Carmichael coal map. Photo: Shutterstock / Graphic: Adani

Carmichael granted ‘critical’ status

Queensland’s Palaszczuk Government has declared Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine and rail project as ‘critical infrastructure’, in an effort to reduce the red tape remaining for the $22 billion project to go ahead.

The state government announced on Sunday, October 9 the combined mine, rail and associated water infrastructure had all been declared critical.

“This step bundles together major elements of the project for the first time,” state development minister Dr Anthony Lynham said.

Together in the critical infrastructure package are the mine, the 389-kilometre rail line, and the water infrastructure which includes a pipeline, pumping stations and a dam upgrade.

Lynham said the move from the Government would make it easier for Adani to get approvals for the infrastructure.

The Indian coal miner and energy business has already won 22 Commonwealth, state and local government approvals for the Carmichael project since the Palaszczuk Government came into government in early 2015.

“At a state level, the only key approvals remaining are water licenses and Adani is actively working on those with my Department of Natural Resources and Mines,” Lynham said.

“I know that regional communities particularly will welcome the advice from Adani that construction of the project is set to begin in 2017.”

Freight rail track - stock - credit Shutterstock (8)

ACRI-funded study to boost life cycle of tracks

A $545,000 grant will allow a team from CQUniversity’s Centre for Railway Engineering to deliver research aimed at boosting the life cycle of railway tracks.

CQUniversity associate professor Maksym Spiryagin, the project’s leader, said the work needs to be done to remedy the impacts modern, more powerful trains have on the railway track infrastructure.

“We are advancing our computer simulation methodologies to understand the behaviour of locomotives used for heavy-haul trains, in order to determine the best possible driving strategies each locomotive should use,” Spiryagin said.

“The project will investigate the impact of increasing locomotive traction and braking forces, provide insight into track damage prevention and focus on the development of proper maintenance strategies.”

The project is expected to take place over the next three-and-a-half years, and has been funded by the Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI).

Spiryagin’s project team includes chief investigators Professor Peter Wolfs, Professor Colin Cole, Dr Nirmal Mandal and Dr Yan Quan Sun.

In addition, the project team will be joined by Dr Qing Wu, who is a recent graduate of a PhD program at CQUniversity, in the role of postdoctoral researcher.

Australasian Rail Directory 2017 closing soon. Are you listed?

New and updated listings will soon close for the sixth annual addition of The Australasian Rail Directory, which will be released by Rail Express at AusRAIL in November. Is your company listed? Click here to check.

If you’re not listed, and you’d like to be, click here to place your free listing, or risk missing out for another year.

About The Australasian Rail Directory

Produced by the Australasian Railway Association and Informa, publisher of Rail Express, The Australasian Rail Directory is an industry-driven project to provide a complete overview of all the businesses involved in the Australian, Oceanic and Asian rail industries.

By linking all facets of the rail marketplace from tenders to manufacture, supply, repair, passenger services and everything in-between, The Australasian Rail Directory is an essential reference tool with a long shelf life for sourcing new contacts, and refreshing old ones.

Would you like to stand out with an upgraded listing?

Our 2017 edition will feature more than 1000 listings over 190 pages. To stand out we have several options such as logo listings, extended text, and multiple category listings – all provided at cost-effective rates.

Please contact for more information.

Limited display advertising positions also remain

The Australasian Rail Directory is circulated to all delegates of the Asia-Pacific’s most influential rail event, AusRAIL, and to the entire membership of the Australasian Railway Association.

Please contact for more information about advertising in this year’s edition.

Bryan Nye photo Informa

Nye driven by a passion for progress

On September 12, 2016, the Australian and New Zealand rail industry was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Australasian Railway Association chief executive officer, Bryan Nye OAM.

Nye worked tirelessly towards improving the rail industry, and its contribution in both Australia and New Zealand, throughout his time at the ARA, from 2003 until his retirement in April 2015.

Upon his retirement, Nye recalled how he and his staff had built what is now the industry’s peak body from the ground up.

“We had to build a credibility within the industry,” he told Rail Express in 2015.

“First, to establish that we were an actual industry, by getting people to work together. Getting them to work with each other, and to build up that relationship, in a way, was the first challenge.

“Once we got them to work together, we were able to start doing other things.

“When the industry can do things together – AusRAIL, courses, all these things – the outcome is great.”

