What began as a humble provider of rail plant maintenance services has evolved into an institution in the Hunter Valley of NSW.
Backed by 30 years’ experience in the industry, Torque Rail quickly broadened its focus to include aspects of leasing machinery, design, manufacture, testing, and rail certifications. This includes custom-made Hi Rail vehicles and products for small and large rail plant and road vehicles.
The capabilities extend from light to heavy manufacturing, certification and re-certification, up to general maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.
As a registered authority for approvals with all the various networks available within Australia, the company also prides itself on flexibility and ingenuity in engineering equipment to suit desired needs.
Torque Rail is spearheaded by rail business manager Bruce Durie and son Tim, who serves as rail operations manager. From their massive workshop on the site, they provide full turnkey road-rail/Hi Rail vehicle and plant solutions, either built-to-spec or ready-made, including OEM parts and many which may never have been available to the market.
Simply put, Torque Rail can design, engineer, build and certify any rail product desired.
With the most reliable Hi Rail systems on the market, the business offers small, medium, and large road rail systems, earthmoving Hi Rail equipment, and crane and elevated work platform Hi Rail equipment.
All Torque Rail equipment is made to relevant Australian Standards which comply with any desired rail network within Australia, and are built tough to withstand the harsh Australian environment.
“All product ranges are included, designed, and built to the required Australian AS7500 series rail standards,” Bruce said.
“We provide all our customers with our highest quality of compliance, and pride ourselves with upholding the Australian standards as they should be.”
- Fail-to-Safe Brake
These brake units were made for installation on various road/rail vehicles as well as dedicated rail equipment.
“We equip vehicles with the Rail MA50000 fail safe brake kit, which complies with the current rail legislation and also AS7502,” Bruce said.
“The brake units are mounted to the periphery of rail wheels, and typically in pairs (left and right wheels) to provide a park brake and a fail-to-safe, emergency brake function.”
- 6.5t rail trailer
Torque Rail’s multi-gauge rail trailer has a GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) of 6.5t and can carry a load of five tonnes to be utilised on rail.
The rail trailer construction consists of a steel frame body with checker plate deck and a centre well recessed centrally within the frame.
“The rail wheels are suitably sized to maintain clearance from the top of rail, with one axle fixed to the frame with the other pivoting to allow for track condition changes,” Bruce said.
“The trailer is fitted with a failsafe spring applied hydraulic release park brake to prevent ‘run-away’.
“The trailer is supplied with lighting and a drawbar which is suitable for the trailer with maximum payload.”
- Hi-Rail Control Systems
Torque Rail has developed a variety of Hi-Rail control systems that can be installed as new, or retrofitted to any version of Hi-Rail equipment. The control systems are intended for installation on various road/rail vehicles: cars, trucks, excavators and many more.
“Vehicles can be equipped with or modified to utilise the Torque Rail control systems, as they meet all the requirements of AS7502 and provide the operators a user-friendly experience that can be adapted to control light, cameras, automatic functions and many more,” Bruce said.
Maintenance and repair
The Duries carry out maintenance and repair to the highest standards, with customer satisfaction being top priority.
“We deliver a nation-wide service network that relieves customers of any pressures with maximum efficiency,” Bruce said.
“With quality facilities around Australia coupled with mobile service capabilities that offer on-the-spot maintenance, repair, 10-year builds and certification as per RIM (Rail Infrastructure Manufacturer) requirements, Torque Rail deliver unsurpassed and reliable through-life customer support.
“As a result, we can offer unprecedented through-life-cycle support to all customers – creating maximum convenience, value for money and service to rail organisations.”
Under the Rail Safety National Law 2012, railway networks around Australia have to fulfil a number of obligations around its overall management of road/rail vehicles.
Road/rail vehicles which are not operated by an accredited Rail Transport Operator (RTO) will have to operate under their desired Rail Networks Accreditation, and as such, there will be a responsibility to ensure that all vehicles are maintained in a safe condition for operation on rail infrastructure.
“All third party rolling stock operators and contractors wishing to operate road/rail vehicles on rail infrastructure must manage the certification and recertification of their vehicles in order to be placed on their desired rail networks register,” Bruce said.
“To comply with AS7501, all operators and contractors must engage a Track Maintenance Vehicle Independent Competent Person (ICP) to carry out a variety of inspection and tests to ensure the vehicle meet the required rails infrastructure standards.”
Both Bruce and Tim are qualified ICP accreditors, allowing them to provide track maintenance vehicle registration for key areas around Australia.
Clients span the entire country, and have included the Assets Standard Authority (NSW), the Australian Rail Track Association (national), Metro (Melbourne), V/Line (Victoria), Keolis Downer/DPTI (South Australia), Arc Infrastructure/PTA (WA), TasRail (Tasmania, and John Holland (NSW).
Torque Rail is part of Mackay (Queensland)-based Torque Enterprises (TE), a company renowned for its extensive fabrication experience and Engine Rebuilds especially in the repair of heavy earthmoving and mining equipment.
Torque Rail clients can avail themselves to TE’s state-of-the-art machining shop, catering for all machining requirements with world class lathes and personnel who have more than 150 years combined industry knowledge.
TE also boasts an in‐house team of engineering and product developers, who can take ideas from thoughts to working prototypes (concept to reality) and provide all supporting documentation.
Coping with COVID
Torque Rail’s clientele has remained strong even as COVID spreads its reach through various states, locking down NSW in the process.
“We have business from everywhere: from the backyard customer to Tier 1 contractors to various mid-sized contractors who probably worked for the Tier 1 companies,” Bruce said.
“We are dealing with customer bases which are quite large, down to the mum and dad companies with only one vehicle.
“At the moment I’m working on various big projects including as far away as Perth, and doing some certification track machines. And then on the other hand, we’ve got a backyard mum and dad business coming in with one vehicle requiring yearly certification to track.”
Bruce said Torque Rail boasted the most years of experience in the industry and serviced every state in Australia.
“Obviously, with lockdowns, things are a bit harder as we can’t travel, but we rely on contractors in other states, and even sometimes the opposition, to carry out the work for us,” he said.
“We just have to use whatever sources we can, even by working with the competitors, because the demand is still there and we have to satisfy it. Lucky in the rail industry we are all willing to help the customers out to the best of our ability.”