Understanding the challenges of condition monitoring

Electronic equipment manufacturer MRD Rail Technologies says the primary goal of its predictive asset condition monitoring system, TrackSense, is to give meaning to data to allow the customer to make data driven maintenance decisions.


MRD Rail Technologies has 30 years’ experience designing and manufacturing electronic equipment for the rail industry. Three years ago, it looked to capitalise on this with a push into the growing space of predictive maintenance and condition monitoring.

TrackSense, the system designed by MRD to carry out this task, has grown to now collect data and measure various parameters of condition in thousands of railway assets across Australia and in international markets.

In just three years, several operators throughout Australia and New Zealand are already using TrackSense, and it’s not slowing down: after attracting international attention exhibiting at Innotrans in Berlin last year, the Queenslandand-based company will exhibit at Railway Interchange USA in September.

Product Manager Yvie Hough says through a continued focus on listening to and communicating with customers, the TrackSense team hopes to refine its state-of-the-art approach, and help new and existing customers best take advantage of what it has to offer.

“The MRD team has been working closely with our customers to refine and improve our solution to provide a robust, easy to install system that is user friendly and provides valuable information to users,” Hough says.

Cost of ownership

Despite operational savings being a core benefit of condition monitoring and predictive maintenance systems, one major obstacle MRD has seen operators struggle to overcome is simply the cost of installing and maintaining a condition monitoring system, and the inflexibility of many common solutions available in the market.

“Some vendors charge exorbitant amounts for hardware and lock customers into fixed contracts,” MRD Managing Director Rob Gersbach tells Rail Express.

“The obvious downside to this is that should you decide to break ties with the vendor or they go out of business, you’re basically left with an expensive paperweight.”

Taking a different approach, the MRD loggers used in the TrackSense solution are not bound to that system.

“Yes, we offer a local or cloud server option for accessing the data, but this is optional as our loggers are capable of stand-alone operation,” Gersbach explains. “Our loggers log, process and alarm directly from the device without the need for external servers or software.

“This gives the customer total ownership and control of their hardware and data.”

Tuning for perfection

One misconception MRD aims to address is that a condition monitoring solution will provide maximum results from day one.

“When implementing a condition monitoring solution it’s important to understand it’s not a set and forget solution. It requires operator training, tuning and data input from the user,” Gersbach says.

To address this, MRD has developed tried and tested workflows to help operators get started with condition monitoring. The TrackSense team will also work with the customer to refine that workflow to their individual needs.

“Our auto-tuning feature will get you up and running fast and our teach feature will keep the system performing optimally,” Gersbach adds.

“We use shape recognition to identify anomalies, and KPIs are extracted from logged parameters and used to gauge an assets health and identify trends. All positive alerts and alarms are sent to the system’s fault library and fed back into the system to improve the systems performance. This library is also available for reference and training purposes.”

Critical to this is the use of machine learning to refine how data is analysed.

“The primary output of any condition monitoring system is data. Performing complex analysis of data collected from hundreds or thousands of sensors is a tedious and time-consuming activity, beyond the capabilities of human operators.”

By putting machine learning to work, Gersbach says TrackSense can help operators maximise the value of predictive maintenance while keeping costs down.

Local presence

MRD designs and builds hardware, and develops its software and applications locally in Australia.
Along with TrackSense, the company also provides EarthSense, a solution for detecting earth leakage; and RelaySense, a solution to test the condition of relays.

Its range of smart sensors collect data from fixed rail infrastructure, including points machines, batteries, track circuits and relays, as well as environmental, mechanical and portable assets. Measurements taken by MRD’s sensors includes current, voltage, pressure, temperature, vibration, and so on.

Contact: TrackSense.com.au

Businesses call for review of ‘archaic’ Sydney Trains systems

The Sydney Business chamber has called for an independent audit of the Sydney Trains network after the operator’s CEO blamed an “archaic” system for delays.