Driven by a passion for national prosperity, Nye bound together the RTSA, the RTAA and the IRSE to form the industry collaboration which is still evident in AusRAIL. Nye and Rail Express publisher, Informa Australia, worked together from 2003 in growing AusRAIL, and other ARA events.

“Through these events he increased the ARA’s credibility within the industry and government and established the ARA as a powerful peak body,” Informa Australia managing director Spiro Anemogiannis said on Monday.

“Bryan was a powerful ally to the rail industry, and his passion for a better Australia and New Zealand was evident through his work.”

“Bryan’s passion and advocacy was inspiring,” AusRAIL conference manager Tina Karas added.

“Throughout our partnership, his industry leadership was reflected in the diversified focus of new and evolving events that highlighted the importance of rail’s role in the national agenda. He championed the sustainability, efficiency and safety of rail at every opportunity.

“On a personal note, all who worked with him will be grateful for his encouragement in championing the team’s individual talents.”

Bryan will be greatly missed by the Informa Australia staff. Our thoughts are with his wife Claudia, his two children, and his seven grandchildren.

Vale Bryan Nye OAM

The rail industry is mourning the loss of one of its greatest champions this week, following the passing of former Australasian Railway Association chief executive, Bryan Nye OAM.

Nye headed the ARA from 2003 until his retirement in 2015. The ARA published the following on Monday afternoon:

ARA Chairman Bob Herbert AM, the ARA Board, CEO Danny Broad and staff are saddened to advise industry of the passing of former CEO, Bryan Nye OAM, who headed the ARA from 2003 until his retirement in 2015.

Bryan had been battling Motor Neuron Disease since 2014 and sadly lost his battle in the early hours of Monday 12 September 2016.

Bryan headed the ARA during a time of great change. Australia’s rail industry is the beneficiary.

He had a long and distinguished career in rail, working tirelessly to promote the industry and its role in the Australian economy. During his 12 year tenure as CEO, he was a determined advocate for transport reform; actively promoting passenger, freight, light rail and high speed rail throughout Australia and internationally.

When he joined ARA in 2003, he relocated the office to Canberra, uniting industry to work cohesively on common issues. He established the ARA’s credibility within the industry and government alike, sharing his passion and vision for rail’s long-term growth and transformation.

In 2005, Bryan established the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB), guiding the industry to harmonise practices and establish national standards. He led a long campaign for a national rail Regulator, culminating in the establishment of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator in 2013 and, through the ARA and UGL, Bryan was instrumental in establishing the TrackSAFE Foundation.

In 2014 Bryan was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in recognition for his services to the rail industry and the business sector.

Bryan was admired by the rail industry family, respected by government and bureaucrats alike and loved by the ARA staff. As well as being an inspirational leader, he was a father figure for many ARA staff members and greatly respected by all.

He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his wife Claudia, his children Aaron and Naomi and his seven grandchildren.

Condolences to Claudia and the Nye family can be sent via

First train leaves Arrium mill for rail upgrade program

The first train carrying steel rail to upgrade South Australia’s rail network has rolled out of Arrium’s Whyalla steel mill, as part of a program aimed at keeping the struggling plant in business.

A newly executed contract between the Australian Rail Track Corporation, and KordaMentha – the appointed administrators of Arrium – will result in 73,000 tonnes of steel rail out of the Whyalla plant over the next three years.

Arrium, an ASX-listed mining and steel business, went into voluntary administration in April under a debt burden of more than $2 billion, exacerbated by a collapsed iron ore price.

One of the most public results of the company’s administration was the threat to jobs at the Whyalla steel mill.

The rail upgrade project was announced in March by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who said the mill could be kept open by supplying steel to upgrade a 600 kilometre section of ARTC railway between Adelaide and Tarcoola.

The existing 47kg per metre rail is being replaced with 60kg per metre rail, raising maximum axle weight from 23 tonnes to 25 tonnes at 80km/h.

ARTC boss John Fullerton said the Corporation had been busy finalising a careful, staged rollout plan for the project, but had focused on making early orders of steel.

“The existing rail between Adelaide and Tarcoola has been nearing the end of life and the new rail delivered by this contract will allow rail operators to carry heavier wagons of freight at faster speeds,” Fullerton said.

“This means ongoing benefits from this project for Australian businesses and ultimately, consumers.”

Federal infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester joined federal member for Grey, Rowan Ramsay, and federal industry, innovation and science minister Greg Hunt at the Whyalla mill to witness the first train’s departure on September 8.

