Thursday, September 17, 2009

QR striving for world-class in the safety arena

Lance Hockridge, CEO, QR Limited

The rail industry is quite passionate on the issue of safety, although it is generally acknowledged that the industry still has a long way to go in improving its existing safety record. How far has your organisation gone in its quest to achieve ‘zero harm’?
I certainly agree that this is the most important issue we face and I believe the industry as a whole sees this as the most important issue. I have been at QR for almost 2 years and this is the thing we’ve concentrated on most, the thing we need to change most.

We’ve brought in some people who I believe are the best in the world to help us and we are making a lot of progress. Mainly its about engaging with our people, about making sure everybody in the organisation knows what we are doing, that everyone understands what the standards are that we are trying to achieve, and that everyone gets involved. Lots of good things are happening right across our company, but its not enough, we are still a long way from where we need to be.

I look forward to being part of this debate at AusRAIL. I know all of us across the industry want to do a better job and we are all sharing our experience about how to do that. I am confident that over the next year or two we will take our industry to world-class performance in the safety arena.

• The theme for AusRAIL Plus 2009 is “Doing More with Less”. In the current economic climate, how important is this in helping the industry achieve its long term goals?
It is really important that we are coming together at this time. For most of us this is the deepest recession that we’ve ever experienced, the biggest change we’ve ever experienced in such a short period of time.

We’ve got a real mixture across our businesses, parts continue to run flat out, for example at QR in our resource sector, we’re struggling to keep up, on the other hand, parts of the general freight business are really flat.

So this is the time to focus on change, a time to focus on getting better to really take advantage of the attributes that we have as rail for our customers. At QR it is a time of ‘getting fit’.

However, we do need to look to the future. As an industry and as individual companies we can’t afford to just ‘hunker down’ through this period. We know that we have such a strong future for our businesses and our industry as a whole. We have to find that balance and that is why the theme of ‘doing more with less’ is so important to us all.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Siemens powering Goonyella coal exports

Siemens recently completed electrification works for Queensland Rail’s (QR) Jilalan Rail Yard infrastructure upgrades in the second of two major applications of Siemens world-leading mobility solutions for this project.

The power systems works have been achieved on time and within budget, with Siemens installing six 8DA11 Gas Insulated Switchgear Panels to provide additional traction power capacity to the rail yard. The Siemens switchgear is maintenance-free, employs the smallest footprint for rail-approved GIS equipment and is proven, with over 1,000 panels installed globally since entering the market in 1996. The electrification works and delivery of Siemens points machines, to be installed and commissioned by QR shortly, will significantly improve productivity on the Goonyella Rail System.

QR is making a significant investment in the Jilalan Rail Yard to improve productivity on the Goonyella Rail System, including upgrade works to the tracks, signalling systems, overhead power and telecommunications systems. Collaborating with Siemens for signalling and power systems works will enable QR, once all works are completed, to increase throughput peak capacity of the system from 29 to 42 trains per day, a large portion of which are hauled by locomotives either manufactured or refurbished by Siemens.

Mr Michael Carter, Executive General Manager, QR Network said the timely completion of Siemens power systems works is welcome news for the rail system.

“The long-term outlook for coal demand continues to be strong. The Jilalan Rail Yard project is being undertaken to increase the capacity of the Goonyella Rail Systems to deliver our customers’ coal from Central Queensland mines to the coal terminals at Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay.

“The finalisation of traction power supply to the rail yard will mean that we are now closer to the project’s completion.

Mr Paul Bennett, Siemens Vice President, Mobility, said the completion of electrification works on the Jilalan Rail Yard reinforced Siemens position as a trusted partner for the rail industry.

“Our electrification portfolio is a growing focus for Siemens and our success so far has been underpinned by our global expertise and local knowledge and experience in traction power supply systems.

“The switchgear supplied to QR has been specifically designed and manufactured to relevant Australian and International Standards. Supported by extensive type testing on a global level, our switchgear are amongst the safest available.”

The Jilalan Rail Yard Upgrade is due for completion in late 2009 and has an overall budget of around $500 million.

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Ansaldo STS wins 25 million USD contract in USA

Ansaldo STS, through its subsidiary Ansaldo STS USA, has received a contract from The Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH), headquartered in New York, to supply a Train Control Center system.

The contract value is 24,7 million USD.

Ansaldo STS is centralizing the PATH communication network into one, fully integrated system, which includes:

• Centralised Traffic Control (CTC)
• Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
• Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTV)
• Integrated voice communications

The CTC system is based on Ansaldo STS USA’s Hermes™ platform, an office control solution that features advanced routing algorithms, integration with security systems, passenger information systems, voice telecommunication and enterprise management systems.

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Now supporting AusRAIL PLUS 2009 as our Event Partner

South Australia’s Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure is responsible for:

• ensuring public access to an efficiently regulated and safe transport environment across road, rail and marine (including public transport)
• the regulation of energy supplies
• the delivery of major projects and provision of essential infrastructure • provision of a gateway to the community for State Government information communication technology
• management of the State Government’s building assets
• administration of property values and transactions and support for land boundary definitions.

Where rail is concerned the South Australia Government has embarked on an unprecedented $2 billion decade-long investment in public transport. It will upgrade, extend and electrify Adelaide’s light and heavy rail network and expand its fleet of trams and trains to usher in a new era for public transport.

Level crossings are being upgraded across the state as part of an on-going program, boosted by the Federal Boom Gates for Rail Crossing Program.

For more information on DTEI, click here.

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