After a damaged train at Town Hall caused significant delays across the Sydney Trains network on August 23, CEO Howard Collins said delays could be avoided when such incidents occur if not for the network’s “archaic” systems.

“It is a failure of the way our system is built that one train can stop the entire network,” Collins was quoted as saying by News. “We took the right decision not to try to move this train forward but to isolate and get people up on ladders literally to try to remove the [damaged] hatch. That cause a two-and-a-half hour delay to a critical point in the network.”

He continued: “Being an ex-London Underground guy, we developed that system that could be remotely switched off for each train. Seven minutes, bang the power off. Back on, off we go. Here we have to send men and women down tunnels to pull big switches and open them and close them, which takes hours. They have to come with forms, they have to work through things. It is archaic.”

Responding to Collins’ comments the Sydney Business Chamber has now called on the government to review the network so such incidents can be eliminated in the future.

“Over recent years billions have been spent on new light rail with more to come, but our existing heavy rail network is struggling to support the increase in rail commuters,” the chamber’s executive director Katherine O’Regan said.

“We need to establish if the heavy rail network is being maintained and updated to keep pace with the 28 per cent increase in passenger numbers over the past five years.

“This rise in usage demands a commensurate increase in maintenance expenditure.”

Prevention to prediction: The future of maintenance

Alstom’s Services Director for Australia Nicolas Thiebot says the company is working with operators and asset owners to demonstrate that it is safe to move to predictive maintenance across their networks.

For generations, rail operators and owners have relied on fixed schedules to maintain their fixed and rolling assets. General maintenance and component replacement was scheduled based on the distance travelled by a piece of rollingstock, or the amount of use endured by a section of track.

While this “preventative maintenance” gets the job done, it is far from the most efficient method. What if a replaced component is still in good condition? What if a component is faulty and degrades faster than it should? What if you’re performing general maintenance too often? Not often enough?

The basic theory behind the development of condition monitoring systems was to address these concerns. Devices installed in trains and around railways record and report data, so assets can be maintained and replaced when needed; not before or after.

Despite the rapid development of proven technologies in this space, however, Alstom’s Nicolas Thiebot says many operators are still hesitant to complete the shift from the old preventative maintenance model, to the new predictive maintenance model.

“The industry has a range of tools and initiatives around condition monitoring, but it’s often bolted onto a systematic maintenance plan,” Thiebot, Alstom’s Services Director in Australia, tells Rail Express.

“People are still a bit reluctant to move away from this systematic, preventative maintenance approach, to a more predictive model. At the moment, it’s a bit of a belt and braces approach, and we really need to move to an optimised version.

“I think the future lives in an understanding that it’s safe and more cost effective, to move on from the preventative to the predictive model.”

Since 2014, Alstom has used its platform, HealthHub, to facilitate a more wholehearted shift towards predictive methods for rail passenger rail operators. HealthHub looks to include as much of the data being collected from around the network, and incorporate it into a central hub to drive maintenance. It takes prioritisation into consideration before making recommendations for work to take place.

“Some of HealthHub’s tools are very mature such as the train to ground remote condition monitoring systems and have been a part of the maintenance industry for a long time,” he says. “The value of HealthHub is to bring them together into a shared platform, and to take the data and convert it into recommended actions to help keep assets in the best possible condition.

“When all the different initiatives around maintenance and asset management are put into one package, you can optimise your operation through dynamic maintenance planning.

“Some of those initiatives are based around asset planning, workload optimisation and work execution, some are to do with remote condition monitoring; they are all important factors in a smart maintenance program.”


Thiebot says Alstom has developed – and continues to develop – HealthHub primarily to aid its own maintenance operations.

Alstom is delivering ongoing rail maintenance for the fi rst stage of Sydney Metro, which opened in May 2019. On that project it is using HealthHub to integrate tools like Catenary Tracer, Track Tracer, Train Tracer, broken rail detection and point machine detection.

Throughout the world, the platform is also available to customers who want to do their own maintenance, however.

