2022 Awards Winners

Congratulations to all of our 2022 Australasian Rail Industry Awards winners.

Organisation and project awards

Customer Service Excellence Award 

Sydney Trains, Mobile Boarding Assistance Application 

Sydney Trains has transformed the customer experience for people with mobility needs through the development of a new mobile boarding assistance app. More than 1500 station employees use the app, which draws on real time data to alert them when a passenger requires boarding assistance as a train approaches. The app also provides information on station accessibility, lift availability, station attendance, passenger loads and arrival notifications. This means Sydney Trains can be more responsive to customer needs and can identify opportunities to further enhance services for customers with mobility issues. 

Heavy Haul and Rail Freight Excellence Award 

Rio Tinto, Gudai-Darri Rail Project 

The $1 billion Gudai-Darri rail project delivered a new 178km rail spur to connect the Gudai-Darri Iron Ore mine with Rio Tinto’s Tom Price mainline in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It is Rio Tinto’s first new rail line designed specifically for autonomous operations and includes a range of future proofing strategies to support the company’s long-term operations. The project was delivered during the pandemic while maintaining an exceptional safety record, with the first train running on the line in December 2021. 

Rail Innovation of the Year Award 

Sydney Trains, Asset Lifecycle Optimisation  for Track Asset Management 

Sydney Trains has adopted an innovative asset lifecycle optimisation methodology to manage its extensive asset base. The innovation was implemented following years of research and development to support improved strategic investment decision making, asset life cycle management and maintenance planning. Sydney Trains has used the innovation to optimise decision making for its complex and highly technical track assets, achieving better outcomes for the organisation and supporting an improved customer experience for passengers. 

Sustainability and Environment Excellence Award 

Evolution Rail Consortium, Australia’s most state-of-the-art train maintenance facility 

The Evolution Rail Consortium constructed the Packenham East Depot in Victoria, incorporating a range of sustainability initiatives as part of the project. The Depot will support the high-capacity train metro project and is the largest train maintenance facility of its kind in Australia. Its sustainable design and construction has achieved 23 per cent energy savings, 46 per cent water savings and significant carbon savings, as well as measures to increase the use of recycled materials.  

Safety Excellence Award 

Aurizon, Leading for Safety Program

The Leading for Safety program was introduced in 2019, with safety leadership identified as a key driver for a shift in safety performance. The program develops frontline leadership capability to enable improved safety performance. The program has reported an upwards trend in capability, with leaders saying their team members were more confident in sharing ideas for safety initiatives, taking ownership of safety activities and having open conversations. The program is now embedded within Aurizon’s leadership pathway, forming part of leadership development requirements for all new frontline leaders. 

Employee Engagement Excellence Award

Sydney Trains, Enterprise Track Worker Safety Program

The Enterprise Track Worker Safety Program is harnessing technology to keep employees safe when working on track.  Sydney Trains has invested $7.8 million in safety initiatives in the 2021-22 financial year as part of the program, and has achieved a year-on-year reduction in incidents over the last three years. The program has removed more than 600 hours from danger zone working and more 350 hours in working at heights through the use of drones.

Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Award 

Level Crossing Removal Project, Engineering Pathways Industry Cadetship 

The Engineering Pathways Industry Cadetship – known as EPIC – helps connect alliances delivering the Level Crossing Removal Project with qualified refugees and asylum seekers. EPIC provides a paid 18-month cadetship, employing participants on major infrastructure projects while they complete a Graduate Certificate in Infrastructure Engineering Management. EPIC has achieved higher female participation compared to other programs, with 28 per cent of participants being women. The program is helping address critical skills gaps while creating job opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds. 

Wellbeing in Rail Award  

Metro Trains Melbourne, Train Driver Trauma Recovery Guidebook

The Train Driver Trauma Recovery Guidebook was developed to support rail industry workers involved at the scene of an incident on the rail network. The guide outlines what the driver can expect from the point of the incident to their return to work and includes information on support services available to them. It has been issued to every qualified and trainee driver on the Metro Trains Melbourne network and has been shared with wider industry stakeholders to support the wellbeing of rail workers. 

Infrastructure Project Excellence Award

Parramatta Connect 

Stage 1 of the Parramatta Light Rail connects Westmead to Carlingford and includes 16 stops and 12 new or refurbished bridges over 12 kilometres. Parramatta Connect delivered the city-shaping project, using innovative approaches to minimise community disruption and accelerate works during periods of lower traffic volumes. The project has also implemented a range of sustainability measures, such as its green track, active transport link, heritage interpretation and the use of re-used materials. The project is delivering a significant legacy to meet the long term needs of the Parramatta community.  

