Freight Rail, Industry Infrastructure, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Track Construction, Track Construction

A modern approach for railway infrastructure

DT Infrastructure has been brought under the banner of Gamuda Berhad and is changing the way infrastructure is delivered in Australia.

DT Infrastructure is utilising its change of name as a catalyst to shake up the infrastructure sector and lead the industry’s cultural change, with a focus on people and its culture.

For almost 10 years the infrastructure projects division of Downer successfully delivered multi-disciplined solutions for customers. Acquired by Gamuda Berhad in June 2023, the new organisation is continuing this legacy. The leadership and 1,200 strong team transitioned from Downer to DT Infrastructure, retaining their experience and capability in the delivery of complex projects.

Specialised capabilities include the design and construction of light and heavy rail, signalling, track and station works, rail safety technology, roads and bridges, energy and defence. 

DT Infrastructure’s transport and rail capability is further strengthened by Gamuda’s Asia-Pacific expertise, which has delivered turnkey metro rail projects including the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transport lines (KVMRT), entailing over 100km of metro rail track and 65 new stations in Kuala Lumpur.

Rail Express spoke with WA/SA Operations Manager Brian Ross to better understand the organisation and how it is positioning itself under the Gamuda Berhad banner.

“My passion is for safety and elevating individuals to achieve at their highest levels. This is how I believe we can create a high performing organisation,” Ross said.

Ross spoke about how empowering a team – not just leaders – produces success. IMAGES: DT Infrastructure

“We take the quality we have developed amongst our team and deliver it to our clients”.

“We are more than just a contractor that focusses on revenue; we are a genuine company fostering  genuine long-term relationships built on success.”

How to deliver
infrastructure projects

DT Infrastructure offers a collaborative approach to its delivery of infrastructure to the rail industry. It has a clear understanding of the unique challenges freight rail has compared to passenger.

“What we do is listen to the client to understand their need, and then work with them to achieve the best outcome” he said.

“We build a relationship over time, which then comes with the trust required to share the risk with the client where possible. We understand some risk cannot be managed entirely by the contractor in the operational space for freight and Heavy Haul railways.

“This approach through collaboration allows us to improve our internal processes and also how we work with external partners.”

Ross went on to explain how he believes DT Infrastructure can deliver projects to the highest quality.

“Something we pride ourselves on is that we are honest with clients and ourselves about what we offer,” he said.

“We work closely with clients and other industry partners to deliver the outcome that is required. DT Infrastructure are one of the few contractors who can deliver ’turnkey’ solutions in rail, however, if clients require an expanded scope, we also lead collaborative efforts between all delivery partners and the client. Bringing together the right people for the jobs means a positive outcome for all stakeholders,” he said. 

“You have to have the confidence to challenge yourselves to try something new, that is how you grow.” 

Heavy Haul Rail presentation

Ross had the opportunity to speak at the Heavy Haul Rail Conference. 

The event brought together key decision makers and the agenda showcased the best in local and international project expertise and gave attendees an understanding of the strategic direction of major players together with critical industry and market updates to ensure efficient, safe and reliable operations in Perth.

Ross spoke around the importance of strong culture. This passion ensures team members make it home safely at the end of the day. He touched on an experience he had when he first entered a leadership position at a different organisation.

“There was an accident, and I sat down with my manager, and he asked me why it happened,” he said.

“I began explaining the reasons, the lessons learnt and the investigation conclusions. But he stopped me and again asked why it happened.

My manager asked me:  “Why are people coming to work and taking risks.”

Following some training which enlightened Ross’ thinking about people, culture, and the connection between values and [safety] performance Ross said he “discovered we were paying too much attention to the wrong aspects of safety performance and not enough understanding our people, their backgrounds, their value systems and behaviours,” Ross said.

“People were taking shortcuts because they thought it was the best way to do something, instead of following carefully laid out plans and putting their own safety and the safety of their colleagues front of mind at each step.”

The DT Infrastructure team attended the Heavy Haul Rail conference in Perth. IMAGES: DT Infrastructure

“The team were not engaged through their value system, and this is what I believe is a significant factor in risks being taken, which can result in accidents.”

Ross explained that everyone wants to come to work and contribute and feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. People want to leave a legacy, and this includes the team that they work in.  This is what he and the team at DT Infrastructure do to ensure it delivers high quality projects.

“When I re-joined the industry in WA in 2021, I made the decision that we needed to make a paradigm shift,” Ross said.

“I use the phrase ‘paradigm shift’ as opposed to ‘step change’ because it represents a fundamental change; it addresses the underlying issues we are facing.

“A lot of what we do is deeply embedded over time because of attitudes, assumed ways of thinking, penalties or incentives, and industry norms.”

Ross went on to detail the importance of setting expectations to mitigate risks. He also emphasised the importance of bringing the team along for the ride. 

“It is important that we value the diversity that we have in our workplace,” he said.

“We do not need to just empower leaders – empowering the whole team ensures they are successful.” 

strengthened by Gamuda

Gamuda Berhad is a regional engineering, property and infrastructure company based in Malaysia. 

Established in 1976, Gamuda have become Malaysia’s leading infrastructure and property developers, providing innovative solutions and delivering sustainable developments. 

Gamuda operates in nine countries – Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, United Kingdom, India, Vietnam, Bahrain and Qatar.

“It has been a highly positive journey,” Ross said.

“The organisation is very open to our current knowledge and systems, and do not necessarily want to replace that with their own processes. 

“They are willing to look at what we have and establish if it is the right fit, or if Gamuda have a better program that they can bring to the table.”

DT Infrastructure is updating its IT processes currently, an example of identifying processes that Gamuda has that would improve the work DT Infrastructure is doing.

“We can take the parts that have worked well for us and combine it with Gamuda’s to create a system tailored to our needs,” he said.

DT Infrastructure operates as a standalone company within the Gamuda Berhad group in the Australian market. The establishment of DT Infrastructure complements the growth and success of Gamuda’s continued expansion in Australia, which began in 2019 with three major project wins and revenue of more than $3.3 billion.