Safety, Standards & Regulation, Signalling & Communications

Bringing the World to the West

The 2019 International Railway Safety Council Conference comes to Australia in October, with the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board proudly nominated to host.

Innovation, technology and risk management will all be on the agenda at the 2019 International Railway Safety Council conference in Perth this October.

The International Railway Safety Council (IRSC) provides a forum for an in-depth exchange of experience and lessons for improving railway safety and is exclusively devoted to railway safety issues.

The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) is very pleased to have been nominated the host of IRSC 2019 at the committee’s meeting in Ireland last year. The conference is being co-organised by RISSB, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), and the Office of the National Safety Regulator (ONRSR) and will be held at the Hyatt Regency Perth on 13-18 October 2019.

The theme of this year’s conference is Innovation and Technology: Changing the Future of Rail Safety. Presentations will focus on three conference sub-themes:

  • Ensuring Railway Safety in New Technology and Work Practices
  • Maintaining Interoperability in Innovation
  • Can Risk Management and Assurance Keep Pace with Technology?

Delegates from around the world will join expert speakers from Australia to share ideas and develop an understanding of the role all stakeholders can play in improving industry’s safety record.

In Australia, rail safety is managed under a co-regulatory model and has one of the safest, most productive global railway networks. Each year almost one billion passenger journeys transport Australians on heavy and light rail networks in capital cities and on regional services.

Around 1.3 billion tonnes of freight, primarily bulk commodities, are moved on rail each year. (Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics and the Australasian Railway Association, 2018). The Pilbara region in Western Australia accounts for over 90% of Australia’s iron ore exports. With more than 44, 000 km of track, Australia has the sixth largest rail network in the world and Melbourne has the longest tram network in the world.

Hosting this conference will provide an opportunity to share Australian experiences as well as learn from our overseas counterparts who may face similar safety challenges, increasing our collective understanding of how to meet the demands of the future.

The IRSC organising committee launched its full program last month featuring leading national and international speakers. Keynote speaker, Captain David Evans, Check Captain on board QF32 during an uncontained engine failure, will join a diversity of industry leaders to discuss the complex challenges facing rail safety professionals.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Laurent Cebulski – Authorisations Director, Etablissement Public de Sécurité Ferroviaire, (France)
  • Eva-Lotta Högberg, Senior Rail Safety Investigator, Swedish Accident Investigation Authority (Sweden)
  • Sue McCarrey – Chief Executive, ONRSR, (Australia)
  • CF Chan – Assistant Director/Railways, EMSD, Hong Kong SAR Government, (Hong Kong)
  • Jen Ablitt – Deputy Director, Safety Strategy, ORR and Head of Channel Tunnel Safety Authority, (United Kingdom)
  • Eunkyung Chae – Senior Researcher, Korea Railroad Research Institute (South Korea)
  • Jaime Maguire, Director of Safety Programs, Harsco Rail (USA)
  • Toshiyuki Murai, General Secretary, Morioka Sinkansen Branch, JREU (Japan)
  • David Milburn – Senior Technical Director, Global Leader – Digital Train Control, GHD, (Australia)
  • Manprit Singh Baweja – Regional Manager – APAC, FOGTEC BRANDSCHUTZ GMBH, (Germany)

Catering to everyone in the rail industry, the program also features stakeholder meetings, plenary sessions, technical visits (Speno Rail and Roy Hill’s Remote Operations Centre in Perth) a dynamic partners program and exciting social events, including a welcome reception sponsored by Arc Infrastructure.

Apart from the business sessions, the conference will give delegates a chance to relax, unwind and build their professional networks while experiencing all that Western Australia has to offer.

The conference will be formally launched at the delegate welcome reception at the iconic Perth Surf Lifesaving Club located just metres away from picturesque City Beach.

The best of the region’s fare will be showcased at the conference dinner at Sandalford Wines, Caversham (Swan Valley). Delegates will feast on seasonal local produce paired with Sandalford’s award-winning wines.

The partners program offers unique opportunities to experience all that West Australia has to offer on exclusive optional trips to Penguin Island, the Pinnacles Desert / Yanchep National Park, Swan Valley and Caversham Wildlife Park.

To access the IRSC 2019 agenda and to register to attend the event, visit the 2019 conference website: