A NEW integrated transport provider for Newcastle, New South Wales, began operations in July.
Keolis Downer, operating as Newcastle Transport, signed a 10-year contract last December to run the city’s buses, ferries and, from 2019, light rail system, making it the first multimodal transport system to be managed by a private operator in Australia.
“Our focus will be on building trust with the community and encouraging them to provide feedback on how the transport system can be improved,” chief executive officer of Keolis Downer Hunter, Campbell Mason, said.
The revamped transport initiative for Newcastle came in the wake of the controversial closure of the heavy rail line into the city centre on 26 December 2014.
Perpetuum to monitor NSW Trainlink fleet
REMOTE conditioning monitoring specialist Perpetuum has been selected by New South Wales Trainlink to collect and monitor vital train and track information across its fleet of XPT power cars, which run on the train operator’s high-speed intercity service in eastern Australia.
It is the United Kingdom company’s first multiple-year contract for its unique information services and its first major export contract for track condition monitoring.
The NSW Government has allocated $50 million to renew the XPT fleet, with the first trains to be introduced in 2019.
The Perpetuum system will be immediately deployed across the current NSW Trainlink fleet to improve track maintenance, punctuality and ride quality on existing services. It will also monitor the track condition in preparation for the new fleet in a progressive move to allow key wheel-rail measurement benchmarks to be set in advance.
Perpetuum will supply NSW Trainlink with its innovative wireless self-powered sensors, train-to-ground communication equipment, data management and use of the Perpetuum track and ride algorithms and condition alarms.
The system will be mounted on NSWT’s XPT power cars to collect track and ride information to identify early damage across the thousands of kilometres of track through Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Grafton, Casino and Dubbo. The fleet covers about 3.5 million kilometres annually, with about one million passengers.
The adoption of remote condition monitoring comes after a number of reported issues with rough riding on its regional network. Following a successful internal investigation and report using on-board accelerometers, NSW Trainlink launched an international tender for a solution that could be deployed across the fleet. It issued a performance-based specification stipulating that the vibration sensors must operate for at least five years without needing power supply system maintenance, analyse trends in the data to identify potential cases of degradation in the wheels and the rail, and comply with all international railway standards (including EN 12299:2009) for ride quality measurement.
“We are very pleased that Perpetuum will be supporting NSW Trainlink in its pioneering strategy to improve the passenger experience and marks a key milestone for our business,” Justin Southcombe, commercial director of Perpetuum, said. “While it is our second contract in Australia, it is our first multiple-year contract for information services and the first track export contract. Our proven wireless condition monitoring technology allows maintenance, condition monitoring and asset failures to become easier to manage and predict.”
New trains to first service airport and Gold Coast
Travellers using the Airport and Gold Coast rail lines will be the first to experience Queensland’s new generation rolling stock (NGR) fleet when it enters passenger service.
Queensland Rail chief executive officer Nick Easy said the decision to place the NGR fleet onto the Gold Coast and airport lines had been taken to meet higher patronage demand and provide improved customer service during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
“Visitors from every corner of the globe will be coming to the Gold Coast for the 2018 Commonwealth Games (in April) and we plan to have our newest, most advanced train fleet operational to serve them,” Mr Easy said.
“Given the different design of the NGR fleet, with the guard located at the end of the train rather than the middle, the way we provide boarding assistance to our customers will change.
“The assisted boarding point will remain in the middle of the platform so the key change as part of the operating model is that station staff, rather than the guard, will provide assistance to customers when boarding the NGR train.”