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Transport & Logistics

A more collective approach is required for rail asset management

30 Jul 2014, by Informa Insights

Rail Asset Management Brochure ThumnailOn the 23rd June 2014, the inaugural RISSB’s Rail Asset Management workshop was held in Sydney in front of broad range of industry. There was representation from rail operators, asset owners, constructors, consultants, suppliers and government which provided a real balance to the day.

The workshop looked into various aspects of Asset Management. The morning sessions covered an update from the national rail safety regulator, details on the applicable IOS asset management standards, asset assurance – how to take a whole of life approach and how to determine how much safety is enough.

The afternoon sessions looked at ways to reduce maintenance costs when working trackside and smarter ways of examining track infrastructure, consolidating maintenance centres to provide more efficient operations, managing safety risk registers and a case study from the UK on asset management integration

Steve Boshier, Asset Integration Manager from VLine Pty Ltd, who chaired the day helped to flush out a number of key challenges currently facing the industry and these included:

  • Asset managers need to get better at communicating the need for spending money on asset management. Often there isn’t a well defined or compelling reason presented to senior management to help justify the budgets required.
  • There needs to be a greater focus and the commitment to asset management driven by the MD/CEO which will come when they have been convinced the budget is justified.
  • There needs to be a balance between cost and safety and how management justify the costs internally. Safety in design has gained a real focus within may major projects and there are real benefits coming from that.
  • What is efficient asset maintenance and how do we get the balance right? There needs to be clear definitions and boundaries developed to ensure that the right outcomes are achieved.
  • What about the customer? When considering Asset Management, the end customer’s requirements need to be factored into this to ensure that the right outcome is achieved.

Australia is currently benefitting from the step by step approach to the asset management process. By being able to draw upon comparison from the overseas railways, we are gaining knowledge and experience without trying to reinvent the wheel again.

Technology and tools will also help to make the railways safer for all users and gaining the correct level asset management is key to ensuring that the balance is achieved.

To cap off the day, an interesting discussion was held on type approval and explored what more can be done to further reduce the cost and time associated with approvals.

A more collective approach is required by all infrastructure owners to ensure that the type approval process is further streamlined and removes the current duplication of efforts for suppliers when dealing with different railways.

You can now view the 2014 workshop presentations on SlideShare.


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