“We are developing HealthHub primarily for ourselves, because we believe in the technology and the benefi ts it adds to us,” Thiebot says. “But on operations where we don’t do the maintenance, we can package HealthHub as a product that a customer can use themselves, or as a service that we can perform for them: we produce the reports, do the data mining and so on, to make recommendations to their maintenance operation.”

HealthHub has included onboard rollingstock monitoring and track and catenary monitoring for some time. Thiebot says points machine monitoring is a more recent addition, and the company is looking to add signalling monitoring to the suite as it develops, as well as tools to rationalise the high volumes of data generated by power monitoring and infrastructure monitoring SCADA systems around the rail network.

“The end goal for HealthHub is to help an operator have the smallest downtime possible due to maintenance,” he concludes.

Contact: Alstom.com/Alstom-Australia

Thales successfully delivers CCS for Sydney Metro

Technology firm Thales has announced the successful rollout of its Central Control and Communication System for the Sydney Metro North West rail system.

The company detailed its work on the project, which commenced operations in May, on August 21.

The Central Control System ensures seamless rail operations, including real-time control mechanisms and data for various diverse systems, while providing a ‘big picture’ holistic view of the entire network.

Meanwhile the Communications System links up the public address and passenger information systems, CCTV and digital information boards, into a centralised system allowing a fully integrated operation.

“We’re proud to have delivered technology that will contribute to fast, safe and reliable journeys for Sydney commuters,” Thales Ground Transportation Australia Vice President Peter Bull said.

“The Sydney Metro project will define our great city for many years to come, encouraging growth and building continued prosperity.”

Thales was selected by the Northwest Rapid Transit consortium to deliver the technology in 2015. NRT was the lead consortium selected by the state government to deliver work for the $7.3 billion Sydney Metro North West project.

Rail Movement Planner brings Brazilian know-how Down Under

Brazil-based CFlex is now Rail Movement Planner. Rail Express finds out what prompted the change as the company continues its international growth.


Brazilian technology company Rail Movement Planner (RMP) has been in the rail game for a while now, but not as you’d know it. The company was founded as CFlex MPC in Campinas, Brazil (around an hour’s drive north of Sāo Paulo) in 2015, where it quickly made a name for itself for its CFlex Movement Planner product.

The company has now changed its name to Rail Movement Planner, having rewritten and evolved the CFlex Movement Planner consistently since 2015.

“The name ‘CFlex’ was too generic,” explains RMP president Elesbao Oliveira. “If you Google it you can find many companies that are not related to the railroad world.

“So, to improve our presence in the market and increase our visibility, the Rail Movement Planner company was born on June 3, 2019.”

Rail Movement Planner (RMP) is a state-ofthe-art solution for real-time circulation planning and train dispatching that can provide fully integrated timetabling, conflict detection and problem-solving services for rail operators.

This helps to improve the visibility of planned train circulation, allowing train controllers to increase the average speed of trains, which can lead to several productivity benefits.

It’s also possible to create and configure a regularity operational scenario where the RMP engine will prioritise the regularity of the train circulation.

“RMP optimises train circulation automatically or at the train controller’s request, delivering optimised and feasible train circulation plans in just a few seconds,” Oliveira says. “These plans take into consideration all constraints imposed by the dynamics of any complex train operation and fully comply with customer quality standards and safety rules.”

The system is already in place at several railroad operating centres worldwide, including Australia, where the solution is used by mining powerhouse Rio Tinto to provide effective planning of the company’s freight trains.

In the railroad’s operation centre, train controllers use our solution to plan the train circulation and have a great visibility of what’s coming in the next hours or days,” Oliveira says. “It’s also possible to apply restrictions to the plan — track blocks, speed restrictions, mandatory movements, high priority trains, trains’ dependencies — to simulate and validate the planned circulation.”

The company also operates internationally in territories such as Argentina, Chile and Canada, and has received significant government support in the domestic Brazilian market from the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa de Estad de São Paulo) and Studies and Projects Financing Agency (FINEP, Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos).

