The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) is set to welcome more than 3000 people to the AusRAIL PLUS Conference and Exhibition this week in the largest trade exhibition to be staged at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) since NSW’s 2021 lockdown.
ARA Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie said the ARA was delighted to host AusRAIL PLUS in a face-to-face format for the first time in more than two years.
“Rail has kept Australia moving during the pandemic, despite the challenges of border closures and increased demands on our supply chain,” Ms Wilkie said.
“As an industry we have faced these challenges with tenacity and a constant commitment to our customers and community, so there is much to celebrate and share at AusRAIL PLUS.
“AusRAIL PLUS gives the entire rail industry – from stakeholders to suppliers – a chance to come together again to network, collaborate and trade for the first time in two years.”
The three-day event from Monday 28 February to Wednesday 2 March features an extensive Exhibition showcasing more than 250 suppliers.
The Conference program includes 134 speakers, with keynotes from industry leaders and a range of panel discussions with rail decision makers, including:
• Arup Global Transport Leader Isabel Dedring
• Alstom Managing Director Mark Coxon
• Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew AO
• Inland Rail Interim Chief Executive Rebecca Pickering
• Queensland Rail Acting CEO Scott Riedell
Australian industry leaders overseeing public transport services, freight operations, manufacturing and the wider supply chain will also form part of the program.
Delegates will be provided updates on major projects underway across the country, including Cross River Rail, Suburban Rail Loop and Sydney Metro.
Ms Wilkie said the conference was timely given rail investment would play such an important role in our COVID-19 recovery.
“There will be a record $155 billion in rail investment over the next 15 years to support the next generation of rail as part of a sustainable, resilient infrastructure network,” Ms Wilkie said.
“AusRAIL PLUS provides a chance to discuss the opportunities and challenges that face the industry as it embarks on this massive task.”
The program includes thought provoking discussions on issues that will influence the future of rail, with dedicated streams on passenger rail, asset management, rail freight and heavy haul, track, signalling, safety, hydrogen rolling stock, rail services technology, hydrogen, sustainability and workforce development.
Extensive COVIDsafe measures have been implemented for the event, from the provision of free rapid antigen tests for speakers, delegates and exhibitors to additional cleaning and hygiene measures throughout the conference and exhibition.
AusRAIL PLUS takes place from Monday 28 February to Wednesday 2 March at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney).
View the program here.