Staff Writer

RISSB releases take-up survey results

Annual survey shows over 90 per cent of the rail industry is making use of RISSB products and services.

RISSB released its take-up survey results in July showing that more than 90 per cent of respondents use RISSB publications.

Comprising an online survey and face-to- face interviews, this independent survey was undertaken between May and July 2020.

A total of 44 rail organisations (including 19 companies/organisations who are currently not RISSB members) completed an online survey and eight one-on-one interviews were held with senior executives from the rail industry.

The results also show that In broad terms, RISSB’s external stakeholders believe that RISSB has improved in the past 12 months, that its credibility has continued to increase, and that RISSB publications are extremely influential in the rail industry with more than 93 per cent of survey respondents stating that their organisation has been influenced in some way by a RISSB publication.

For the first time ever, the survey also asked respondents to not only comment on the use of RISSB publications in their organisation, but also consider the use of RISSB services (conferences, forums, programs and events) by employees. All organisations surveyed indicated that their organisation utilised RISSB services and more than 90 per cent of respondents indicated that RISSB services influence their company or organisation’s internal documents, systems, practices or procedures.

SOME OF THE KEY FINDINGS ARE:

  • There is an extremely high level of take-up of RISSB products in the rail industry with over 90 per cent indicating they use RISSB products in some way.
  • There is a growing trend in government procurement processes for RISSB standards to be used by the successful bidder.
  • The Australian National Rules and Procedures and the National Rules Framework are two of RISSB’s more valuable and influential publications.
  • 100 per cent of those surveyed indicated their companies/organisations utilise RISSB services.
  • The stand-out service provided by RISSB is its safety conference and it is an important industry learning and networking event.
  • Over 93 per cent of industry is aware of RISSB’s training programs and they are well used across industry with around 80 per cent of organisations surveyed indicating they had attended a RISSB training program.
  • The specialist forums offered by RISSB are well regarded with over 100 per cent awareness and 95 per cent responding that the forums benefitted their organisation.
  • The Horizons Program is actively promoting the next generation of rail industry leaders and has a wide of level of support within the industry.
  • RISSB’s The Whistle Board weekly newsletter is widely read within the industry and is easy to read.

A survey summary report is available to download from RISSB’s website: www.rissb.com.au/publications/.

LINX Cargo Care Group enables new transport avenue to Central West with LINX Intermodal terminal expansion

LINX Cargo Care Group has enabled a new arterial avenue for Australia’s grain farmers in the Central West with the recent expansion of services from its LINX Intermodal Terminal, part of the Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre.

LINX Cargo Care Group is now partnering with CWLT Logistics to enable new services between Sydney and Bathurst, with Forbes next in line. As part of the Terminal’s expansion, LINX Cargo Care Group has opened on-site fumigation services to streamline the process from ports to rail and reduce traffic, while enabling aligned service provider ACFS Port Logistics (ACFS) to undertake rural and regional tailgate inspections at the terminal.

“The LINX Intermodal Terminal is becoming a one-stop shop for Australia’s supply chain backbone, enabling greater sustainability, reduced traffic and improved rail access between the Central West and Sydney,” said Carlo Cutinelli, Executive General Manager Customer & Business Development at LINX Cargo Care Group. “The continued investment from LINX Cargo Care Group as well as NSW Ports into the infrastructure both at the LINX Intermodal Terminal and the ports is paying off, with our farmers the first to benefit.”

Grain farmers in the Central West will be the key early beneficiaries of the Sydney to Bathurst service and rural tailgate inspection services, with a quicker turnaround to the ports now possible. Driven by above-average rainfall between March and August, NSW is expected to lead a bumper harvest with winter crop production in the state predicted to rise 49 per cent above the 10-year average to 2019-20.

Those farmers will now have a quicker path to the ports with LINX’s upgraded services and expanded Terminal operations.

“This is further streamlining the supply chain between Australia’s heartland and key export markets, and it’s also reducing the impacts of traffic on regional roads and around the ports,” said Cutinelli.

The NSW Government’s Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 highlighted a plan to increase the road to rail share of rail freight at Port Botany to 28 per cent by 2021 and reduce the impact of truck movements around the ports. The expansion of capabilities at the LINX Intermodal Terminal will significantly reduce the impact of two-truck movements, as well as the overall number of trucks, around Botany.

ACFS Managing Director and CEO, Arthur Tzaneros says customers in NSW’s central west will benefit from the overall productivity and capability of the LINX Intermodal Terminal.

