Below Rail Infrastructure, Safety, Standards & Regulation, Uncategorized

Wearing a commitment to safety

In its column, the RTAA outlines its current initiatives in rail track innovation and safety.

Welcome to 2020! Last year ended on a high note with the AusRAIL Plus Conference and Exhibition in Sydney attracting over 7,500 visitors and delegates. The RTAA held its own technical stream as part of the AusRail program with a strong line up of excellent presentations on track construction and operation, asset maintenance, turnout, safety, and rail head management.

The RTAA Yellow Tie Dinner was the highlight of the conference with a record attendance of over 1,350 guests. A new addition this year was the silent auction of the RTAA One Less Dress. This one-of-a-kind dress was made by Erika Barnes from over 50 yellow silk ties for the rail safety cause with proceeds from the auction donated directly to the TrackSAFE Foundation. Gary Davey of JMD Railtech Group provided the winning bid.

The One Less Dress was officially unveiled at JMDR’s Sydney Office on 13 February 2020.

The new decade promises to be a big one for the Australian rail industry. This year the RTAA has returned with new vigour and enthusiasm for the year ahead and is focused on working collaboratively with public and private entities as well as other technical societies to make rail more inclusive for everyone, grow our national footprint, promote knowledge sharing, foster collaboration, and be sustainable.

To support this focus, we have elected a new and diverse leadership team comprised of amazing men and women working in rail

  • Thomas Kerr – president
  • Jonathan Barnes – vice president
  • Orla O’Sullivan – vice president
  • Kieran Navin – treasurer
  • Abbie Thomas – secretary
  • Laurena Basutu – marketing manager

We’ve planned some great events and initiatives for this year.

Nominations for the Emerging Rail Specialist Award are now open. This award has evolved from the Frank Franklyn Young Rail Specialist Award, which was first established in 2008 in honour of the great Francis Gustave Franklyn who passed that year. Francis was the chief civil engineer in NSW for eight years through the 1980s, was the RTAA vice president, and is an Honorary Life Member of the RTAA. The new award has developed out of a need to be more modern and relevant to today’s audience and environment. It recognises and encourages the contribution of emerging rail specialists in the early stages of their career within the rail industry and attempts to be more inclusive by not making age a limiting factor. The winner of the Emerging Rail Specialist Award will be presented at the Australasian Rail Industry Awards (ARIA) on 19 November 2020 in Melbourne.

For more information on RTAA activities, events and initiatives in 2020 contact: or follow the RTAA on social media Twitter: @RailTAA , LinkedIn: @Rail Track Association Australia – RTAA and Facebook: @RailTAA.