Maritime & Transport / Rail

Economy to rely more on rail

BRYAN NYE, CEO, Australasian Railway Association

Rail will play an increasing role in the Australian economy as exports, trade between the states and passenger traffic expand, says Bryan Nye, CEO of the Australasian Rail Association.

With so much of Australia’s exports such as iron ore and coal relying on rail, it will be vital to the country’s economic structure, he says in an interview.

Mr Nye will chair the AusRAIL 2008 Conference and Exhibition in Melbourne on 1-2 December. The conference will examine the key issues of capacity, climate change and culture.

On rail capacity, Mr Nye says rail will also play a large role in passenger transport. Passenger networks are currently at their maximum limit with the rate of growth increasing 12 to 15 percent per year.

“We need a great injection of not only new rolling stock but new procedures, a whole new massive program of reform to actually enable us to take rail to the next level.”

In relation to climate change, rail will come to the fore as it is four times more energy efficient than any other form of land transport, Mr Nye says.

“Rail will be a key solution to how Australia will tackle the climate change problem. Any emissions trading scheme will have transport in it and rail will be a key feature of that.”

Mr Nye says rail is also experiencing a cultural change as it enters a new technological age.

“With an age [work]force in the early 50s [with] less than two per cent women …we will need to change the skill base and try to make ourselves an exciting employer for those wanting to eave school.”

AusRAIL 2008 will feature 60 speakers including Lynne Kosky, Victoria’s Minister for Public Transport and the Arts; Fred Green, President and CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway; Len Porter, Chief Executive of the UK’s Rail Safety & Standards Board; Gary Gray, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional development and Local Government; and Warren Truss, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Local Government.

A CEO Forum will feature 13 transport CEOs including Don Telford, Pacific National; David Marchant, ARTC; Lance Hockridge, QR; Reece Waldock, Public Transport Authority in WA; Rob Mason, RailCorp; and Bruce Farrar, Rail Infrastructure Corporation.

Further information: www.ausrail.com

To arrange a media pass, request more information or arrange speaker interviews please contact:

Nigel Dique – Informa-IIR 02 9080 4108; 0423 024 819; nigel.dique@informa.com.au

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