations we represent, has identified several important issues that the next Australian government must deal with to ensure Australia maximises the benefits of its considerable rail infrastructure investment. We have structured the challenges, policies and specific actions that we recommend and have also engaged with



both major parties. We will constructively advocate these policies to the elected government in order to realise their benefits to the nation.

1 Making Cities Liveable

Challenge Most Australians live in our major cities that are growing in size and population, putting increased demand on all modes of transport. Road congestion impacts quality of life and economic productivity. Urban passenger and light rail form the foundation of integrated public transport networks, able to move large numbers of people quickly. Public transport is essential for young and elderly Australians, people on low incomes, and people with disabilities. It also provides health benefits associated with increased mobility. Policy The Australian Government must continue to increase it’s funding of urban passenger and freight rail projects which are essential

to reduce road congestion, improve the quality of life in major cities and increase productivity. Actions 1. Co-fund new, extend or invest in existing passenger and freight services where there are demonstrated economic, social and environmental benefits. 2. Modernise the Disability Transport Standards for Accessible Public Transport and provide State Governments with funding assistance to comply with the Standards. 3. Recognise the role of transport in developing the national Population and Planning Framework. 4. Allow Australians to salary sacrifice public transport tickets, placing public transport on an equal footing to car travel.

2 Connecting Our Regions

Challenge Regions have an important role to play in producing the food, goods and materials that

Australia consumes and exports. 33% of Australians live outside capital city areas. Rail has an important role to play in linking our cities and regions. Reduced regional commuting times is essential to drive the decentralisation of our major cities while collectively adding to the social, economic and competitive fabric of our nation. Policy The Australian Government must plan and resource inter-regional fast rail projects and east coast high speed rail through a national planning agency. Actions 1. Establish a Planning Authority for both fast rail and east coast high speed rail to plan, develop financing options and acquire the corridors as required. 2. Co-funding improvements to regional rail lines where there are demonstrated economic, social and environmental benefits.

3 Supporting Employment

Challenge Skilled labour shortages in rail threaten the delivery within budget and timeframes of new rail infrastructure and rolling stock projects as well as the industry’s ability to efficiently operate and maintain rail networks. Urgent action is needed to address market failure. Policy The Australian Government should lead the response to identified critical skilled labour shortages by formalising a high level taskforce of government, industry and the education sector to lead reforms, build partnerships and implement recommendations contained in the ARA report Skills Crisis: A Call to Action. Actions 1. Resource and empower the taskforce to undertake critical reforms to training and create partnerships to achieve change. 2. Resource the Australian and New Zealand Industry Pipeline to provide a comprehensive list of rail projects to facilitate national, state and industry investment planning. 3. Reform rail VET training to ensure both portability and fitness for purpose. 4. Establish formal education partnerships between government, industry and training providers 5. Work with select universities to reinvigorate rail-related

STEM disciplines. 6.Develop incentives for training, as well as trainers and assessors. 7.Support skills development via procurement and local content policies 8. Develop rail related apprenticeship and cadetship programs, in construction, operations & maintenance with enhanced incentives for companies and apprentices.

4S  trengthening Our Economy

Challenge Continued population growth and economic demand will necessitate safer, more productive and sustainable solutions for efficient movement of people and goods between regions, cities and ports. An efficient freight network is fundamental to maximising the benefits of trade. Policy Rail Freight is fundamental to maintaining the international competitiveness of Australia’s export industry. Rail freight companies move thousands of tonnes of coal, iron ore and other minerals as well as agricultural and general freight around the nation. The Australian Government should implement national mode-neutral freight strategies, policies and investment and independent price regulation of heavy vehicles to establish an even playing field between road and rail. Actions 1. Implement the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy and incentivise jurisdictions to support its delivery. 2. Remove inconsistencies between road and rail in balancing safety with productivity objectives at the legislative and operational level. 3. Implement mode-neutral independent price regulation of heavy vehicles. Freight rail operators, charged at full market rates to access infrastructure have endeavoured to compete with heavy vehicles that access publicly subsidised road networks. 4. Increase funding and authority of Infrastructure Australia to provide evidence-based business case project evaluation of major infrastructure proposals. 5. Continue funding for the Inland Rail project to ensure its timely delivery and undertake necessary studies to support the construction of efficient rail links to major ports. 6. The environmental and safety costs

benefits associated with moving people and freight by rail rather than road need to be factored into project evaluation and pricing models.

