Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand)

RTAA field day fast approaching

With the RTAA field day just around the corner, preparation is well underway to make the event a success. It will provide an opportunity for knowledge sharing between those in the rail industry.

I love to teach. Teaching is a role that I have had the good fortune over the years to explore, through direct mentorship, lecturing and most recently through working with the ARA to develop rail engineering content for inclusion in university engineering degrees. 

This most recent experience has been particularly rewarding as the recording session with my colleague Roy was a thoroughly enjoyable session exploring the concepts of maintenance and operations within rail.

Why the love of teaching? For myself it is two-fold. Firstly, the obvious opportunity to pass on knowledge and wisdom to others and in turn watch them grow and build on this to further our industry. Second, is that I find I learn through teaching. I have found that sometimes as I am preparing content and trying to explain a concept, the act of deconstructing into simple principles can trigger understanding and fantastic eureka moments as some related topic suddenly clicks.

I do urge everyone to take the opportunity if presented to participate in this most worthy activity by sharing your knowledge and hopefully you too can find something wonderful and learn as well. 

I would also like to pass my thanks and gratitude to all of those over the years that have taught and mentored me. To each and every one of you, thank you.

Shifting focus, we are now a few weeks away from the next Sydney Trains – RTAA Field Day.  The committee, our volunteers and partners are hard at work finalising details and programs checking safety and access and the thousand other tasks to make the event a success. If you haven’t already booked, I urge you to do so as this will allow you to skip the lines at the door by pre-completing your induction and registration requirements. 

While you are at the show make sure you look out for our volunteers and supporters. This year we will be clearly marked out in some particularly stylish shirts created through collaboration with Luke Penrith who specialises in bringing indigenous design to rail work wear. Please check out their stand in the main marquee at the show.

Registrations to attend are open and we will be launching the induction system soon so that you can skip the queue at the gate and get straight in. 

Alongside the field day, we will be hosting our No-Tie gala dinner at the Waterview Bicentennial Park, located within the Olympic Park precinct. The No-tie event is a long-standing tradition now of the field day and started with a desire to host a low formality event to enjoy the company of our friends and colleagues. The only formality we observe, outside of a quick welcome, is the awarding of the year’s Best in Field trophy. This highly sought award is given to the best stand of the day.  

There are some tickets left but you will need to get in quick as they are selling fast.

In other news the call is out for the best in the rail industry to be celebrated, with the Rail Industry Awards. There are numerous categories, recognising individuals, companies and projects that have been exemplary. Our award category is for the Young Specialists, looking to recognise someone new to the industry that has made a significant impact, and is destined to be among the leaders of our industry. We have adjusted the entrance criteria this year, to simplify the process and make it easier than ever to nominate. 

That means there are no excuses. I therefore call on our members and seniors within the industry to nominate a talented young person. This award is not limited to track people or engineers either, we know that the rail industry needs and attracts people from all walks and backgrounds. This award is focused on fostering the drive that will make them future leaders and peers of the industry. Our winner last year Kershan Pillai is a rolling stock engineer that has already made great contributions to our industry. The year before we had joint winners Andrew Lagos, a mechanical background and Donna Daley is a Human Factors specialist. Three very diverse backgrounds., I am eager to find out who we will be recognising this year at the awards dinner in Sydney.

I wish everyone a good month, and glad that next time we talk will be at the Field Day .