Freight Rail, Passenger Rail, Technology and IT

ARA Smart Rail Route Map report released

The Australasian Rail Association (ARA) has released a report on long-term priorities and actions for the development of digital and telecommunication technologies within the rail industry.

Produced in collaboration with industry, and supported by the Rail Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and Deakin University, the Smart Rail Route Map provides a 30-year guide for helping the rail industry plan for the rapidly changing technology landscape.

The Smart Rail interim report identifies ten programs, actions and initiatives identified by industry members as high-level priorities for development:

  • Disruption management for passenger rail
  • Customised information services for passenger rail
  • Predictive journey planning techniques for passenger rail
  • Real-time information for freight customers
  • Data sharing across the supply-chain
  • Identify key data requirements for T&MN
  • AI and automation for system management
  • Management for technology legacy systems
  • Up skill the industry
  • Improve safety through advanced technology

Twelve longer-term initiatives have also been mapped out in the report.

ARA CEO Danny Broad said the map provided an overarching framework that will help prepare the rail industry for the surging “technological revolution” in the sector.

“Inherent in this is an understanding of the risks and obstacles that are likely to emerge. In a changing technological paradigm, Smart Rail provides a framework in relation to standardisation, integration and harmonisation,” Broad said.

“Smart Rail was developed by industry, for industry, with over 250 industry representatives involved in its creation. It has been fantastic to witness the high level of industry engagement.”

The Map has been developed using Deakin University’s systems-modelling approach, while the Rail Manufacturing CRC is providing funding under the federal government’s Business Cooperative Research Centres Program.

Rail Manufacturing CRC CEO Stuart Thomson said that the leading role of the industry in developing the Map would help its aims be realised going forward.

“Collaboration of this kind is the first step to ensure the outcomes of Smart Rail are implemented and will add value to Australasia’s rail industry,” Thomson said.

The ARA will be establishing an executive management committee to drive the implementation of the Smart Rail Route Map initiatives.