“With the support and alliance of many of the major shipping lines, upgrade and repair facilities, as well as the key strength of 3 x 900m tracks which allows for the service of 1.8m trains, this provides a distinct advantage in the LINX Intermodal Terminal service that will reap benefits for the Central West service, and its related customers,” said Tzaneros.

“Furthermore, customers can now also receive an end-to-end service on imports, further streamlining the port to rail process on the port shuttle that is serviced via the dedicated freight line, while complying with all relevant import regulations.”

LINX’s Fumigation, Tailgate Capabilities Reduce Truck Movements, Enable Sustainable Supply Chain

LINX’s fumigation services for imported containers – which meet the stringent safety, health, agricultural and environmental requirements from a host of stakeholders including Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, SafeWork NSW and Border Control – will remove the number of trucks from suburban roads around Port Botany by reducing two-truck movement.

“If a transport company needs to go and pick up a container from the port, they’ll have to pick it up from the port and then they will need to take it to a provider that does fumigation and generally they’re around Port Botany,” said Cutinelli. “Then they’ve got to drop the container off there and once the container is fumigated, vented, and cleared, they need to go back to that facility again, collect the container and then drop it off at their customer or bring it back to their depot and then deliver the container to the customer.

“With our service, we collect the container from the port, we bring it back to the LINX Intermodal Terminal, it goes directly off our train into the fumigation area. It gets fumigated, vented, cleared and then we can then get that container and put it directly into our subtenant’s yard or our customer comes and collects the box.

“We’re now able to clear up to 40 containers a day.”

A tailgate inspection involves a visual inspection of the inside of a container to see if there are insects, dirt, or grass. If any of these are found that could indicate the presence of pests which could affect agriculture, LINX now has the facilities in the LINX Intermodal Terminal for ACFS to be able to wash down a container.

“Our customer doesn’t worry about the container until it’s placed into the transition bay for onsite customers,” said Cutinelli. “They send us the booking and the next thing they know is the containers are put into the terminal, cleared, and in the transition bay or the location where they can come and collect it.”

M323f

CAT purpose-built M323F RR now in Australia

Caterpillar’s purpose-built M323F road-rail (RR) excavators are now at work in Australia, providing access to the first true AS7502 Type 1: Self-powered rail wheeled excavator designed specifically for on-rail work in Australasia while delivering a new level of safety and performance for the industry.

Four dedicated two-speed drive motors provide drive directly to the rail wheels, eliminating wear and tear on the machine’s road powertrain, axles, and tyres while providing unmatched on rail performance including operator adjustable hydrostatic deceleration. Dynamic braking performance is easily adjusted by the operator based on total load, speed, grade, or traction conditions and is complimented by large external dry disc caliper brakes on each rail wheel and inboard wet disc parking/emergency brakes. By braking the actual rail wheel any rocking motion induced by friction drive systems is eliminated providing a more stable, comfortable working platform for the operator. While the self- powered rail wheel system is more expensive, its performance is second to none, both in terms of drive torque and braking performance. Such performance cannot be replicated with friction systems traditionally used in Australia

Independently controlled, each dedicated rail axle is housed in a custom high strength cast cradle, incorporating oscillation suspension to absorb energy during travel and ensuring maximum rail contact even when experiencing rail cant. Each axle features a full width derail bar and guide and has been approved for both broad and standard track gauges in Australia, with a simple spacer kit to switch between gauges in the field.

Performance also comes from the custom- built upper structure. This is not simply a modified wheel excavator frame, although it does benefit from component commonality with the Cat M316F Wheel Excavator. At first glance, the full height compact radius counterweight confirms that this machine is designed for purpose, maximising lifting performance while maintaining a tight swing radius to avoid the many hazards that exist within the rail corridor.

A purpose-built factory secondary cab provides certified protection for a spotter or signal person and opens up to also allow full access to the centre and upper service access points of the machine. With open access to the main cabin, this is a perfect environment for a trainer to work with new operators live and on rail.

Safety is a priority and features throughout the M323F RR with double redundancy Rated Capacity Indicator (RCI) and Rated Capacity Limiter (RCL) systems using a proprietary, integrated Cat SMART control system. No more aftermarket, third party systems or suppliers, the M323F RR is truly purpose built from the ground up. A 360° LED beacon system ensures visibility at four metres from any angle and incorporates a unique blue LED lamp to indicate to bystanders and site supervisors when the operator has the RCI/RCL active.

