The project to establish an Australian rail technology map progresses

Global Railway Review |

The Rail Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is partnering with the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) and Deakin University to develop a 'Smart Rail Route Map' for Australia's rail industry.

The $550,000 project is being funded with $200,000 in cash funding from Rail Manufacturing CRC and ARA, and $350,000 in in-kind contributions. It is expected to identify a long-term vision for technology in the rail industry over the next 30 years, through the establishment of a common view of priorities, themes, timelines and actions.

"The Smart Rail Route Map will help our industry realise the vision of a national approach to rail technology, bringing economies of scale and supporting interoperability," said Danny Broad, ARA's CEO.

The Deakin University project team, led by Professor Douglas Creighton from Deakin's Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation, will provide expertise in systems mapping when workshopping, developing and modelling the project's outputs.

"The project team is collaborating directly with a newly established steering committee made up of representatives across the Australian rail industry, to define industry goals, map key challenges for the rail sector over the next 30 years relating to technology disruption and identify focus area objectives and initiatives," said Douglas Creighton.

The Smart Rail Route Map will be technology-neutral and communicate the detail in a non-technical manner. The project outputs will be owned by the Australian rail industry and will be used to support the introduction of new technologies and services efficiently and cost-effectively.

"The Smart Rail Route Map will translate ideas and data into a meaningful direction for how the Australian rail industry can leverage technology in the coming decades. The Rail Manufacturing CRC looks forward to working with the ARA and Deakin University to see tangible collaborative opportunities identified," said Dr Stuart Thomson.

The steering committee and various industry participants have partaken in four mini-workshops to discuss the map's key focus areas: Customer Service (Passenger), Customer Service (Freight), Traffic and Network Management, and High Performance Rail.

The project is expected for completion by .

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