AusRAIL, Market Sectors

AusRAIL PLUS 2013 Live: Wednesday November 27

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Welcome to day two of the Rail Express live blog from AusRAIL PLUS 2013. We’ll be updating this page between 9am and 5pm AEST. Refresh the page to check for updates! </span> <p><strong>9.22am:</strong>&nbspGood morning everyone, and welcome to day two of our AusRAIL PLUS 2013 live blog. We’ll be updating from the various sessions and streams we attend between 9am and 5pm AEST.</p><p>Day one was absolutely huge (<em>literally</em>, we’re guessing the exhibition alone is almost a kilometer long) and we’re really looking forward to bringing you all the highlights from the second day of the biggest rail conference in the southern hemisphere.</p><p>If you missed our live blog yesterday, <a href=""><strong>click here to read it</strong></a>.</p><p><strong>Highlights include:</strong></p><ul><li>Brand new rail research centre launched</li><li>CEO of ARTC John Fullerton says&nbsp<span style="line-height: normal">OZ freight rail industry has never been in a better state as it is now.</span></li><li>&quotinvesting in our nation’s future engineers is investing in the future of our rail industry&quot</li><li>Austrade on Saudi Arabia: ‘It needs rail and it needs it now.&quot</li><li><a href=""><strong>Plus much more</strong></a>!</li></ul><p><br />Feel free to add any comments below or tweet us:&nbsp<a href=""><strong style="line-height: 1.5em">@RailExpressNews</strong></a></p><hr /><p><strong>9.26am: </strong>Here’s the highlights reel from day one to get our day two blog underway!</p><p>Remember if you’re in, near or heading to Sydney, you can attend the exhibition for free by registering here <a href=""><strong></strong></a> or just heading down to the Sydney Convention &amp Exhibition Centre (SCEC) and registering at the door.<br /><br />On a side note, it’s also your last chance to see the SCEC before it closes AusRAIL PLUS 2013 is the very last exhibition it will host before it’s knocked down in a few weeks time.</p><center><iframe height="315" src="" frameborder="0" width="450" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></center><p>&nbsp</p><hr /><p><strong>9.30am:</strong>&nbspLive from the&nbspCEO forum this morning, on Rail Suppliers: Siemens vice president, Paul Bennett, says Sydney Rail’s transition into the use of a European Train Control System (ETCS) is taking too long: &quotRailCorp purchased ETCS three years ago and it’s not here yet,&quot he says. &quotI wonder if we’ve done enough to roll it out quickly enough.&quot</p><hr /><p><strong>9.35am:</strong>&nbspThe conversation shifts to the nature of tenders in Australia. Hitachi Rail’s&nbspAndy Barr says he likes to work closely with other parties in the tender process, so it’s not a surprise when the tender comes in. A standardised procurement process would be a good thing to develop, he adds.</p><hr /><p><strong>9.40am:</strong>&nbspRoss Spicer,&nbspCEO of Downer Rail, argues that government tender processes can take too long. He says private operators are always quicker with their tenders because they recognise the value of a quicker process.</p><p>Bernard Joyce, managing director of Alstom Transport, however, reasons that government tenders have some right to take a little longer. &quotIt’s not an easy equation,&quot he says. &quotThese are often once in a generation decisions … time needs to be taken to make sure the right decision is made.&quot</p><hr /><p><strong>9.50am:</strong>&nbspResponding to a key point made in yesterday’s CEO&nbspforum – that rail needs to make more progress in the way of innovation – Bradken’s head of rail, Stephen Cantwell, says he disagrees.</p><p>&quotLook, you could certainly mount an argument that there’s enough innovation in the rail industry,&quot he argues. &quotThis idea that rail doesn’t engage with technology is just one that I don’t subscribe to … but the thing is you can’t take too much risk in the rail industry.&quot</p><hr /><p><strong>9.55am:</strong>&nbspRoss Spicer says he doesn’t know why the Australian industry has been so slow on the uptake of maintenance-focused data collection technology, &quotBut we are [using the technology and data] now, and we have to keep doing that more and more.</p><p>&quotWhy we weren’t doing it ten years ago I don’t know.&quot</p><hr /><p><strong>10.05am:</strong>&nbspAnsaldo STS Australia’s chairman, Lyle Jackson, concludes the forum by saying innovation in rail has not just been seen in the physical infrastructure side, but also in rail systems.</p><hr /><p><b>11.15am: </b>Responding to a question from the forum’s moderator Bryan Nye, on whether the growing presence of Chinese locos and wagons on Australia’s rail network were a threat or opportunity, Bradken’s Stephen Cantwell said that this was just a product of the open market that Australia operates in.<br />However, he made the point that the government needs to create a policy environment that enables a level playing field.<br />“The policy environment also needs to impose upon some of the new entrants into the Australian environment some sort of discipline around how they price their products,” he added.</p><hr /><p><b>11.20am:&nbsp</b><span style="line-height: normal">Albert Goller, chairman of META, is giving his take on the future of manufacturing in Australia. He says innovation is key to the future of the industry, and the industry needs to stop this &quotnonsense&quot thinking that it is a small industry. &quotWhy are all these people here?&quot he questions.</span></p><div>He gives manufacturers some advice: &quotIf you’re not close to your market and your customers, creating new products to make their life easier, then you’re gone,&quot and observes: &quotThe key to almost everything is leadership. Missing leadership in a company cannot be replaced.&quot