The collaboration took place over three phases: concept, development and marketing, resulting in the successful rollout of the RMP product.

“Our partnerships with FAPESP and FINEP have served to successfully evolve and commercialise Rail Movement Planner,” says Carlos Carneiro, RMP vice president. “We also have another important partnership with the State University of Campinas, one of the best Brazilian universities. This partnership allows RMP access to brilliant human resources and cutting-edge researchers.”

RMP uses three levels of optimisation that are suited to different levels of train planning.

The first level of optimisation is the Basic Engine, which is built to address around 95 per cent of railroad planning issues, according to RMP, taking factors such as network topology, train specifics and basic operating rules into account.

“Basic Engine uses a meta-heuristic algorithm that is very effective and fast, with a typical response time of around five to 10 seconds” Daniel Oshiro, RMP project manager explains.

Adaptive Engine, the second optimisation level, is purely heuristicbased design capable of accommodating algorithms written in Java or Drools. It is intended to solve issues that cannot be properly solved by Basic Engine. Examples of this can include issues introduced through the specific idiosyncrasies and preferences of train controllers, or other special operational rules not otherwise covered by Basic Engine implementation.

The third level of optimisation refers to RMP’s Meta Planning Engine (MPE). Indeed, MPE is a powerful software optimisation architecture that allows RMP to run in parallel to several instances of the Basic Engine to address complex network issues. MPE also encompasses an Artificial Intelligence (AI) evaluator to select the optimal plan for users.

“The RMP integration layer encompasses mechanisms to provide and consume services, message mediation, service orchestration, service governance, business process management and service monitoring across all three optimisation levels,” Oshiro says. “RMP is scalable, expandable and was designed to fit any size of railroad operation.”

It also includes support for exploratory data analysis (EDA), model-driven architecture (MDA), and other enterprise integration patterns. It also provides support for industry standards such as WS-*, representational state transfer (REST), and other binary and nonbinary protocols. Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities such as security, reliable messaging and throttling are also built into RMP.

To ensure RMP runs as effectively as possible, round-the-clock services support and comprehensive user training are also available. Training is provided for managerial groups, train control groups, IT and other key users.

The managerial training is attended by managers and operation coordinators and focuses on introducing system support philosophies, basic architecture and functionalities to management.

Training for train control groups discusses system usability and how to generate effective train circulation plans. IT and key user training is an advanced course that focuses on high-level system functionalities, database maintenance and troubleshooting techniques for end users.

Overall, RMP is confident that it will continue to make a name for itself in the industry, even if the name itself has changed.

Major power upgrades in Melbourne

Overhead power will be switched off for two days across Melbourne’s rail network while it undergoes significant power upgrades and essential maintenance, the Department of Transport has said.

Power will be turned off from 9pm on Friday, August 30, until the early hours of Monday morning, September 2.

During the shutdown new overhead wiring will be installed, and a Victorian-first double-storey substation will be set up at Southern Cross station.

While the network is shutdown, crews will take advantage with platform resurfacing works and drainage improvements planned at South Yarra station, where new ground tactiles will be installed to help blind or low vision passengers get on and off trains more safely.

Department of Transport head of transport services Jeroen Weimar said the work would help power bigger and better trains, signals and communications on the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines.

“While we understand that this may cause significant disruption to passengers, we belive this is the least disruptive time and best opportunity to complete these essential works,” Weimar said.

“These works are part of an important investment to deliver a public transport network that our passengers want and deserve.”

Turnkey rail signalling, level crossing tech from Australian provider

Rail Express speaks with Aldridge Railway Signals experts David Aldridge and Phil Anderson about the group’s turnkey rail signal offering, and a new approach to the design and manufacture of automated railway crossings.