Factory side and rear cameras integrated into the single 12-inch SMART screen along with an extensive LED lighting kit ensure visibility from the spacious full-size operators cabin during the day or night. Intuitive systems ensure the same pedals and controls used when roading the machine are used when on rail and no compromises are made in terms of operator comfort to accommodate the additional functionality of the rail excavator.

Recently independently certified to AS7502 for use on V/Line assets, the M323F features regionalised customisation by Cat dealer William Adams.

“It is very rewarding to see the culmination of several year’s work behind the scenes to take such an impressive purpose-built Caterpillar product now certified for use on rail here in Victoria. It will certainly complement the Elphinstone Railmax track excavator products and the traditional range of Caterpillar construction equipment we offer today, along with our industry leading product support footprint and capabilities,” concluded Glen Slocombe – product manager, William Adams.

Realising growth through consistency

Omada Rail Systems have expanded their footprint and their capabilities.

Since establishing the company in 2016, directors Luke Craven, Mark Hadfield, and Christopher Miller have grown Omada Rail Systems into one of the top railway signalling engineering companies in Australia; providing high quality professional management and engineering services from project inception and feasibility, through to the testing, operations, and maintenance phases.

A growing footprint
Since the beginning of 2020, the company has expanded their team’s physical presence into New South Wales and South Australia. Now with more than 30 full time staff, this expansion adds to the existing teams in Queensland and Victoria.

This recent growth has been concentrated in Omada’s testing team. Speaking in an interview on Omada’s expansion, Hadfield said, “Employing experienced engineers in these locations has opened up opportunities for us to work on projects that have previously been too costly to take on. The reduction in costs associated with not having to fly our team interstate to these locations, allows us to provide our clients with a great value for money service.”

The mass of rail projects underway across Australia has created huge demand for testers, however, this resource in the industry is a sparse commodity. Attempting to meet this demand, Omada’s directors made the decision to bring Ian Arnold into the company as Testing Engineering Manager to develop and lead the Omada test team. A highly experienced Tester in Charge (TIC) and well-known in the industry, Arnold quickly got to work in building an effective team of testers.

Julie Pennington, the first person to be employed by Omada in New South Wales, was brought in as an experienced TIC. In South Australia, Matthew Hooper has joined Omada, a tester with more than 17 years of experience in leading teams on large projects. The arrival of these new engineers has added a new dimension to Omada’s services, combining high quality design and management services with onsite testing and commissioning work. Now with multiple TIC’s, principal testers, functional testers and test assistants across Australia, Omada has built a diverse testing team, capable of meeting project requirements with minimal risk.

“The additions we made to our team were carefully selected to ensure we significantly increased our testing and commissioning capabilities. Not only have we expanded into new locations, but we have now positioned our company to be able to deliver full projects, rather than just packages of work,” said Hadfield, “The diverse experience of our staff provides us with the unique ability to solve any potential problem our clients may throw our way.”

Sustainability focus
Omada is fast becoming known in the industry as one of the most reliable and effective engineering options. Hadfield backed this claim by saying, “We have received excellent feedback from a number of our clients on recently completed projects. In particular, Ian Arnold was singled out by a client for being particularly effective, pulling everything together to get a commissioning over the line, safely and on-time.”

To establish a name as one of the industry’s most trustworthy providers, quality and reliability are vital.

“We have built a reputation for quality services and on-time project deliveries, which has been a major factor in allowing us to meet new clients, develop stronger relationships with our existing clients, and form industry partnerships,” said Hadfield.

Utilising their industry contacts, Omada’s directors have formed strong working relationships with rail construction companies around Australia, adding to their growing list of capabilities.

It is clear from the growth that Omada has shown recently, that there is a strong focus from the directors on business development. By increasing capabilities and capacity for work, Omada’s directors also set out to diversify their workforce. In March this year, Omada began a graduate program and welcomed two young graduate engineers into the company. Since then, these graduates have been able to work under mentorship on designs and work on site as test assistants, gaining valuable experience for future projects.

Despite increasing their team’s size and working on a greater number of projects, the quality of service that the team provides has not decreased. Omada’s directors have made this possible by ensuring that new team members are committed to adopting Omada’s values, methodologies and processes, backed up by a highly effective mentorship system.

For more information on Omada Rail Systems’ capabilities and project work head to their website: omadarail.com

Q&A with Janet Salem: Keynote speaker at ASCI2021

Janet Salem has over 13 years of experience working in circular economy and sustainability at the United Nations. She has been selected by the ASCI2021 Advisory Board to deliver the keynote address at the ASCI annual conference in February 2021, as part of the Continuous Professional Development Program. Below is an edited Q&A between Salem and ASCI.

