Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Industry Bodies

Chasing innovation and excellence

The Permanent Way Institution (PWI) NSW heads into 2024 with pivotal events and initiatives that epitomise its commitment to the rail industry and members.

As 2023 draws to a close, the PWI would like to thank all our members and corporate members for their continued support over the year, and we wish all our friends and colleagues a happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous new year.

Our eagerly anticipated Executive Breakfast on May 10, 2024, featuring Secretary of Transport NSW Josh Murray, is more than an event – it will be a confluence of expertise, insight, and future-forward thinking in rail transport. 

This gathering promises a deep dive into emerging trends and strategies, offering our members an exclusive opportunity to engage with key industry figures and peers.

This coming November also marks a historic milestone for PWI NSW as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. 

The golden jubilee reflects our enduring legacy and a beacon for the future, symbolising our resilience and continuous evolution in the dynamic rail sector. 

This event will be a grand celebration, bringing together the brightest minds in the industry, commemorating our achievements, and setting the course for the decades ahead.

Our newly launched Lunch and Learn series in 2024, hosted by member organisations, underscores our dedication to ongoing professional development and knowledge sharing. 

These sessions are meticulously curated    to provide members with practical insights and up-to-date information, facilitating a platform for continuous learning and networking in a more relaxed yet equally enriching environment.

Membership in PWI NSW offers unparalleled benefits.  We provide a hub of knowledge, networking opportunities, and professional pathways, all underpinned by a supportive community that fosters resilience in an ever-changing industry landscape. 

Members joining PWI NSW become part of a vibrant and diverse group of professionals dedicated to shaping the rail industry’s future.

Our approach is holistic – we focus on the present and actively prepare our members for future challenges and opportunities. 

Whether you are a seasoned professional or just beginning your journey in the rail sector, PWI NSW offers a rich tapestry of resources, experiences, and connections. 

We are a community that values innovation, collaboration, and the pursuit of excellence.

PWI NSW is not just an association, it is the Institution for Rail Infrastructure Engineering; it’s a gateway to a thriving career and an integral part of the rail industry’s progression. 

Our events, initiatives, and membership benefits are designed to empower our members and contribute significantly to the rail industry’s growth and development.

As an example, a scholarship from PWI NSW has enabled a young engineering cadet from New South Wales to embark on a unique work experience opportunity in remote western Tasmania.

Liam Clowes, a civil engineering student at the University of Newcastle, is one of the recipients of the Don Hagarty Cadet Program sponsored by the PWI, designed to provide a pathway for engineering students into the rail industry, by offering financial support and practical training. As part of the program, Clowes was offered the chance to work with the West Coast Wilderness Railway, a heritage railway that runs between Queenstown and Strahan.

The West Coast Wilderness Railway (WCWR) is a reconstruction of the original railway built by the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company in the late 19th century. The railway showcases the rich history and natural beauty of the west coast region, passing through rainforests, gorges, and mining sites.

Clowes’ work experience will involve assisting the WCWR engineering staff with upgrading works currently underway.

The WCWR is undergoing major upgrades to improve its reliability and resilience. The $16 million upgrade is expected to ensure the railway can continue to meet the growing demand for the rail experience and remain a major drawcard for the region for decades to come.

The upgrade involves inspecting and repairing the track, bridges, and locomotives, as well as implementing a new safety management system. The railway features a rare rack and pinion system that enables the locomotives to climb steep slopes and navigate sharp bends, which requires special maintenance and expertise.

Clowes hopes his work experience might inspire other young people to pursue a career in the rail industry.