5 National Coordination to Support Industry

Challenge Rail contributes $26 billion to the national economy supporting hundreds of small to medium size enterprises. But its efforts are dissipated by the fragmented approach to rail investment, procurement, construction and regulation of eight different governments. Policy The Australian Government should lead the development of a National Rail Industry Plan to make way for a more coherent national approach to rail involving all state and territory governments and industry. The plan will recognise the importance of rail for infrastructure development, urban planning and freight movements, increase opportunities for Australian companies to participate in the rail supply chain, give manufacturers greater predictability, grow jobs, harmonise operational and safety standards, and foster innovation, research and development. Actions 1.  Develop manufacturing and procurement strategies to support Australian industry to participate in the rail supply chain. Strategies should address consistent requirements on local content, value for money, skills and capability acquisition, industry development, coordinating procurement to smooth out peaks and troughs, and support for local research and development. 2. Resources relevant agencies and ministerial councils to implement these strategies. 3. Coordinate a national approach to rail procurement processes. 4. Re-establish the Rail Supplier Advocate to assist Australian SMEs market their services to industry. 5. Establish nationally consistent rules to manage fatigue and drug and alcohol regulations for train crew. Mandated hours in NSW and QLD add costs to rail operators with no proven safety benefit. A national, risk-based approach to train driver hours as is in place in road transport, maritime and aviation is required. 6. Establish nationally consistent operating requirements for train crew operating across state and territory borders.




RTAA’s 8th Biennial Field Day bigger and better than ever On 3 to 4 April, 2019 the Rail Track Association Australia (RTAA), together with event host Sydney Trains, held the eighth RTAA Rail Industry Field Day, RTAA President Thomas Kerr writes.


HE EVENT WAS A RESOUNDING success with the weather holding out and numbers in full force. Over 2,000 people attended during the two-day event. It was also great to see a steady stream of students of varying ages who were keen to hear about the opportunities available within the rail industry. The event commenced with an official ceremony opened by Howard Collins OBE, Chief Executive from Sydney Trains, Elizabeth Mildwater, Deputy Secretary, Customer Technology and Services, Transport for NSW and Thomas Kerr, President of the RTAA. Our Welcome to Country Stuart McMinn from the Dharug and Wakka Wakka Nations delighted the attendees with a fantastic welcome to country including a song. Over the two-day event, there were: • 2000 plus attendees • 46 exhibitors • 32 live demonstrations • 30 school children



• 21 sponsors • 16 speakers The live demonstrations were spaced out during the event, providing demonstrations on new equipment and technology. Attendees were able to

ABOVE: Sydney Trains CEO Howard Collins speaks at the opening of the RTAA Field Day.

LEFT: Demonstrations underway.

climb in the new Speno US7 – a new High Speed Ultrasonic Machine – to see how it operates; view the tamping machine in action and watch aluminothermic welding or even participate in stretches and exercises lead by rt Health Fund. In addition to the live demonstration’s guests could also listen to a variety of speakers within the Fettlers Shed. Some of the topics included: • Alignment of disparate mechanised data sets using in system parameters, presented by Sydney Trains; • R  osehill Rail Removable Rubber, presented by Key Source Rail; • Winning Tenders, presented by Aurora Marketing; • How Alium Works uses Predictive Analytics to select and develop safety cadets • The Role of Water on squat growth under service conditions, presented by Sydney Trains; and • James Donovan spoke about his journey after winning the Frank Franklin Young Specialist Award in 2017. The RTAA Annual Awards also took place on the 3rd April at the Waterview in Bicentennial Park. This event was a sell out with close to 300 people in attendance. A number of awards were presented throughout the dinner. The first award went to DPW Plant Hire for Best on Field for both their display and their customer service. The next awards were presented to members of the RTAA who have supported the Association for 20 years plus. Award recipients were: • Broadspectrum Australia Pty Ltd • Fluor Australia • Gemco Rail Pty Ltd • Harsco Rail

