Rio Tinto Managing Director Port, Rail & Core Services – Iron Ore Richard Cohen will join the ARA Board to lead the creation of a new Heavy Haul Executive Committee.

ARA Chair Danny Broad said Mr Cohen’s appointment recognised the Australian heavy haul sector’s market leading operations and would provide direct representation on the ARA Board.

“We are pleased to welcome Richard to the ARA Board to lead a strong advocacy agenda in support of the heavy haul freight sector,” Mr Broad said.

“Richard’s extensive experience overseeing one of the country’s most advanced heavy haul networks makes him the ideal person to lead the creation of the Heavy Haul Executive Committee.

“Heavy haul freight operators in WA and key regional areas across Australia are facing unique challenges in securing specialist skills, driving research and innovation and further automating their networks.

“Richard will lead the Committee’s efforts to address these issues to support the industry’s long term success.”

Mr Cohen said he looked forward to working with the ARA to drive further opportunities for the heavy haul sector.

”I am excited to see an increased profile and presence for Australia’s Heavy Haul Railways through the ARA,” Mr Cohen said.

“We have a lot to be proud of and I am confident that, by working together as an industry, we can tackle key challenges and opportunities and help to shape an exciting future.”

The new Committee, to be chaired by Mr Cohen, will seek to elevate the profile of Australia’s world leading heavy haul rail operations and support the development of sector-specific research, policy and advocacy to meet the unique needs of heavy haul operators.

The creation of the Committee will also provide opportunities to better coordinate the activity of heavy haul operators, the ARA, other Australian industry advocates and stakeholders with that of the International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA).

The Rail Freight Executive Committee will continue to advance the ARA’s Rail Freight Action Plan on behalf of the broader sector.

Mr Cohen joined Rio Tinto in 1994 and has overseen the company’s railways, port operations and AutoHaul project during that time.

Mr Cohen joined the Board on 17 November 2021, with ARA members endorsing his appointment at its 2021 Annual General Meeting.

The ARA has called for expressions of interest to take part in an industry workshop to further develop the Committee’s scope of work before the end of the year.

Download media release