Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Conferences, Freight Rail

The innovation and technology driving heavy haul sustainability

Wendy McMillan, Senior Regional Vice President (ANZ and SEA), Wabtec Corporation spoke at Heavy Haul Rail around Innovation & Technology: Driving Heavy Haul Sustainability.

“To  give you some idea of the scale of Wabtec, 20 per cent of world’s rail freight has moved by Wabtec, that gives us enormous potential to partner with our current customers around decarbonisation,” McMillan said.

“We’re not going to get to where we need to unless we partner.”

McMillan explained that she is looking forward to the Federal budget this year to see how the government is aiming to influence rail and decarbonisation.

“There’s a pathway, by using partnerships from government, private enterprise and universities,” she said.

“We’re well aware in industry, of the issues of biofuels and the availability both in Australia and global context.”

McMillan explained that railroads need to have the capability, flexibility to still run on diesel, potential hybrids when biofuels are unavailable and that it is imperative that industry takes a strong pathway to decarbonisation.

“Every customer is different in the way they manage their assets and all of life,” she said.

“So, you’ve got to have that flexibility in pathway but you’ve also got to have scale and again, this is the crux of Australian manufacturing.”

McMillan said that many of her colleagues in the United States are asking how is Australia so progressive on 2050 targets.

“I think we all know that the answers are strong leadership, strong policy and investments in this new technology,” she said.

“All of us need to advocate together in partnership and get the rubber on the road, particularly with upcoming elections overseas and locally.”