Alignment & Transit Space, Asset Standards Authority (ASA), Freight, Strategy and Planning
My post-graduate study
I'm currently completing a PhD in Railroad and Railway Transportation at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
Heavy rail and light rail in New South Wales: A track comparison
Light rail is different to heavy rail in operation in terms of objectives, vehicle speeds, location and efficacy of the system. My research is focused on the fundamental differences between heavy and light rail. This includes the application of prescriptive and performance-based requirements in standards from a track perspective, and the challenges of integrating light rail with heavy rail transit in terms of interoperability and industry capability. My research includes a comparative study of heavy and light rail based on parameters common and uncommon to both these modes of transport, with a focus on similarities and differences in design, operability and maintainability.
Why did you choose this topic?
Currently, we are witnessing growth in New South Wales across various transport-related projects to cater for Sydney's future urban population growth. Some of the rail-specific transport projects involve new light rail routes and/or upgrades to existing heavy rail. During this exciting period of change, growth and transformation, there is the potential to further studies in areas that differentiate heavy and light rail, in all phases of asset management. In particular, to develop and maintain a robust light rail track system to last its designed life cycle, meeting safety, reliability and passenger comfort. Although there is a suite of existing network standards for heavy rail in NSW, light rail standards are progressively being developed while the construction of light rail routes is underway in Sydney.
This made me choose this topic for my research study.
How my research relates to my work
There is a direct relationship between my role and the thesis topic I chose. As a Senior Engineer in the Track discipline, I am involved in track standards, specifications, type approvals, concessions and Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEO) assessments.