“We are boosting the economy and saving money for freight companies by upgrading this 1200 kilometres of rail to move more freight, faster between Adelaide and Tarcoola,” Chester said.

Ramsey said the contract would result in both direct and indirect jobs in the region.

“The contract helps secure an order of steel worth tens of millions of dollars, providing added volume through the Whyalla Steelworks and creating up to 130 direct and indirect local jobs on the re-railing project,” the local member explained.

Hunt said the Whyalla contract is not the only place the Coalition is supporting Australian steel work.

“In addition to using Arrium’s steel for the railway, we are supporting the industry by using Australian steel across our naval shipbuilding program and by strengthening Australia’s anti-dumping system,” Hunt said.

The Adelaide-Tarcoola upgrade is being fully funded by the Federal Government.

Murray Basin rail works progressing

Victorian public transport minister Jacinta Allan has declared stage one of the Murray Basin rail network upgrade complete, and has outlined what’s in store for the second stage of the transformative project.

Allan, who visited Maryborough on Monday, said $40 million in stage one works had delivered vital upgrades to the Mildura and Hopetoun rail line, with more than 175,000 sleepers and 3,400 meters of rail installed.

The minister said stage two of the project involves the gauge conversion of the rail lines between Yelta and Maryborough, and also between Ouyen and Murrayville. The lines will need to be shut for five months for that work to take place.

Allan said the works will include upgrading and re-opening the Maryborough to Ararat rail line which has been closed for more than a decade. Vegetation removal on the line will commence shortly, enabling the construction works to begin in July 2017.

Works will also include increasing axle loading on the lines from 19 to 21 tonnes, allowing the freight industry to deliver larger volumes of goods to export sites on the coast.

A number of level crossings along the Maryborough to Ararat line will be closed as part of the work, and individually assessed against safety criteria.

A project office will be established at the Maryborough railway station to enable local residents and businesses to conveniently access members of the project team.

The Andrews Government says stages 3 and 4 of the Murray Basin rail work program will depend on funding from the Commonwealth Government.

“The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with transforming Victoria’s rail freight network,” Allan said. “We’re boosting capacity, safety and reliability of freight services in regional Victoria so we can meet the future growth of the region.”

Australasian Railway Association chief executive Danny Broad. Photo:

AusRAIL plenary speakers announced

An impressive selection of speakers have been announced to present their ideas, opinions and insight during the Plenary conference sessions at this year’s AusRAIL Conference and Exhibition, which will take place in Adelaide on November 22 and 23.

Rail Express is the official media partner of AusRAIL, the Australasian Railway Association’s annual exhibition and conference.

You can download your copy of the AusRAIL 2016 brochure here. The following schedule has been announced (subject to change):


Day 1 – November 22, 2016

7:30 Registration and morning coffee

9:00 Welcome and opening remarks: Danny Broad, CEO, Australasian Railway Association (ARA)

9:10 Market outlook for Australia: Adrian Hart, Senior Manager, Infrastructure and Mining, BIS Shrapnel

9:40 The customer’s customer: Rail’s role in delivering expectations and improving the customer experience: Chris Brooks, National Transport Manager, Woolworths Limited

10.00 Making rail more competitive and profitable by introducing barcoding to better control inventory and assets: Maria Palazzolo, Chief Executive Officer, GS1 Australia

10.20 Morning tea and official exhibition opening

11.00 Australia’s transport challenge: Prioritising investment to meet the growth of our cities: Marion Terrill, Transport Program Director, Grattan Institute

11.20 Road-Rail Pricing: Achieving a shift from debate to reality: The Hon John Anderson AO, Chair, Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI)

11.40 FORUM – Investment and innovation: How can we fast-forward change in the freight game

  • Facilitator:Nicole Lockwood, Chair, Freight and Logistics Council WA
  • John Fullerton, CEO, ARTC
  • Marika Calfas, CEO, NSW Ports
  • Paul Larsen, CEO, Brookfield Rail
  • Greg Pauline, Managing Director, Genesee & Wyoming
  • Clare Gardiner-Barnes, Deputy Secretary, Freight, Strategy and Planning, Transport for NSW
  • Alan Piper, Group General Manager Sales & Commercial, KiwiRail

12.30 Lunch – served within the exhibition Sponsored by ARTC

2.00 Afternoon technical streams: Click here for the technical stream schedule

5.30 – 7.30 AusRAIL 2016 Exhibition Networking Drinks Sponsored by McConnell Dowell