Aldridge Railway Signals has supplied signals in Australia since 1989. Today, it exports signals to New Zealand, Ireland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar, where it has opened an office. In another turn of growth, the company has established an arm dedicated to the complete design, construction, testing and commissioning of signalling projects, named Aldridge Signal Infrastructure (ASI).

Established by Aldridge in 2015 with a small team boasting more than 100 years of collective experience in rail, ASI has continually developed its internal team of specialists.

ASI Managing Director Phil Anderson says the business has gone to great length to engage leaders in the signalling field, particularly around the benefits of a single provider to administer the design, installation, testing and commissioning of turnkey signalling solutions.

“This approach can help minimise a client’s exposure to variations, lower their project management and administration costs, and can provide them with tighter control over project outcomes,” Anderson tells Rail Express. “It also mitigates the client’s exposure to project delays which can arise when they must engage multiple stakeholders to deliver the work. Additional time and cost savings come in a similar way when it comes to WHSE, Quality and Environmental issues; a single provider means uniformity of project control systems.”

ASI breaks each project into eight discrete steps: client concept design and specification; rail signal functional specification; supply and manufacture; site installation; testing; commissioning; site demobilisation; warranty. The aim is to ensure all projects are delivered on time and on budget with zero harm, meeting the client’s project coals.

Anderson says ASI puts a team of highly skilled professionals behind each step of this turnkey process. During peak work periods, ASI also engages a pool of highly experienced, trusted and respected subcontractors.

“ASI has a network of subcontractors that are engaged on a needs basis,” he explains. “These subcontractors are a critical part of project delivery and as such regular open communication is in place with all subcontractors providing early warning of upcoming works. ASI acknowledges that the rail industry has limited qualified resources and as such shares its resources with other subcontractors if an when required. This willingness to assist others attributes to the high level of cooperation and support ASI receives in return.”

Since its launch in 2015, ASI has delivered a number of projects. At Moorebank in Sydney, ASI upgraded the existing Westrace MKI Interlocking to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)’s first Westrace MKII interlocking through the Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (SIMTA) Terminal.

Regional work has included the Georges Plains Crossing Loop; a new loop between Bathurst and Newbridge on the Main West Line. The project, delivered for John Holland CRN, included four new level crossings and in-section controlled signals for following movements in the Georges Plains to Newbridge section.

ASI has also upgraded eleven level crossings throughout New South Wales for the ARTC and John Holland CRN under the Level Crossing Improvement Project.

New regional offices

Recognising the importance of upplying services to the Southern and South Western districts of NSW, ASI opened an office and manufacturing facility in Goulburn in June 2019.

The facility’s team includes four Signal Engineers, four Signal Electricians, a Workshop Supervisor and many Signal Installers.

Aldridge says the facility will provide engineering and support services to all clients, and lead the building of signalling location cases, walk in huts and ancillary equipment.

Recognising the importance of supplying its services to Inland Rail, Aldridge says it won’t be long before offices will be announced in other regional locations.

A better solution for rural crossings

Automated railway crossings traditionally come at a significant capital and ongoing cost. The installation of remote track sensors often means kilometres of trenches must be dug trackside for cabling.

Ongoing costs and inconveniences can arise particularly in rural areas, where traditional track circuit based solutions can be made unreliable due to oxidation of rail surfaces, and other failures due to materials on the tracks such as oil, leaf litter, crushed ballast and sand; factors all exacerbated by the range of environmental conditions such as extreme temperatures and rainfall. Additionally, traditional track circuits have high power requirements requiring mains infrastructure for continuous operation.

These sorts of factors can make automated railway crossings prohibitively expensive for many rural locations, leading to the use of passive systems, unpowered in many situations.

With projects like Inland Rail set to boost traffic on regional rail, Aldridge’s Managing Director, David Aldridge, says the company’s Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) business, has been developing the Wireless Level Crossing (WLX) solution, which takes on the challenge of designing a better, safer and cheaper automated level crossing system for rural intersections.

