Freight Rail, Intermodal, Major Projects & Infrastructure, Operations & Maintenance, Plant, Machinery & Equipment

Arc autonomous rail wagons considered for Westport

The Western Australian government’s Westport project has completed its Landside Logistics Opportunities Study (LLOS), which considered how to move containers to and from the future port at Kwinana.

Westport aims to reshape the future of the state’s container freight supply chain by relocating the primary container terminal from the current site at Fremantle, delivering a modern solution that can serve WA’s long term freight needs over the next 50 years. The long-term program will investigate, plan and build the Kwinana facility with integrated road and rail transport networks.

As part of Westport’s engagement with supply chain stakeholders during the LLOS, Arc Infrastructure presented its concept for autonomous rail container wagons, developed with Westport in mind, utilising existing technology from numerous industries and applying them to a rail scenario. With support from technology consultancy Interfuze, Arc delivered a concept of operations in late 2021.

The LLOS identified autonomous rail container wagons as one of the most prospective innovations in enabling a more efficient and sustainable logistics network in the future.

Arc is now focused on continuing the development of its autonomous rail container wagon and will share findings with Westport as part of the next phase, the Supply Chain Integrated Design project (SCID).

The SCID consortium, led by WSP Australia, will model and refine design options for the new port, and supporting road and rail networks, contributing to the delivery of a Westport Business Case by mid-2024.

Arc Infrastructure chief executive officer Murray Cook said after spending more than two years developing the concept, it was exciting to see Westport embrace the opportunity to further examine the benefits autonomous rail container wagons could deliver to the future port.

“Westport presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to incorporate new technologies that could dramatically improve port and supply chain efficiency,” he said.

“We are delighted that the idea to explore autonomous rail container wagons is being considered, and we look forward to contributing to the Supply Chain Integrated Design project.”