Day 2 – November 23, 2016

8:00 Welcome coffee

9:00 Welcome and opening remarks: Danny Broad, CEO, Australasian Railway Association (ARA)

9:10 FEDERAL OPPOSITION ADDRESS: Anthony Albanese MP, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Cities and Tourism

9:30 ARA CHAIRMAN’S ADDRESS: Bob Herbert AM, Chairman, Australasian Railway Association (ARA)

9:50 Morning tea

10.30 FORUM – Women in rail

  • Facilitator: David Irwin, CEO, Pacific National
  • Sue McCarrey, CEO, The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator
  • Emma Thomas, Director-General, Transport Canberra and City Services ACT
  • Naomi Frauenfelder, Executive Director, TrackSAFE Foundation
  • Luba Grigorovitch, Victorian Branch Secretary, RTBU
  • Rowenna Walker, Global Service Leader, Rail and Mass Transit, Aurecon
  • Jenny McAuliffe, Executive General Manager People, ARTC
  • Sinead Giblin, Director of Operations, Northern, Jacobs

11.30 Young Rail Professionals Innovation Pitching Competition

12.00 Lunch

1:30 INTERNATIONAL KEYNOTE ADDRESS – Wheels of fortune: MTR’s Value Capture Model: Terry Wong, Head of Australian Business, MTR Corporation Limited

2:00 A tale of two cities – Metro in Sydney and Melbourne: Rodd Staples, Program Director, Sydney Metro, Transport for NSW

2:40 Afternoon tea – served within the Exhibition

3:10 FORUM – Technology, social media and big data: Embracing change to improve the customer offering

  • Facilitator:Prof Graham Currie, Chair of Public Transport and Director, Public Transport Research Group, Institute of Transport Studies, Monash University
  • Howard Collins, Chief Executive, Sydney Trains
  • Andrew Lezala, CEO, Metro Trains Melbourne
  • René Lalande, Managing Director, Bombardier Transportation
  • Loretta Lynch, Managing Director, Gold Coast Light Rail, Keolis Downer
  • Kevin Wright, Chief Operating Officer, Queensland Rail
  • Michael Miller, Acting CEO, Downer Rail
  • Paul Gelston, Chief Operating Officer, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, South Australia

4.30 Close of conference

7:00 AUSRAIL 2016 GALA DINNER Sponsored by Downer

ARTC prepares for Southern Highlands shutdown

Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) workers will take over the Southern Highlands rail network from Friday to deliver roughly $7 million in planned maintenance.

An ARTC spokesperson said the network would close from Friday, September 2 until 6pm on Tuesday, September 6 while ARTC employees and its contractors deliver roughly 50 projects at worksites spread from the Southern Highlands through the Riverina to Albury.

“Preparations are already underway in earnest, delivering rail, preparing scaffolding and dropping off supplies, before we start the mammoth rail maintenance program,” the spokesperson said on August 25.

“This work is critical to ensuring the safety and reliability of the rail network, and is part of our annual maintenance program.”

The ARTC has in the past delivered the major shutdown maintenance during the Christmas period, but according to the spokesperson, customer feedback suggested less disruption would be caused by a September shutdown.

$7 million in rail maintenance work will include re-railing, bridge works, turnout replacements, track undercutting and signalling work.

The ARTC will also have heavy rail grinding track machines operating on a continuous basis from the Sydney metropolitan area through to Albury, at the NSW/Victoria border.

“While most of the work will be delivered during daylight hours, the nature of some projects means some work will unavoidably take place overnight,” the spokesperson explained.

Delegates at AusRAIL PLUS 2015. Photo:

AusRAIL technical speakers announced

An intriguing mix of speakers have been outlined for the four streams that will make up the technical portion of this year’s AusRAIL Conference, which will take place in Adelaide on November 22 and 23.

Rail Express is the official media partner of AusRAIL, the Australasian Railway Association’s annual exhibition and conference.

After a plenary session on the first morning of this year’s event, the AusRAIL Conference will split into four technical streams: the RTSA Stream, the RTAA Stream, the IRSE Stream, and the Rail Suppliers Stream.

