Australia and UK: Rail Associations Sign MoU to Improve Links and Increase Co-Operation

L-R: Neil Walker, Exports Director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA); Bob Herbert, Chair of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA); Danny Broad, Chief Executive of the ARA; Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the RIA © Railway Industry Association

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) and the Railway Industry Association (RIA) in the UK have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve the links and increase co-operation between their organisations. The ARA represents the interests of the rail industry to politicians, the civil service, press and other relevant bodies in Australia and New Zealand, whilst the RIA performs a similar role in the UK. Several multinational companies are members of both organisations.

The rail networks in both Australia and the UK have benefited from significant investment in recent years. The British government is supporting HS2 and Crossrail whilst federal and provincial governments in Australia have increased spending on several projects, including the Sydney Metro and Inland Rail. The construction of a light rail network in Auckland, New Zealand, has also received approval. This investment is forecast to continue into the near future, but common problems remain a challenge for its representatives: principally, effective organisation of funding, recruitment of personnel and development of skills and training. The associations hope that this MoU will improve their prospects of tackling them.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the UK Railway Industry Association, said:

 “This partnership with the Australasian Railway Association is a truly exciting opportunity for RIA and the UK rail industry, in the months ahead. It is a great example of an industry reaching out to fellow colleagues across the globe, to develop new trade links and cooperation, which is especially important as the UK prepares to leave the EU. I see lots of common ground to form this working relationship, for the benefit of both RIA, ARA and our respective members – and we look forward to collaborating in the very near future!”

Danny Broad, Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Railway Association, said:

“Future engagement with the Railway Industry Association of the United Kingdom will provide potential benefits and opportunities for all members of the Australasian Railway Association including our passenger and freight operators, track managers, suppliers, manufacturers, consultants and contractors. It’s an extremely exciting time to be in the rail industry in Australia and New Zealand with investment in new rail infrastructure and rolling stock over the next fifteen years forecast to be around $100b. Working and collaborating with the RIA on common industry challenges will provide consolidation of ideas for possible suitable outcomes for the rail sectors covered by both the ARA and RIA.”

The ARA and the RIA convene extensive programmes of events for their members and others in the industry, and both organisations have a strong focus on developing the careers of young professionals in the industry. Registration remains open for the RIA’s Annual Conference (London, 22 October 2018) and AusRAIL 2018 (Canberra, 27–28 November).

RIA also has a substantial presence at InnoTrans 2018.

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