ASCI: How does a university graduate from New South Wales end up working with the United Nations?

Janet Salem: I’m surprised myself. It was quite unintentional but I studied an environmental engineering degree at the University of New South Wales and I took an interest in environmental accounting relevant for supply chains. This involved looking at techniques like life cycle assessment which look at the environmental impacts behind a product, including not only the company that directly making the products but the company that makes the components of the packaging and transports and behind that, making the materials and then further back, the one extracting raw materials from the environment.

Then, as part of the degree, I completed an internship with the UN global program to promote these techniques. While doing that internship I worked on a proposal on a science policy interface on the sustainable use of natural resources.

A couple of years down the track that proposal was successful and so I went back to work on that in the EU and environment programme in Paris and stayed there working on synthesizing what science has to say about sustainable resource management and how we have to bridge the gap between scientists and what policy makers are doing towards sustainability.

The opportunity came up around eight years ago to apply some of this knowledge in policy support to governments in the Asia-Pacific region and so I have spent the last eight years looking at how we can support individual governments and regional processes to develop security and sustainable resource management.

Very recently I joined a new program looking at the circular economy. The focus is on plastics in Southeast Asia and am very excited about this new role and looking at how technologies can help monitor plastics and how solutions can prevent plastic waste from reaching our oceans in the first place.

ASCI: Can you briefly explain the premise behind the Decade of Action and what are the main sustainability goals?

Janet Salem: The UN sustainable development goals were adopted in 2015 and they’re considered a transformative agenda for the world to shift towards a sustainable future. The reason that they’re so transformative is that they really apply to all countries equally.

We used to have the Millennium development goals which are very focused on poverty eradication. That’s evolved and the sustainable development goals under the Decade of Action, or the Global Goals so they are called, apply to all countries. It’s said that now every country is a developing country because they also include environmental sustainability, clean industries, the state of the cities, climate action, protecting nature, and life below water. It’s looking at gender and it’s looking at health so you really have this cross-cutting agenda that all countries now need to work on in order to develop the kind of future that I think everyone would want to live in.

ASCI: As the first keynote of ASCI2021, what can delegates expect to hear from your  address?

Janet Salem: My address will cover concrete examples that show supply chain approaches that can support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. There are 17 different goals but you can’t address one at a time so I’ll be getting case studies from the private sector and demonstrating how they cross over a few different goals.

There is a limit to what governments can do to deliver these goals. Actually, all the production-consumption activities are with the private sector and I think that companies that take a supply chain approach have the most potential and the most responsibility to support the sustainable development goals because they can leverage that entire supply chain and one company can actually mobilise a number of companies to get on the same page.

These cases will also bring in that circular economy approach because it’s it is an environmental framework that has to have a supply chain approach. We’re looking at how do we move from that linear take/make/deliver/waste economy approach to a circular economy approach.

With a circular economy approach you really need to break down those silos and work together. A product that can be re-used and set at a higher value and spun off into a different sector is amazing but makes the supply chain quite long and complex. I’ll address the kinds of discussions that need to be going on between different members of a supply chain in order to reduce the amount of waste that’s generated.

ASCIL What are you most looking forward to hearing at the conference?

Janet Salem: I’m particularly interested to see how industry partners with really complex supply chains are adapting to disruptions in supply chain availability and also how they’re looking at sustainability. Companies on the program like Food Buy, Kimberly-Clark or Metcash who are dealing with a lot of packaging materials and now they’re matching requirements and expectations as packaging becomes more sustainable. Also looking down the supply chain at the ban on exports of plastic waste to other countries and whether these companies have developed domestic solutions for plastic packaging waste.

I’m also quite interested in hearing from the Navy Centre for Innovation because it’s really great to see multiple types of stakeholders collaborating towards a common purpose of innovation and sustainability.

Lastly, I’m keen to see the commended, highly commended and winner of the Sustainability Award at the Awards Dinner on the evening of the first day. I think there is a lot of exciting work on sustainability in Australia that isn’t really well known outside of Australia. Working for the UN in Asia-Pacific, we always looking for good examples of what we can share globally.

Time is running out to secure your early bird tickets for ASCI2021. For more information and to book go to http://www.asci-2021.com.au/.

