In this months edition, you will find articles on 

President's Welcome - Thomas Kerr

Welcome to the June 2020 edition of EnGauge newsletter.

Last week was National Reconciliation Week and it was pleasing to see some members of the rail industry contribute to strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, something the RTAA strongly encourages.
This month we are holding our first Webinar with myself, David Bainbridge and Anna Murray outlining our perspectives of the RTAA. It will also be an opportunity for members to ask questions and participate in an interactive session that will better shape the direction of the RTAA and continue to add value to RTAA membership.

Our association service provider The Association Specialists (TAS) are continuing to support the refresh of the RTAA website and membership database system. We are looking to have this implemented by early July and trust this will enable a more positive experience with the RTAA and enhance the access of relevant information and resources. We strongly encourage input from members, and the Webinar will be a key mechanism to contribute to this.

Finally, don’t forget to put an Emerging Rail Specialist forward for the RTAA Award, which closes on the 26 June 2020!


Friday 12 June 2020

12:00pm - 12:30pm AEST

This webinar is the first of a series of RTAA webinars. The purpose of the first one is to outline who the Rail Track Association (RTAA) is and what we do. The intent is also to allow RTAA to increase its understanding of its members and the rail industry to enhance its value proposition to members and the rail community.

RTAA members and non-members are welcome to register, and audience participation is highly encouraged. We are keen for participants to provide questions beforehand as well as interact during the session. 

Our Meet and Greet Panel will include:
  • Thomas Kerr, President of RTAA
  • David Bainbridge, Project Director – Safe Work Improvement Program at Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)
  • Anna Murray, Track Renewals Manager at Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM)

Click below to register your spot now!

AR Rail Industry Guide to Safety

The recently published Rail Industry Guide to Safety by Pro-Visual Publishing in conjunction with the Rail Track Association Australia (RTAA) and the National Safety Council of Australia (NSCA) Foundation provides further information on fatigue risk management as well as additional key safety information. With digital interactivity using Augmented Reality (AR) further resources can also be accessed such as 3D models, videos and PDF files. 

For further information, or to obtain additional copies of the Guide, please email or visit here 


Member Spotlight - Abbie Thomas

Abbie Thomas is the current Secretary for the RTAA and a Project Manager for Pacific National in their Strategic Maintenance team, where she is responsible for managing the delivery of Transformation projects and initiatives that target a performance improvement in the wider maintenance portfolio.  Read on to find out more about her accidental career in rail!

Why did you pursue a career in the rail industry?
It was accidental! As a graduate engineer, I unfortunately found myself redundant during the GFC and ended up getting a role in the Standards team at ARTC -  even though I did not know anything about what they did or the rail industry itself. The role was a great insight into rail. I just thought it was all so interesting and I could see many opportunities to develop a satisfying career.
What is the most challenging project or innovation that you have been involved in, in your career and what did you learn?
I worked as a Project Engineer on Sydney Metro Northwest, delivering the trackwork in the greenfield tunnels from Epping to Bella Vista. I won’t lie, it was a hard job! The sheer scale and complexity of the project and its numerous interfaces provided a unique challenge to the logistics of getting concrete into the tunnels on a daily basis. But it was a privilege to be involved with Australia’s first driverless Metro and was invaluable to my development. It was great to see and understand the development of a railway as a whole – tunnelling, track, stations, rail systems, rollingstock – across its lifecycle.
What advice would you give to others in a similar position in about being successful or forging a good career in rail?
My advice would be to be open to opportunities and soak up as much knowledge as you can. There’s so much happening in the industry at the moment, the market’s in your favour to go and work on some iconic projects. It can get tough at times but the reward is being able to look at something tangible and think “I did that”.
What do you see as the biggest opportunity for rail in the future and how can the RTAA support that? 
In my decade or so in the rail industry, I have seen both governments and the wider population realise that rail is one of the most safe and sustainable modes of transport, and goes far in addressing issues of population growth and congestion. Because of this we have seen record levels of investment in both passenger and freight across the nation.

The challenge with this is addressing the skills shortage required to deliver this work. A lot of people don’t immediately think of rail as a career option, probably because they don’t realise the breadth of  jobs you can do in within the industry; it’s not all about swinging a hammer. I find that like myself, most people accidentally fall into it and then get hooked, so organisations like the RTAA are key in promoting the industry to a wider audience. Something that I am excited about is our renewed strategic focus on industry sustainability and diversity, so we can encourage people from all walks of life to consider a career in rail.
Nominations for the RTAA 2020 Emerging Rail Specialist Award  are now open!  This award recognises the talents of  ‘young in the industry’ rather than ‘young in age’.  The winner will receive up to $10,000 to attend an international transport conference of their choice. Entries close June 26, 2020.
RTAA Member Exclusive sign up here for your free subscription to the print edition of Rail Express.
At this free 24-hour virtual event, you’ll hear from 50+ industry-leading speakers how they’re enduring and accelerating their digital transformation journeys to keep operations on track.  

Rail Virtual features:
  • 50+ international speakers
  • Live panel debates
  • Interactive roundtables
  • One-to-one meetings

Click here for more information 
A new and unique qualification in rail track engineering is launching this July. 

Diploma of Engineering Infrastructure Rail (P1A).
This qualification provides rail specific skilling for professional engineers, engineering graduates and technically qualified staff interested in re-skilling to pursue a role in track engineering.

Enrolments are now open for Semester Two, commencing July 2020
This year the Sydney WIE division will be hosting a three-part series, with each part of the series building on the topic of gender parity. Part 1 will be centered around ‘The Role Men Play’. This free webinar event will take a deep dive into industry best practice in supporting the role men play in the drive towards gender equality. 

Nominations for the prestigious NSW Premier’s Prize for Scientist of the Year are now open! The prize  is awarded to an outstanding individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of science and/or engineering which has benefited or has the potential to benefit the people of New South Wales. 
With the recent spike in unemployment and industries having to rethink their business and look at new markets, online learning is supporting people in gaining new skills for a new world. TAFE has been playing a key part in supporting our journey through Coronavirus. Check out the suite of fee-free TAFE courses

RISSB is launching a program focusing on the safety of front line track workers across Australia. The program will span work packages across five key areas: technology, planning works, skills / competencies, communications, and culture.If you have any comments / questions, email Jesse Baker, GM Safety & Innovation, or watch  for announcements of when specific work packages are beginning, so that you can express your interest in being involved.

Welcome to our new members! 

Young Professional:

Sean O’Halloran
Corporate Classic:

Join the RTAA 

For more information on how you, or your company can join the RTAA, please click the button below


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