The following schedules have been announced (subject to change):


RTSA Stream

2.10 Opening remarks from the Chair: John Watsford, Rail Engineering Consultant

2.15 Australia’s first fully automated trains for passenger rail – how Sydney Metro has selected and will implement train control technology: Geoff Bateman, Sydney Metro Manager Civil Works Underground Infrastructure, Transport for NSW

2.40 Modernising light rail infrastructure to meet the demands of a growing city: Mike Ford, Senior Track & Civil Design Engineer, Jacobs; Les Kulesza, Principal Advisor, Network Development, Yarra Trams

3.05 Perth’s urban rail renaissance: Dr Philip Laird, Honorary Principal Fellow, University of Wollongong

3.30 Afternoon tea served within the exhibition

4.10 Opening remarks from the Chair: Bill Laidlaw, Rail Engineering Consultant

4.15 The Waratah Train PPP – 10 years on, and going strong: Owen Hayford, Partner, Clayton Utz

4.40 Integration of multi-mode passenger information for regional train and coach operations: Mark Wood, General Manager Communications – Electronics, 4Tel; Tony Crosby General Manager – Services, 4Tel

5.05 Rolling stock fire safety: A global view: Lachlan Henderson, Fire Engineer, Metro Trains Melbourne


RTAA Stream

2.10 Opening remarks from the Chair: David Bainbridge, Director Strategic Projects, Scott Lister

The RTAA have selected the following 8 papers to be prepared for their technical stream, 6 of these will be selected after review to form the final program:

Next generation of high performance turnout renewals: Matthias Mannhart, Director Rhomberg Sersa Technology, Sersa Maschineller Gleisbau; Henrik Vocks, Manager Technical Services, Rhomberg Rail Australia

Turnout grinding: Why and how: Simon Thomas, Application Engineer, Speno Rail Maintenance Australia

Non-ballasted track forms: A survey of global best practices: Maneesh Gupta, Technical Director, AECOM Australia

Future on rail: Economocal ecological track maintenance: Rainer Wenty, Manager Strategic Marketing and Roman Wiesinger, Executive Assistant, Plasser & Theurer

Advances in tamping technology: Roger Grossniklaus, Marketing and Sales Director, MATISA Materiel Industriel

Hydraulic Tamping: A Glimpse into the Future: Sam Botterill, Managing Director, System7 Australia

Sudden death, early retirement or merely a midlife crisis: The performance of SC 47kg/m rail in ARTC’s Interstate Network: Nick Petticrew, Rail Performance Manager, Interstate Network, ARTC

A cost-effective alternative to conventional concrete track slab design and construction: Todd Clarke, Sales Engineer, Elasto Plastic Concrete


IRSE Stream

2.10 Opening remarks from the Chair: Trevor Moore, Signalling Standards Engineer, ARTC

2.15 Rail level crossings: Paul Salmon, Professor Human Factors, Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems, University of the Sunshine Coast

2.40 Near misses in remote locations: Investigating rail level crossing incidents in the Pilbara: Dr Anjum Naweed, Principal Research Fellow, Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation

3.05 Level Crossing Power Supply Design for Safety: Ian Maydrew, Signal Engineer Standards, ARTC

3.30 Afternoon tea served within the exhibition

4.10 Opening remarks from the Chair

4.15 Comparison of advanced train control solutions for freight lines in Australia – “Moving Freight Forward”: Dr Brenton Atchison, Engineering Manager, Advanced Signalling, Siemens

4.40 Long term strategy for wayside systems: Deepak Jagan, Wayside Engineering Analyst, ARTC

5.05 Australia’s cities of tomorrow: Light rail as an agent for change: Toby Lodge, Light Rail Sector Lead and Principal, Hassell


Rail Suppliers Stream

2.10 Opening remarks from the Chair: Stephan van der Lit, Manager, Industry Engagement, Rolling Stock Development Division, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Victoria

2.15 Innovation and sustainability: Daniel Dunoyé, Business Development Expert, System & Infrastructure, Alstom Asia Pacific

2.40 Mastering last minute changes: Rail planning and scheduling for passenger and freight operations: Cameron Collie, National Program Manager – Rail, Quintiq

3.05 The key to success: Fully managing your infrastructure security: Matthew Benn, Business Development Manager, Selectlok Australia

3.30 Afternoon tea served within the exhibition

4.10 Opening remarks from the Chair

4.15 Session to be advised

4.40 Challenges in developing an efficient bridge design for the ETTT Viaduct: Penny Campbell, Structural Engineer, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff

5.05 Building a business case for an Energy Storage System (ESS) in a rail network: Caroline Phillips, Area Sales Manager – Transportation, ABB Australia


Following the technical streams, the AusRAIL 2016 Exhibition Networking Drinks will take place in the exhibition hall from 5.30 to 7.30pm.