• Melville Equipment Corp Pty Ltd • Pandrol Australia • Plasser Australia • Rocla • S  peno Rail Maintenance Australia Pty Ltd • Sydney Trains • Thermit Australia Pty Ltd • Voestalpine VAE Railway Systems • Vossloh Cogifer Australia Pty Ltd The winner of the Australasian Rail Diversity Award was also announced, with the award being presented to Level Crossing Removal Authority. Alium Works received a Highly Commended Award in this category. The Diversity Award was introduced in 2008 in response to the chronic skills shortage that continues to affect the Australian rail community. Diverse workforces have also been proven to increase business outcomes. Further to this, David Bainbridge was

recognised as a RTAA Life Member, in acknowledgement of his contribution and dedication to the RTAA. David served 7 years as President of the RTAA from 2010 until 2017 and remains on the committee today. During those 7 years, RTAA turned 40, had a commemorative anniversary publication and a Women in Rail Publication produced. David was involved in rewriting the constitution, revamping the website and launching the Australasian Rail Diversity Award. David has been involved in 4 Field Days and countless events held around the country. All in all the RTAA Field Day and Annual Dinner was a success, our thanks goes to our host partners Sydney Trains, sponsors, exhibitors, presenters and everyone who was involved in making the event a success. The RTAA is set to have another big and busy year with the following events and projects: Frank Franklyn Award; Technical & Networking Events held throughout the year; sponsorship of a number of University events; the launch of our members’ only area in the website; the launch of our Pearls of Wisdom project; site tours scheduled through the year and probably the most exciting project to date our Imagineer project. Follow the RTAA on social media to stay tuned for further information on our activities in 2019! Twitter: @RailTAA , LinkedIn: @Rail Track Association Australia – RTAA and Facebook: @RailTAA ABOVE: Visitors to the RTAA Field Day.

LEFT: RTAA presidents past and present: Thomas Kerr (left) and David Bainbridge (right).




Putting Australia’s freight rail vision on track Australian Logistics Council CEO Kirk Coningham OAM discusses the highlights of the recent ALC Forum 2019 in Melbourne.


the freight logistics industry’s continuing efforts to improve its social licence. Freight volumes going through major Australian ports are increasing, and it is worth bearing in mind that many of these ports are operating within inner city environments that are increasingly desirable residential locations for our growing population. Finding a way for critical freight logistics facilities like ports to co-exist harmoniously with residential developments is an immediate challenge for governments and the industry alike. As the discussion at ALC Forum 2019 highlighted, shifting freight from road onto rail in order to transport it from the port to intermodal terminals is an ideal way to reduce traffic congestion in port precincts. Some progress has been made at the jurisdictional level in recent years, such as the


HEN ALC FORUM 2019 was held in Melbourne during March, one of the key themes to emerge was that Australia is lagging behind other nations when it comes to moving freight by rail. This deficit is especially noticeable in relation to short-haul rail. Moving freight by rail, where it makes commercial sense, has the potential to significantly improve freight efficiency, while at the same time improving urban amenity, reducing road congestion and decreasing queuing times at ports. With the federal election now behind us, it is time for the Federal Government to provide national leadership in driving the sort of projects that can facilitate these productivity-enhancing outcomes. Making more effective use of shorthaul rail is not merely important from a productivity standpoint. It is also crucial to

ABOVE: Author, the Australian Logistics Council CEO Kirk Coningham.

LEFT: The Australian Logistics Council’s Forum 2019 in Melbourne.

NSW Government’s target of having 27 per cent of freight moved by rail and the focus on port rail shuttles within the Victorian Government’s freight strategy released in mid-2018. However, there is a place for greater national leadership, particularly with work now occurring to finally develop a National Rail Plan. As part of this work, the Federal Government must take immediate action to ensure that corridors are protected that will permit the construction and use of short haul rail as freight transport solution. This will help in continuing efforts to deal with road congestion, and improve the liveability of Australia’s growing cities.




Record participation in Rail R U OK? Day 2019 Harm prevention charity TrackSAFE says more than 51,000 rail employees across Australia and New Zealand got involved in the official Rail R U OK?Day in April.


HE AWARENESS-RAISING event, a joint effort of TrackSAFE and R U OK?, was first held in 2015, with around 6,500 rail employees taking part. R U OK? chief executive officer Katherine Newton said the significant growth of the event in its first five years made it a fantastic example of an entire industry getting behind the R U OK? movement. “We know that trusting your gut instinct and starting a genuine conversation with a workmate who doesn’t seem themselves can be life-changing,” Newton said. “With participation in Rail R U OK? Day having grown by almost 700 per cent since the inaugural event in 2015, rail employees from across Australia and New Zealand are transforming their workplaces into strong and resilient environments every day of the year.” In the eight-week lead up to this year’s Rail R U OK?Day, TrackSAFE and R U OK? sent ‘Quentin’, an interactive digital question mark on a trip all around Australia and New Zealand. Quentin issues educational and informative challenges to

