Looking back on AusRAIL 2016

The 2016 AusRAIL Exhibition and Conference was held in Adelaide in late November, with attendees across all facets of rail congregating together to share their successes and hear about innovative ways of working across our industry.

This year was themed around Rail – Moving the Economy Forward, with an interesting mix of broader presentations about the challenges and opportunities in freight and passenger rail, supported by technical stream sessions on safety, value capture, technology and sustainability.

In addition, some great panel discussions were held with key representatives across Australian rail organisations, including a session on innovating freight methods, one on how to embrace technology and another on attracting and retaining women in rail.

A highlight was the Young Rail Professionals Pitching Competition, where five newcomers to the industry presented their game-changing ideas on how to improve rail practices, with the winner selected by a panel of judges and the audience. Well done to the five finalists, and special congratulations to Michelle Doolan from Aurecon, whose proposal to use virtual reality technology to excite and engage the general public during rail construction works was announced as the winning pitch.

The Rail Manufacturing CRC also had a stand in the exhibition space, where we met with a number of attendees keen to discuss innovative rail R&D projects.

Also in the exhibition space, we were happy to provide two presentations at the UGL Innovation Hub, with our CEO Stuart providing an introduction to the Rail Manufacturing CRC and its programs and our Program Leader Colin Cole talking about condition monitoring – comparing the past ‘pen and paper’ days to the evolving ‘Internet of Things’ technology monitoring.

Another treat was playing on the Metro Trains Virtual Reality (VR) stand, where we got the chance to experience two different VR programs – one a train driver simulation environment, and the other an interior and exterior train inspection tool.

Well done to the entire Australasian Railway Association team for putting on a terrific event – we look forward to attending the next AusRAIL conference in Brisbane in 2017.

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