Smart Rail


Smart Rail is a joint industry project involving the development of a long-term strategic framework for digital and communication technologies.  The development of a long-term route map aims to drive a coordinated industry focus to the adoption and deployment of telecommunications and technology initiatives within the industry.  It will focus on standardisation, integration and harmonisation over the next 30 years through the establishment of a common view of priorities, themes, timelines and actions.



Smart Rail will identify a long-term industry program to improve the Rail Industry's ability to adopt and keep pace with telecommunication and information-based technologies.  It will provide a basis for defining the rail industry direction, development initiatives and research programs and in effect, provide a framework through which next generation rail technologies can be integrated and supported in the Australasian rail environment. 



Smart Rail is an industry-owned and industry driven initiative, spearheaded by the ARA and the Rail Manufacturing CRC and supported by Deakin University.  The ARA and the Rail Manufacturing CRC are each contributing $100,000 to the project, which is being supported by in-kind contributions by Deakin University.  The underlying strength of the project lies in the level of industry engagement on the project.  To date, the ARA and Deakin have held nine workshops, attracting close to 200 participants.


Research support

Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation is providing expertise in Systems Mapping when workshopping, developing and modelling this project’s outputs.


Smart Rail Priorities

  • passenger rail safety, timeliness, convenience and value-added services
  • freight customer cost-effective services and on-time delivery
  • harmonised and integrated public transport systems that enable seamless end to end journey
  • cost effective and efficient customer centric operations
  • smart asset management and maintenance
  • workforce digital and technological skills and competencies
  • a national versus an independent approach
  • implications on the future customer experience and considerations for innovation and technology strategy and implementation.


Project Outputs

The project outputs will be owned by the Australian rail industry and will be used to support the introduction of new technologies and services efficiently and cost-effectively. The Smart Rail Route Map will be technology-neutral, and communicated in a non-technical manner.  The Smart Rail Route Map will be finalised and presented to industry in late 2018.




More Information

For more information, please contact or 02 6270 4503.