KLP Hybrid Polymer Sleepers

Reduced maintenance with KLP Hybrid Polymer Sleepers

In the same way that the inflexible old oak trees get uprooted in a strong storm in Aesop’s fable, a track support with too high track stiffness will cause premature failure and result in higher maintenance costs than anticipated. Track support that is too stiff does not spread the load sufficiently, resulting in extremely high localised impact loads and stresses (in track, sleepers, and fasteners). This may result in microcracks in rigid sleepers, failure of screws or clips, ballast attrition or ground vibrations. Causes for too high track stiffness include rigid subgrade (including concrete bases such as bridges, viaducts, tunnels) and overly stiff sleepers, such as concrete sleepers. Read more

Virtual site tour part of RISSB’s Rail Safety Conference

Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) has confirmed that delegates to October’s Rail Safety Conference will get a unique view into progress being made on the new metro platforms underneath Sydney’s Central Station.

Delegates will be able to see the work currently underway for Sydney Metro at the station and for the new underground pedestrian concourse, Central Walk.

With the station’s new landmark roof taking shape, the virtual site tour will also provide a vision of what the redesigned Central Station will look like when Central Walk opens in 2022 and when metro services commence in 2024.

Delegates will join principal contractor Laing O’Rourke as they dive into the construction site, showing progress for Central Walk, then the tour will go deeper into the new metro station box, currently at 18 metres underground and on the way to the depth of 30 metres.

While construction has benefited from lower commuter numbers passing through Central Station during the COVID-19 pandemic, innovative construction measures and techniques have been used to reduce the impact of major construction occurring at the busiest station in Australia.

During the tour, techniques to ensure safety on a complex project such as this will be shared with the audience. Laing O’Rourke will also be showcasing its use of artificial intelligence computer vision safety system during day one of the conference program.

The virtual site tour is one of a number of online interactive experiences that will be part of the two-day event. Nine streams covering issues most important to the rail industry, including track worker safety, level crossings, investigations, and data and information, will be a highlight of the two-day program. Six keynote presentations from local and international rail safety leaders will set the tone for the days’ discussions.

To find out more and book tickets, follow the link: https://www.informa.com.au/event/conference/rissb-rail-safety-conference/

Next generation height and slew limiters ensure safety in the rail corridor

The new Sentinel Safety product range from PRM Engineering Services includes the latest generation Height and Slew Limiters to allow safe operation around powerlines and within confined spaces. Already in use by rail operators around Australia, the Sentinel Height & Slew range of products can be configured for height only, slew only or height and slew operation to suit your machine or site requirements.

The Sentinel Height and Slew limiters are perfect for the safe operation of excavators, loaders, skid steers and backhoes when working under overhead powerlines, in and around bridges and inside tunnels and can be installed on new and old machines alike. The Sentinel Height and Slew limiters have also been designed with rail operators in mind, with rail specific systems that meet the machine safety requirements of multiple rail authorities.

The Sentinel Height and Slew limiters have been used by rail authorities Australia wide for a several years and can be retrofitted to any machine with articulated booms.  Based on these years of experience PRM Engineering Services has developed several features such as predictive height stopping to prevent overshoot, fail to safe motion stop valving, blade and offset boom stops to ensure the operator cannot inadvertently go over height or slew limits and optional password protected menus for supervisor restricted control of limiter related settings.

PRM has also recently released two new optional features; HV Powerline Detection and Automatic Attachment Recognition. By combining the functionality of our widely used Sentinel Height and Slew limiters with a patented Sentinel HV Aerial Module, the system can ensure safe operation around powerlines from the moment the machine is turned on. The system prevents the machine moving within the exclusion zone around powerlines and motion-cut valving prevents the machine from moving closer while allowing the operator to direct the machine away from the electricity source.

Automatic attachment recognition allows the system to recognise up to seven attachments and automatically adjust height settings for the system without operator input. Automatic attachment recognition reduces the risk of incorrect attachment selection and can be used with or without supervisor approval as required.

Brisbane-based PRM Engineering Services are passionate about safety and have a long-standing heritage of safety system design and installation since 2002. With experience in the rail and earthmoving industries, PRM Engineering Services have become integrators and developers of a number of unique safety and control systems that meet customer requirements. These projects have ranged in scope from customisations of height or slew systems through to full redesign of control systems for on-track rail vehicles. Ongoing local support has been provided by the PRM Engineering team during the testing, installation, and operational phases of the technology.

Along with our team of talented engineers, the PRM Group of companies can also assist with the installation or modification of electrical, hydraulic, and control systems for heavy machinery, enabling PRM Engineering Services to offer end-to end innovative and customised solutions to our wide range of customers.

To find out more follow this link: https://prmengineering.com.au/.