ABOVE: Quentin visiting workers in the Pilbara.

encourage conversations between workmates, and completed its cross-country trek at Sydney Trains on Rail R U OK?Day. TrackSAFE Foundation chairman Bob Herbert – also the chair of the Australasian Railway Association – said the Rail R U OK? initiative was helping foster genuine support in workplaces across the industry. “We’re so thrilled to have such a huge number of participants involved in this year’s Rail R U OK?Day,” Herbert said. “Due to the nature of roles in the industry, some workers could potentially be exposed to traumatic incidents. And these incidents can have lasting effects. Not only this, we’re all exposed to life’s ups and downs so we want to empower rail employees to deal with confronting challenges that might be thrown their way.” Herbert said in recent years he’d heard plenty of stories of rail employees following the R U OK? advice and, noticing someone near them struggling, starting a conversation. “We place so much importance on this major initiative for this very reason and we’re so proud to see Rail R U OK?Day keep on growing year on year,” he said.

ABOVE: Rail R U OK?Day was first held in 2015.

BELOW: Just one of the many Rail R U OK?Day breakfasts.




National plan to get more women in STEM industries A ten-year plan from the Australian Academy of Science has outlined pathways to strengthening gender equality in science, technology, engineering and mathematics industries.

ABOVE: The report seeks to set out a roadmap to getting more women in STEM industries.


ROFESSOR SUE O’REILLY from the Australian Academy of Science says the underrepresentation and under-utilisation of women in the STEM workforce poses a threat to national prosperity. She says systemic changes are needed to achieve diversity. “Change can commence at the grassroots and this should not be discouraged,” O’Reilly says. “However, the systemic and sustained change required to make a step change in achieving gender equity in Australia will primarily occur when led and championed from the top.” O’Reilly’s team on April 1 presented the ‘Women in STEM Decadal Plan’, formally launched at Parliament House in Canberra. The plan, developed in partnership with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, outlines six



opportunities to strengthen gender equity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in Australia over the next 10 years. The report finds that while many organisations are taking actions at an individual level to support the attraction, retention and progression of women in STEM, extensive stakeholder consultations confirmed there is an urgent case for cohesive, systemic and sustained change. More than just a positive equality outcome, the decadal plan highlights the economic case for gender equity: a 2017 World Economic Forum report estimated closing the gender gap in economic participation by 25 per cent by 2025 could add as much as US$5.3 trillion to global gross domestic product (GDP) in the same timeframe. “It’s not just an equality perspective that’s important here, it’s a business imperative,” says Australia’s first ambassador for Women in STEM, Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith. “Australia needs to be the clever country again. We need to be getting those large tech companies to stay in Australia and we need to be developing business capabilities around the new economies and become worldwide competitive again.” The six key opportunities listed in the Decadal Plan are: 1. Leadership: stronger cohesion and leadership across the STEM ecosystem across Australia would amplify and strengthen diversity outcomes. 2. Evaluation: establishing a national evaluation framework will guide decision making and drive investment and effort into measures that work. 3. Workplace culture: a significant cultural shift in workplaces is necessary to create gender equity for women in STEM. 4. Visibility: continually seeing women in diverse STEM careers, and equally represented in the media, in public events, and in non-public facing forums like boardrooms and classrooms would

provide role models for girls and women and inspire a nation. 5. Education: strengthening the education system to support teaching and learning at a national scale would enable and encourage all girls and women at all levels to study STEM subjects and equip them with the skills and knowledge to participate in diverse STEM careers. 6. Industry action: establishing a national framework that guides and provides tools to address gender diversity amongst SMEs would reach and impact the vast majority of businesses not reached by existing programs. Against each opportunity are strategic recommendations that government, academia, industry, the education sector and the community can individually and collectively customise to their sectors. The full report is available at

Awards to showcase Women in Industry

Rail Express will proudly take part in the Women in Industry Awards, which will be held on June 6, 2019 at The Park in Melbourne. The awards seek to facilitate a higher level of network integration and development opportunities for women in industrial and transport markets, and to acknowledge and celebrate outstanding achievements within those markets. Categories at the 2019 awards include Social Leader of the Year, Rising Star of the Year, Business Development Manager of the Year, the Industry Advocacy Award, the Safety Advocacy Award, Mentor of the Year, Excellence in Manufacturing, Excellence in Mining and Excellence in Engineering. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Visit for more information.

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