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New to the industry? This one’s for you!

by Rail Express last modified Apr 18, 2012 12:56 PM
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Rail industry Fundamentals is a two-day intensive course produced by IIR Executive Development and is designed to equip newcomers to the rail industry with a comprehensive overview of all the key aspects of their new field.

Rail Express spoke with course instructor and senior consultant transport planning at Plateway, David Lewis, about Rail Industry Fundamentals and the benefits it will offer participants.

REX: What are the benefits that this sort of course will offer to rail industry professionals?

Lewis: I am expecting that participants will come away with a better understanding of railway fundamentals that clarifies the purpose of this form of transport, what shape it takes in Australia and its future potential from both a take on the nuts and bolts to a pragmatic economic perspective.

REX: Can you give Rail Express readers some idea of the course content?

Lewis: The course is based around modules that develop from railway basics through to more complex aspects of railway operations, safety management and business structure. I intend to utilise some practical sessions as well as a short excursion to a railway facility.

REX: What are some of the key learning outcomes?

Lewis: I would expect that participants would have an outline view of the rail industry from the basics of “what is a train?” to advanced concepts found in complex rail systems. They should be able to recognise and describe the fundamentals of physical aspects of the railway. Participants should have a better idea of the fundamentals of rail transportation funding and should have the confidence to be able to discuss basic Australian rail industry structure and regulation. Overall participants should be able to recount an informed and well-rounded understanding of the rail industry and its importance as a transport mode in the Australian context.

REX: What is your background in the industry?

Lewis: I had a passion for the industry as a child growing up in southern NSW, and did what a lot of school leavers did then, joined the railways. I recognised early on that the rail industry needed to reform to remain competitive in the land transport sector but sometime later left the industry and pursued other career choices. In the mid-90s I returned first as a volunteer then later as executive officer of the rail industry lobby group Rail 2000 Inc. This organisation had as one of its core values the belief that with appropriate levels of reform railways could operate efficiently, and that placed on an even keel with other transport modes, could be developed as an effective contributor to Australia’s transport task, value adding to the Australian lifestyle. After a further period working with a small rail consultancy I again left the rail industry to pursue work in the emerging field of information technology. With more formal qualifications in the transport industry I have recently returned to my current rail consultancy and planning role with Plateway Pty Ltd. This firm embodies many of those values I hold and we endeavour to provide high level analysis and advice based on factual evidence of the rail industry.

REX: What will be your approach with Rail Industry Fundamentals and what do you bring to your role as the course instructor?

Lewis: I am a fairly laid back kind of person but have a real passion for the industry. I hope to impart some of that enthusiasm to course participants in sessions that involve a fair amount of participation, questions and answers and a site visit.

REX: Is this course designed for those who are new to the Australian rail industry or can it also benefit existing rail industry professionals?

Lewis: The course is mostly aimed at newcomers to the rail industry, especially new graduates and those coming into industry auxiliary roles as diverse as personal assistants or consultant writers. It would also be applicable to those professionals new to rail, such as engineers, occupational health and safety workers or even CEOs. Among other things, I want to challenge traditional views on rail as a diminishing transport form as we take a look at its versatility and the benefits the industry brings to ordinary Australians.

REX: David, any further comments?

Lewis: We are advertising two sessions in this initial phase but if companies feel they have scope for an in-house course, we would be very willing to tailor Rail Industry Fundamentals to the specific needs of different organisations.

Rail Industry Fundamentals
Dates and Venues 2012

Brisbane 31 July – 1 August
Melbourne 12 – 13 September

For more information and to register please visit:
Phone: +61 2 9080 4050


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