Passenger Operations Excellence Award 

Queensland Rail 

With more than 400 millimetres of rain recorded over three days in February, flooding left many South East Queensland communities cut off and isolated. In these challenging conditions, Queensland Rail mobilised more than 600 network maintenance employees to repair enough of the network to operate services on every line again in just three days. This massive effort was completed with no reportable injuries and while employees were dealing with damage to their own properties at the same time. Just 16 days after the shutdown of services, Queensland Rail had achieved almost a full restoration of services and freight network access. Importantly, Queensland Rail’s customers, community members and employees were engaged at every step of the recovery and restoration process. 

Supplier Excellence Award  


SMEC was engaged to complete a condition assessment of the 135-year-old suspended Cowra Lines in 2021, to assess the potential to restore them to operations. The project team used innovative approaches to complete the project including the use of auto GoPros, laser scanning, fixed-wing LiDAR and drone surveys to collect data along the line. This holistic innovative approach provided an in-depth database of existing rail assets, and reduced emissions and potential community impacts of the project. The detailed data collected by the project team will now inform future decisions on reinstating the Cowra lines. 


Individual awards

Young Rail Professional Award  

Joint winners: Jonathan Chan, WSP and Kelly Douglas, Metro Trains Melbourne 

Jonathan Chan is a senior rail engineer at WSP, where he has successfully led and delivered packages on significant rail projects across Australia. Jonathan is committed to advancing the rail industry and has mentored young rail professionals throughout his career. He is committed to supporting the industry through information sharing and collaboration and is driven to provide the best possible outcome for the community when delivering rail projects.  

Kelly Douglas joined Metro Trains Melbourne in 2018 after starting her career in the mining industry. She currently leads the structures team, overseeing $32 million of work each year. She led a three-year program to upgrade Melbourne’s historic Flinders Street viaduct, ensuring this critical, 130-year-old structure will serve Melbourne for another 75 years. Kelly is also a mentor in the Women in Transport mentoring program and is a trusted advisor to Metro Trains Melbourne’s executive and senior leadership team. 

Young Achiever Award  

Chris Wills, John Holland Group 

Chris Wills joined John Holland’s rail division as a graduate engineer in 2010. He has held a range of roles across Australia, including on projects such as the North East Rail Line, Adelaide to Tarcoola Rail Acceleration Upgrade and Sydney Metro North West. He was most recently the construction manager for Rio Tinto’s Gudai-Darri Project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, where he managed onsite engineering functions for the 180km rail construction project. 

Emerging Rail Specialist Award  

Joint winners: Andrew Lagos, Sydney Trains and Donna Daly, Jacobs 

Andrew Lagos joined the Transport for NSW Graduate Program in 2018, where he worked across a range of teams within the organisation. He is now a Wheel and Rail Engineer and has been a key contributor to a project that replaced 428 mechanical lubricators – known as grease pots – with 114 new electronic units to improve performance, safety and maintenance practices. He is now in charge of managing the multi-million-dollar ongoing maintenance contract for electronic rail lubricators in the entire Sydney Trains Network. 

Donna Daly is an emerging human factors specialist who has worked in the rail industry for seven years. Donna currently works for Jacobs, where she has delivered human factors integration of a range of rail projects, working with organisations including the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia, Victoria’s Department of Transport and V/Line. She is committed to drawing on her expertise to improve safety and the user experience in the rail industry. 

Signalling and Systems Engineering Excellence Award 

Sandesh Koyande, John Holland Group 

Sandesh Koyande has worked on rail signal and train control systems for 22 years. Throughout his career, he has applied holistic oversight to signalling projects, leading his team to achieve outstanding results. As Design Manager, he leads a six-strong multi-disciplinary team across WA rail projects for BHP, the Public Transport Authority and Fortescue. It is his ability to seek the best in his team while empowering and mentoring them to excel which has contributed to his outstanding leadership and excellence. 

Career Achievement Award  

Rebecca Want, GHD 

With over 27 years’ experience within the rail industry, Rebecca Want’s approach to leadership and her passion for people and rail has led to an inspiring career. Rebecca has worked on many notable projects, including implementing the ‘door to door’ customer experience, contributing to the shift in the mindset of rail project delivery in NSW. Rebecca has also been an influential advocate for women in rail, having formed a women in rail group at GHD as well as being a mentor for the ARA’s women in rail program.