The expertise of SMART researchers in the field of rail innovation continues to be in strong demand.

Together with our industry partner, the Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI), we are moving into the third and final stage of two projects.

Each of these projects involve three phases with the first two phases already complete.

  1. Knowledge gathering and development of models with appropriate frameworks to address the issues
  2. Detailed modelling, framework population and development of a generic model for rail organisation
  3. Integration of each organisations’ tools and processes into the model.

The first project – on Track Worker Safety – looks at how to ensure that track workers are trained and competent to work in the new conditions resulting from the new technologies being used.

Significant progress is shown by the fact that across Australia 40 workers died in the decade before 2008, while in the 10 years since, there have been fewer than half a dozen fatalities.

Researcher Honorary Professor Peter Campbell says training is vital.

“The focus is to build a tool to help both the workers and the managers how best to respond to new technology,” he said.

Also about to enter into the third – or implementation phase – is a second commission project, Organisational Capability Maturity.

The second project is building a generic model to address the complex issues that arise when installing new technologies into brownfield rail systems, over extended transition periods.

“Specific issues to be addressed include competency and training needs, safety assurance, risk mitigation and cyber security,” Professor Campbell said.

“The model will support understanding and analysis of the effects of the introduction of new technology across all levels of a rail organisation’s operation.”

The generic model is designed to help rail organisations address issues when new technology is introduced, both before the change and through the introduction period.