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

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

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.

Opal live data opens up new possibilities

The potential benefits of smart ticketing systems are being explored on Sydney’s public transport network, with at least one app set to use Opal live data to help passengers avoid crowded buses.

NSW transport and infrastructure minister Andrew Constance has announced Opal data will give real time information to mobile devices.

Travel app ‘NextThere’ became the first to use the data on August 24, launching a new feature which uses icons on services to indicate the volume of people travelling on the service.

“We know there are busy bus routes across the metro area, so letting customers know how busy their service is will enable them to make commuting choices earlier,” Constance said.

“This is yet another way that Opal data can be practical for everyone.

“This will show users whether their bus is empty, has seating or is crowded.”

Constance said the new functionality is a direct result of Transport for NSW’s Future Transport program, launched in April.

TfNSW expects more transport apps, including TripView, Metrarove, Arrivo and TripGo, to access the live data and provide additional information for their users.

“We’re constantly working to find new data to release to app developers so they can deliver innovative products that make catching public transport easier,” the minister said.

South Australia to ban alcohol ads from trains

The South Australian Government will ban alcohol advertising on buses, trains and trams from 2017, in an effort to curb youth drinking.

A recent review of South Australia’s liquor laws found a considerable improvement in underage drinking, with the average age at which young people consume their first alcoholic drink increasing from 15 to 15.7 between 2007 and 2013.

But the review noted that the momentum “could be undone” if the state doesn’t curb alcohol advertising.

Removing ads for booze on buses, trains and trams appears to be the state’s response to this.

“Unlike other advertising mediums such as television on radio, advertising on buses, trains and trams cannot be switched off,” state minister for transport and infrastructure Stephen Mullighan said.

“It is impossible to control who views the ads. Young people represent a significant proportion of public transport users with many regularly using public transport to school, work or recreational activities.

“We think this is an important step to minimise the risks associated with underage drinking, which can have lasting health impacts, and further supports our efforts to tackle irresponsible alcohol use in our community.”

To enforce the ban, content standards for contracts on Adelaide Metro vehicles will be amended to prevent primary product alcohol advertising from mid-2017.

Indirect advertising like sponsorship logos on sports uniforms, or the promotion of tourism events such as food and wine festivals, will be immune to the ban.

“We know that young people’s exposure to alcohol advertising is a contributor to the normalisation of alcohol use in our society and reinforces what is in some cases a harmful drinking culture in Australia,” Mullighan said.

Alcohol advertising was banned on public transport in the Australian Capital Territory in September 2015. South Australia will be the first state to enforce such a ban when changes take effect next year.

Canavan launches massive North Australian fund

Ian Ackerman reports.

A $5 billion infrastructure initiative for northern Australia is picking up speed, with the independent body overseeing spending meeting for the first time last week.

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, or NAIF, will offer $5 billion in concessional finance to encourage and complement private investment in the region.

Headquartered in Cairns, the NAIF was officially launched on August 10 by federal minister for resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, who said the lack of infrastructure finance expertise in the north is not a limitation, but an opportunity.

“The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility that we are launching today will spread $5 billion right across northern Australia,” he said

“However, that is not the end of the story. In my view, having this facility here will not simply spread investment, it will attract investment, too.”

Canavan said Northern Australia encompasses 40% of Australia’s land area and has lots of untapped natural resources.

“Imagine how much of a contribution our region could make to the Australian economy if we could harness more of these resources for the production and export of food, energy and mineral commodities and tourism,” he said.

“The right infrastructure is a fundamental driver of economic change. It can stimulate productivity and growth, encourage further investment, increase accessibility to markets, especially for remote areas, and help attract and retain workers.”

The NAIF announced it had already begun to receive applications for projects back in July.

A spokesperson for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science said applications had been received for projects from industry stakeholders seeking funding assistance for a range of economic infrastructure including port, rail, telecommunications, airport and pipeline infrastructure.

The NAIF is led by an independent board – chaired by Sharon Warburton – which will make the decisions on financing infrastructure projects. The board met for the first time on Wednesday August 10.

This article originally appeared on Rail Express affiliate site Lloyd’s List Australia.

Delegates at AusRAIL PLUS 2015. Photo:

Free AusRAIL trip for three young rail professionals

If you’re 30 or under, and have an idea for the rail industry, you could win a paid trip to AusRAIL to present your concept to some of Australia’s most respected rail leaders.

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) is on the hunt for ideas from young minds which could make a difference to the future of the rail sector.

Three young winners will receive a paid trip to Adelaide, the site of AusRAIL 2016, to deliver a 10-minute presentation to the key rail CEOs who will be in attendance.

