Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Passenger Rail

Collaborative approach to plug knowledge gap around the globe

At the heart of MTR Corporation’s success lies a commitment to continuous improvement and operational excellence. 

In the global landscape of passenger rail operations, most railways function within an isolated silo, navigating their challenges and opportunities alone. 

By bridging these operational silos and fostering a culture of collaboration, operators can tap into a collective wealth of knowledge, enabling informed decision-making and operational excellence throughout the industry.

Recognising the wealth of knowledge residing within its international hubs, MTR Corporation has initiated a series of global sharing sessions. 

These sessions aim to foster collaboration, share best practices, and address challenges faced across the diverse landscapes in which MTR operates.

With 21 rail operations across three continents, MTR Corporation has a wealth of knowledge and experience in operating and maintaining metro, commuter, high-speed rail and light rail services. 

As MTR Senior Manager Dale Mitchell explains, the global sharing sessions are driven by real-world challenges that come from the organisation’s international operations, and can range from safety best practice and maintenance innovation to operational excellence and project delivery. 

“Already we have had more than 200 global colleagues attend four recent sessions, with more under development,” he said.


Mitchell said a recent topic of interest across the rail industry has been operational readiness. 

“Given the magnitude of rail projects being delivered around the world, operational readiness is a topic that provides a large range of lessons learned,” he said.

“Teams from different hubs have come together to share insights for delivering a reliable service on Day 1 of operations. 

“They talk about lessons learned and good practice for trial running, reliability growth and operational readiness. 

“These are just some of the topics that have been shared.

With the introduction of advanced signalling systems in Melbourne, the local MTR team has knowledge learned from Hong Kong and London to assist in developing their processes. Image/MTR

“Lessons from our Elizabeth Line, as well as numerous recent Hong Kong and mainland China projects, have helped our Metro Trains Melbourne colleagues prepare for Metro Tunnel Project and our Metro Trains Sydney colleagues prepare for Sydney Metro City and Southwest augmentation.

“This collaborative approach is enabling MTR Corporation to implement standardised operational practices that resonate across continents.”


Safety is paramount in the transportation industry, and MTR Corporation recognises the importance of maintaining the highest standards. 

The global sharing sessions have delved into escalator safety, with teams collaboratively developing protocols and best practices to enhance passenger safety.

The exchange of experiences and perspectives from different regions has allowed MTR to implement comprehensive safety measures, setting a benchmark for
the industry.


Mitchell said that, in the ever-evolving technological landscape, effective systems configuration management is critical. 

“MTR’s global hubs have come together to address this challenge, sharing expertise on managing ongoing and necessary change and improvement in complex software responsible for the signalling and communication systems,” he said. 

“With the introduction of advanced signalling systems in Melbourne, due to the Metro Tunnel Project and HCMT trains, our local team there requested lessons learned from our Hong Kong, Sydney, and London to assist in developing their processes.

“This collaborative effort ensures that MTR Corporation stays at the forefront of technological advancements, offering passengers a seamless and technologically advanced travel experience.”


“One of the remarkable aspects of MTR Corporation’s global sharing sessions is their problem-solving orientation,” Mitchell said. 

“Each topic addressed during these sessions has been requested by our hubs and based on real challenges encountered by teams in their day-to-day operations. 

“By leveraging the company’s global reach, MTR is not only solving problems but also preventing them from recurring by learning from diverse perspectives”.


Mitchell said that with the success of the global sharing sessions so far, interest is high for additional topics to be covered as opportunities at MTR’s hubs are uncovered. 

“We are currently planning sessions on asset management, including in depth knowledge sharing on Platform Screen Door (PSD) maintenance techniques, as well as remote condition monitoring good practice,” he said.

“MTR Corporation’s commitment to excellence is evident in its proactive approach to knowledge sharing and collaboration. 

“The global sharing sessions are allowing it to harness the collective intelligence of its international teams to solve real world problems by the teams who are facing them. 

“As MTR continues to evolve, these sessions serve as a testament to the power of global collaboration in driving innovation and operational excellence.

“By facilitating the exchange of ideas and experiences, MTR Corporation is not only strengthening its internal capabilities but also contributing to the broader advancement of the transportation industry. 

“As the company looks toward the future, the lessons learned from these global sharing sessions will undoubtedly continue to shape MTR’s journey towards excellence on a global scale.”