Passenger Rail

ARA Light Rail agenda revealed

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has announced the agenda for the Light Rail 2020 Conference, to be held in Canberra on March 4 and 5.

Under the theme “Light Rail: Building Better Connections for a Smart and Sustainable Future”, talks and panels will range from updates on the latest light rail projects, to technical discussions, and forums on the future of the transport mode, the Canberra conference is situated amid the expansion of light rail systems across Australia.

Opening the conference will be Caroline Wilkie, the new CEO of the ARA, ahead of a focus on light rail developments in the nation’s capital. These sessions will be followed by a presentation from Glenn Bentley, chief executive officer of ALTRAC, the consortium which delivered the Sydney Light Rail, and includes Alstom, Transdev, Acciona Infrastructure Australia and Capella Capital. Updates on light rail on the Gold Coast and in Parramatta will also be delivered.

Light Rail 2020 will also showcase the latest in light rail systems and technology. Sessions in this area will cover safety developments, tram corridor design, and performance regimes.

As governments turn to light rail as a cost-effective solution to reducing car use and congestion, Light Rail 2020 will look at where the future of the transport mode is headed. Sessions on onboard energy storage systems, the use of data, and new cooling technologies, will point towards where the sector is heading, while Andrea Bastianelli, light rail product line manager at Thales will share insights from upgrading light rail signalling in an operating environment.

To gain a full insight into a current light rail project, there will be a site visit to the Canberra Metro Operations depot.

In between sessions there will be the opportunity to network with industry leaders, and the Conference dinner at the end of day one will be held at the National Portrait Gallery.

Packages are available now, with discounts for ARA members and young rail professionals.

Confirmed speakers are:

  • Caroline Wilkie, CEO, Australasian Railway Association (ARA)
  • Glenn Bentley, CEO, ALTRAC;
  • Julien Dehornoy, CEO, Yarra Trams;
  • Chris Steel MLA, Minister for Transport, Minister for City Services, Minister for Roads and Active Travel, Minister for Recycling and Waste Reduction, Minister for Multicultural Affairs;
  • Duncan Edghill, chief projects officer, Major Projects Canberra;
  • Brian Brennan, chief officer, Light Rail Operations, Transdev Australasia;
  • Tilo Franz, general manager, Operations & Maintenance, CMET;
  • Michelle Batsas, executive director, International Association of Public Transport (UITP);
  • Anand Thomas, program director, Parramatta Light Rail, Transport for NSW;
  • Michelle Blicavs, CEO, Consulting Surveyors National;
  • Jean-Francois Blanc, solution director, Tramway Systems, Alstom;
  • Dr Ali Parvizi, national marketing & sales, Traction, ABB Australia;
  • Becky Wood, global service leader, Rail & Mass Transit, Aurecon;
  • Steve Dudley, technical director, Aurecon;
  • Mike Ford, senior track & civil design engineer, Jacobs;
  • Anna Loughnan, graduate civil engineer, Jacobs;
  • Michael Charlesworth, HSEQ manager, Speno Rail Maintenance Australia;
  • Ash Athukoralalage, wheel/rail interface engineer, Speno Rail Maintenance Australia;
  • Paul Fergusson, team lead project management services (Newcastle), SNC-Lavalin Atkins;
  • Kenneth Ooi, senior consultant, SNC-Lavalin Atkins; and
  • Scott Ney, section executive, Transport Advisory and Planning, WSP.