Ideas may target any aspect of rail – technical and engineering, customer service, strategic business planning, marketing, technological opportunities… If you have an idea that may increase rail’s safety, improve engineering or maintenance practices, better rail’s performance records or ultimately offer freight or passenger customers an improved service, the AusRAIL conference wants to hear from you.

Submit your idea, large or small and contribute to Australia’s rail future.

Entries are open until 5pm AEST on Friday 23 September. To enter, submit your idea to or online at

If you have queries, please contact Tina Karas, Conference Manager via + 61 02 9080 4306.

China’s road-straddling ‘bus’ is really a train

Bus by name, train by nature: A new Chinese machine has demonstrated a unique way to move passengers from station to station.

The machine’s Chinese name, pronounced Bā Tiě, translates loosely to ‘Iron Bar’. Its manufacturer, Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Company, has chosen to give it the English name, Transit Elevated Bus, or TEB.

But it runs along dedicated tracks, and stops at elevated stations to pick up and drop off its passengers, so we here at Rail Express like to think of it as the world’s newest (and maybe wackiest) form of light rail.

First described at the Beijing International High-Tech Expo in 2010, the first prototype, dubbed TEB-1, was launched for testing on August 2, 2016 in Qinhuangdau, in China’s north-east.

The TEB straddles two road lanes and transports passengers in a vessel two metres above the road surface, allowing cars to pass underneath it.

Its creator, Song Youzho, believes an articulated TEB could replace around 40 bus services along its route, without interfering with the car traffic beneath it.

Currently designed to allow for vehicles under 2.1 metres to pass underneath it, the TEB is unlikely to be popular with the trucking industry, or with four-wheel drive owners with roof racks, for that matter.

Australian transport blogger Daniel Bowen this week pointed out the 2.1 metre clearance also wouldn’t work well with bike-friendly neighbourhoods.


But it sure is fun.

Check out the video below, and let us know what you think in the comments section.


Sydney Trains enlists tech firm for new Ops centre

Supply chain planning and optimisation specialist Quintiq will help Sydney Trains develop and operate dynamic timetabling at the operator’s future Rail Operations Centre at Green Square.

Under a new contract announced on July 26, Sydney Trains will use Quintiq’s solutions to provide computerised decision support for monitoring service disruptions.

The technology will be applied across the Sydney Trains metropolitan network.

Currently in its design stage, the $276 million Rail Operations Centre (ROC) is being built with the intention of minimising delays, and ensuring better and faster information for customers when incidents occur.

Quintiq chief executive Rob van Egmond said the company was “thrilled” to be part of the project.

“Together, we’re creating an efficient train network system that enhances customer satisfaction through Quintiq’s solutions in optimal disruption management,” he said.

“A mission-critical system such as the day of operations timetable system requires a strong foundation of trust and commitment from both parties.

“This further solidifies our position as leaders in the industry.”

While not exclusive to the rail sector, Quintiq has worked for rail operators in the past. The firm has worked with Queensland Rail, along with London Underground, and NTV in Italy.

Sydney Trains’ executive director of future network delivery Tony Eid said the ROC would modernise how the city’s rail network was controlled.

“At the moment Sydney Trains manages the trains and tracks, responds to incidents, communicates with customers and monitors their safety from different locations and in different ways,” Eid said.

“The ROC will bring all staff involved in moving and controlling trains together in a centralised and coordinated way.

“Quintiq offers us innovative network optimisation technology that will provide support for our train controllers and signallers in recovering from disruptions on our train network.

“The technology includes an electronic train graph and will help to minimise the disruption and reduce consequential delays.”

Photo: Auckland Transport

NZ takes a new approach to transport research

New Zealand’s associate transport minister Craig Foss says the release of a new Transport Domain Plan and Research Strategy better equips the nation’s transport sector to plan for the future.

Foss launched the two complementary documents during an event at Parliament on July 27.

The Transport Domain Plan, available here, is designed to ensure the sector has the right data and information going forward, and aims to make data more visible and easy to use.

The Research Strategy, available here, is targeted at creating investment in the right research for the transport sector in the future. The paper provides a framework for fostering a better research environment; one which emphasises collaboration, maximises the economic and social benefits of the transport system, and minimises harm.

“Each year, central and local government invest over $5 billion in developing, operating and maintaining our transport system,” Foss said.

“This investment relies on a foundation of high quality information.

“The new Domain Plan will ensure the sector has access to more comprehensive data and information, while the Research Strategy will guide investment in research that better meets our future transport needs.”

Foss says New Zealand faces “significant transport challenges,” but he believes the two documents will help the sector understand those challenges, and how they can be managed.

“The way we travel in 20 years is likely to be very different from the way we travel now,” the minister continued.

“The Domain Plan and Research Strategy provide a new direction for transport research and will help, through high-quality data, ensure New Zealand is ready to meet and embrace changes within the transport sector.”