Maritime & Transport / Rail

Rail key to dealing with Climate Change

The rail industry needs to use climate change as an opportunity to promote itself as an environmentally-friendly alternative mode of transport, says Felix Laube, Head of Process and Methods of SBB, Switzerland. Mr Laube will touch on making technological developments customer-focused in his address at the 2nd Annual Rail Technology Workshop in Melbourne on August 13 and 14.

Mr Laube says rail’s key advantage over other modes of transport was its reliability and ability to control its own right of way.

“Rail should be the part of the day of everybody’s movement and every goods’ movement that is sure, that is foreseeable and that is predictable and not the part that makes hassles.”

Mr Laube says the technology road map in Switzerland is in a difficult state because it is moving into the European context where there are over 20 states with different rail histories.

“Standardising these sorts of things is a very, very long route and an arduous one and requires a lot of political guidance,” he said. “In different areas, different types of progress are being made.”

Mr Laube points to the successful operation of the European Train Control System in Switzerland and the technology’s introduction in international service lines.

He advises operators to focus on customer needs when investing in new rail technologies.

“If you start to understand the rail business process strictly from a customers’ point of view then you can have the right sort of guidance in investing technology,” Mr Laube said.

He believes operators are always in danger of favouring another party’s technology which may not serve a particular purpose.

The conference will bring together a number of international rail experts who will look at different case studies and discuss new advances in rail technology.

Keynote speakers include: Mike Roney, General Manager of Technical Standards, Canadian PacificRailway & Chair, and Railway Research Advisory Board (RRAB), Canada; Dr Terry Moon, Head NCW S&T Initiative, Defence Science and Technology Organisation; Michael Lawrey, Executive Director, Telstra Network & Technology; and Brett Baker, Manager Rollingstock & Signals Engineering, TransAdelaide

Delegates can register online at; call 02 9080 4307; or e-mail

Issued by: John Wilson on 02 9080 4107 or

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