Aldridge says the WLX avoids the problems and high costs associated with track circuits and cabling for automated level crossings by incorporating low power high security radio technology with inductive sensor technology to detect trains approaching a level crossing.

Wireless technology communicates information about the approaching rail vehicles to wayside equipment which provides a warning to road users. System power is derived from solar panels, and communication back to a central server uses 3G/4G to log and manage system data. User access is managed from the central server.

Should sensors need to be located in cuttings or on bends, relay towers (repeaters) can be set up between the sensor transmission tower and the railway crossing to prevent transmission loss.

“There are no cables between any warning devices which electrically isolates the warning elements, further increasing the resilience of the system,” Aldridge explains. “The inductive wheel sensor’s detection electronics are integrated into the main controller, increasing the reliability and reducing the cost of the system. Battery and solar powered technology also significantly reduces the costs for remote sites that have no power.”

This suits the primary aim of the WLX system: to provide a low-cost and low-maintenance alternative for delivery of safety-critical warnings to road users at railway level crossings. In addition, the WLX provides back-to-base monitoring and real-time reporting of every installed device thus allowing for increased efficiency in maintenance activities.

“The WLX system is designed to SIL3 standards, and has two independent RX5 warning signals per level crossing, further increasing resilience,” Aldridge adds.

A pre-production version currently being installed for type approval with the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) at a rural NSW site. Subject to receipt of that final approval, the WLX product will be ready for commercialisation to other RIMs in Australia and overseas from early 2020. This new system represents a completely new approach to the design and construction of automated railway crossings, making them particularly attractive to remote, rural locations.

The WLX System is built and tested in the Aldridge manufacturing factory in Sydney. The WLX System is extensively tested before shipping to site. Very little work on site is required to install and commission the WLX System greatly reducing the installation and commissioning costs compared to a traditional level crossing system.

Contact: www.railsignal.com

Digital Rail experts to talk emerging tech, key trends

With the increasing demand for faster, reliable and state-of-the-art rail services, it’s no wonder major railway organisations and authorities across the country are harnessing technology innovation that will transform rail experiences for the future.

Some of rail’s key digital systems, data and analytics experts will gather to discuss key trends and new technologies in the digital rail sector, in Sydney from August 26 to 28 at the Digital Rail 2019 conference.

A full agenda and brochure have been released for the event, which is being run by IQPC Australia.

Speakers include:

  • Gerald Schinagl, Digital Innovation Manager, OBB (Austrian Federal Railways)
  • Chris Bennetts, Executive Director, Digital Products & Services, Customer Services, Transport for NSW
  • Sarah Capstick, Executive Director (Transition) NGTS Project, Department of Transport and Main Roads QLD
  • Warwick Talbot, Deputy Executive Director, Engineering & System Integrity, Sydney Trains
  • Paul Davies, Communication & Sustainability Manager, Northwest Rapid Transit
  • Ryan Townsendd, Manager, Digital Engineering, Sydney Metro
  • Simon Sinnott, Systems Engineering Manager, Metro Trains Melbourne
  • Stephen Lemon, Digital Systems Program Director, Transport for NSW
  • Helen Williams, Director, Rail Systems Development, Transport for NSW
  • Yvie Hough, Product and User Experience Manager, TrackSense
  • Tiago Pinto, WW Transport Solution Architect, Huawei Transport Solutions Group
  • Anthony Loui, Senior Transportation Planning Manager Metro Operations Liaison & Planning, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)
  • Sudath Amaratunga, Technical Manager – Precincts & Infrastructure, Infrastructure & Services, Transport for NSW
  • Simon Vaux, Director Digital Engineering, Infrastructure & Services, Transport for NSW
  • Laura Stewart, Design to Innovate Partner, Aurecon
  • Jeroen Weimar, Chief Executive Officer, Public Transport Victoria
  • Professor Graham Currie, Director of Monash Infrastructure, Chair of Public Transport, Professor in Transport Engineering, Monash University

For tickets and more information, click here.

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: www.irsc2019.com