+ CEO message + Innovative AI-driven safety solutions for rail +Interoperability: The Fast Track to a Seamless, Railway System +Review of AS 7505 Signal Detection and Interface +People Spotlight for RISSB's 20th Anniversary
This year there’s more than a few anniversaries happening. It's RISSB’s 20th anniversary of course, it’s also the Rail Tram and Bus Union’s 30th anniversary, and this week marks 30 years since the first train was operated by National Rail back in 1993!
National Rail was established to consolidate each of the state-based freight rail businesses, with the objective to provide a more seamless and efficient interstate freight offering. National Rail provided many firsts, including no more changing
locomotives and crews at state borders, no more marshalling trains at state borders, longer trains, more efficient intermodal terminals, dedicated steel services, dedicated shipping services, and substantial investment in new locomotives and wagons (including the NR fleets and well wagons).
At the time of National Rail’s formation, the collective losses for the state-based interstate freight operations were in the order of $1m a day. By the time that National Rail was privatised in 2002 it was operating at a profit. The privatisation process involved combining it and the NSW Freight Corp business to become Pacific National.
I’m probably biased, but in my opinion the establishment of National Rail and the subsequent improvements in efficiencies and customer focus have
been one of the main rail industry reforms in Australia. If you want to know more, I’m reliably informed that an article by National Rail’s former National Crewing Manager (and long-term AFULE stalwart) Frank Hussey, will appear in the November edition of Australian Railway History magazine.
Damien White RISSB CEO
TRAINING AND EVENTS
Innovative AI-driven safety solutions for rail
Want to learn more about the potential for innovative AI-driven safety solutions across the rail industry?
There is still time to register for today's RISSB MasterClass Webinar, where you will hear from Dr. Aaron Wong, an Artificial Intelligence Engineering Manager, about the 4AI Systems Inc, a division of the 4Tel Group, and its instrumental role in developing and implementing an Onboard Advanced Driver Advisory System.
Aaron will be discussing the key components, the distinctiveness of the system's multi-sensor solution and its promising applications in future projects across the rail industry.
WHEN Today (Tuesday) 7 November 2023 at 12 PM (AEST).
AS 7505 Signal Detection and Interface review is now available for an 8-week public consultation.
This Standard provides requirements for Signal Detection and interfaces. It was reviewed by a Development Group, who considered change requests made against the standard and updating the content to reflect current industry practice and expectations.
Significant technical changes from previous editions of this Standard include:
Inclusion of content referred to from AS 4292 Railway Safety Management
Detail added for axle counters requirements.
For more information on how to contribute, visit here.
PEOPLE SPOTLIGHT ON... RISSB's key contributors over the last 20 years
This year, RISSB is celebrating it's 20th year Anniversary! Our organisation was established in June 2003 as the 'Code Management Company', then from 2007 onwards, we were formally known as the Rail Industry Safety Standards Board (RISSB).
For the last 20 years, RISSB has been supported by, and worked with, some incredible people that have contributed greatly to our business. For the next few months, we will be recognising some of RISSB's key contributors, as they share their experiences working with RISSB.
RISSB's 1st and former CEO, Senior Consultant at Projects Assured
"In 2003 the Australasian Railway Association (ARA), under the leadership of Bryan Nye, sought and obtained the ARA Board and Government’s approval to establish RISSB. The RISSB concept originated from the UK where its equivalent was doing a great job harmonising British Rail. RISSB at the time was a ‘mini me’ of the UK’s RSSB due mainly to available resources.
I joined the ARA as RISSB’s General Manager in 2007 following a career in the
Navy. In 2011 the ARA and RISSB Boards agreed to separate the ARA and RISSB because stakeholders, and in particular Governments, perceived that RISSB’s independence was being blurred by the ARA’s efforts in lobbying for a single national rail safety regulator. This spilt occurred and RISSB’s independence was assured with me as its CEO reporting to a new Board under Tony Drake as the Chair and Kirk Alber as the Company Secretary. I must say that Kirk did a fantastic job establishing RISSB Board Constitution and Governance processes.
Tony was an excellent Chairman (and person) and oozed professionalism. His passion for the Railways was second to none. Dale Budd is also a person I need to mention as the Chairman of the RISSB’s Document Assurance Board. His passion for quality and his
governance and management advice was first rate and always appreciated. My predecessor, John Shalders, and his team of three did the hard yards in establishing RISSB’s Governance and Management processes associated with the development of standards, codes, guidelines and rules development.
During my time with RISSB we built on these processes and increased the RISSB team from four to 10 because the RISSB Board and stakeholders required greater output given RISSB’s earlier success. One of the greatest challenges, faced by RISSB during my tenure (and there were a few) was the production of a single national rule book. The Rule book was a tremendous team effort involving many stakeholders and one in which Joe Thompson played a critical and defining role. His passion for the subject was second to
none. Another challenge was introducing the Rail Risk Management Tool. Jesse Baker did a excellent job in making this Tool a reality and by the time I left there was light at the end of the tunnel regarding its introduction. I understand that it is now being widely used across the Rail Industry.
In the meantime, RISSB was increasing its production of standards, codes and guidelines under the expert guidance of Laurie Wilson (Infrastructure) and Alex Borodin (Rolling Stock). The work of these gentlemen was first class. Sarah Bonner assisted Laurie and Alex as a Technical Writer. Neal Peters was RISSB’s Quality Manager. He joined RISSB late in my tenure, but like Sarah, he impressed by his attention to detail.
Finally, every organisation would not
be able to survive without a strong support team which in RISSB’s case was provided by Raquel Martin (Finance) and Viv Goudman (Management Support). The work that they did was instrumental in RISSB achieving the result it did during my eight years at the helm. It goes without saying that RISSB is part of the greater Australasian Rail ecosystem. During my time in RISSB I was extremely grateful for the support provided by its stakeholders, Governments and the Rail Industry alike. Without this support RISSB would not have achieved what it did in the eight years I was at the helm.
I would particularly like to thank Sue McCarey and Julie Bullas for their support of RISSB both as individuals and as National Rail Safety Regulator members. They were on the RISSB journey with me throughout. And it would be remiss of me not to
acknowledge those who had my back and provided me the mentoring I needed as I grew in the job. My sincere thanks to Alan Gardner, David Edwards, Vic Bliss, Phil Oconnell and Sandra Wilson-Ryke for this. There were many others whose advice and guidance I also sought along the way, but there are too many to mention in this short overview. But I remain grateful to you all.
Bob Nanva as the Rail, Train and Bus Union boss was also a strong supporter of RISSB, and he made it very clear to me that there would be challenges to address as we moved forward. And true to his word there were, but they were dealt with in a professional manner and more often than not a win-win result was achieved.
After 35 years in the Royal Australian Navy, I didn’t think any other job
could offer the same challenges or friendships. And then along came the Rail Industry and in particular RISSB. I am very grateful for the opportunity provided me to lead RISSB through some very challenging times. I had a great team behind me, and I met many impressive and professional people in the Rail Industry both in Australia and overseas.
In closing I wish the present RISSB team good fortune for the future. I am confident that under its present leadership team, RISSB will kick some impressive goals in the future."