2020 PWI NSW Annual Convention
was held on Friday 6th November 2020
Location : Online Teams Event

For the safety of our PWI Members, this year’s Convention was delivered as a live stream.

Catch up on the days sessions below or visit our YouTube Channel:




Event Details:


Friday 6 November 2020


08:00am to 12:00pm


Bursting the Bubble: Disruption and Innovation in the world of rail.


Hear about where the future of rail could be headed. Speakers include Gary Denman (Google), Mario Dimovski (Tradiebot), Anna Schmidt (Siemens), Gerard Francis (Willow Rail), and Jacqueline Linke ((Innovation, Culture, Leadership).


This year we will be hearing from our key note speaker, Gary Denman - Google Cloud, Enterprise Sales Director.
Gary has been part of the Technology industry for the past 30 years working across the UK, Malaysia and Australia. During this time Gary has been involved with customers and industries as they transition through the implementation of IT in the 90's, Y2K, the .com boom, the GFC, Cloud transformation and most recently the COVID 19 pandemic.
Gary is passionate about focusing on the business outcome and aligning people, process with technology. At Google Cloud Gary engages with customers and industries to identify how technology can impact the user, communities and industries and how Google can bring the whole of the Alphabet Group to transform.
Outside of the workplace Gary is a big supporter of mental health and has been involved with The Black Dog Institute for the past 10 years. Gary is also excited with the rise of electric vehicles and how the transformation can bring new experiences to users and benefit the environment


• PWI Journal 2020 : Click Here

• List of Speakers : Click Here

• Convention Program : Click Here


Get your tickets now:

• Members can register for your FREE ticket via the member portal here .

Note: you membership must be up to date to get access to your free ticket, and only ticket holders will be given access to the live stream site.
The link to the live stream will be emailed to you 24-48 hours prior to the event.

• Non-Members can purchase your tickets here . Tickets are $50 pp.

Note: non-members have been provided with an exclusive offer this year. Join now as an individual member for $35, and we will waive the one-off joining fee of $35 if you join before 30 Oct 2020.
The link to the live stream will be emailed to you 24-48 hours prior to the event.


Please note: It is unfortunate that we will not be able to present the PWI Awards at this year’s Convention. The COVID-19 restrictions have limited the numbers that we are able to have present at the live stream venue, and the PWI Committee also felt that the awards presentations deserve a live audience to help the winners celebrate their success. With this in mind, and assuming the restrictions will be eased in the near future, the PWI will look to arrange a separate networking event where we will also announce and present the winners of the 2020 PWI Awards. The Ken Erickson Innovation Award is the only exception – it’s strong alignment to this year’s theme meant it was an obvious candidate for the panel session.

Below are the links to this year’s submissions:

• ETW-V - John Holland

• New Intercity Fleet - Blue Mountains Route Clearance - Continuum Alliance

• Predictive Maintenance of Turnouts - Plateway Pty Ltd

• LIDAR-basedPlatformClearance Measurement

• The Tweaked Attenuator Barrier with Tail Drapery - Rezaul Karim

• Torsion Bar Backdrive - Engineering and Maintenance, Sydney Trains



2019 PWI NSW Annual Convention was held on Friday 1 November 2019 at the BATHURST PANTHERS

Click here
2019 convention Journal
2019 Convention and Networking Event Photos

For the first time, we took the PWI Annual Convention to the country, held in Bathurst across two days (31 October to 1 November 2019). The response from PWI members and sponsors to having the Annual Convention in Bathurst was overwhelmingly positive, and everyone appreciated shining the spotlight on the history, people, challenges and successes of rail in the country. The convention began on Thursday morning with a special PWI train departing from Sydney Terminal, winding its way over the Blue Mountains and on to Bathurst, with Howard Collins (Chief Executive Sydney Trains) serving as tour guide. Arriving at Bathurst station in the afternoon,
Delegates were taken to the voestalpine VAE Rail Fabrication Centre where the staff were delighted to show off their great work, guiding their guests through the process of rail welding, crossing and turnout machining, fabrication and assembly and glued insulated joint production. It was clear that the team were extremely passionate about their work. The factory tour was followed by a pre-convention networking event, hosted by voestalpine VAE. A big thank you must to voestalpine VAE for not only hosting the PWI delegates for a factory tour and networking event, but also for shutting the factory early to prepare the workshop for our visit – it was pristine!


On Friday, the day’s proceedings were opened by the Hon. Paul Toole, Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, and State Member for Bathurst. Paul spoke about the long-running importance of rail to Bathurst and to regional NSW in general – it has helped the community remain connected to the rest of the state and has been instrumental in the success of the town. He spoke about the revitalisation of rail in the country with the second Bathurst Bullet service and the New Regional Fleet, with the maintenance and stabling facility being built out at Dubbo. The Minister also accepted a donation from the PWI NSW on behalf of the Daffodil Cottage in Bathurst from proceeds of the special PWI train ticket sales.

The first paper of the day was presented by Frank Johnson, long time figure in the rail industry and Chair of Engineering Heritage Sydney, Engineers Australia, Sydney Division. Frank’s paper, 1855 and all that – 164 years of the NSW rail network provided a reflection on how the NSW country railway network developed, what drove this development, what it achieved, and some of the ups and downs throughout the years. Frank charted the rapid expansion of the network, including inter-colonial lines, branch lines through the wheat belt, and pioneer lines, through to the decline of the country network from the early 1980’s and the current management of the network.
David Mackney, Manager of Maintenance Delivery at John Holland Country Regional Network (CRN) provided an outline of the CRN and John Holland’s operations and maintenance of the network. He highlighted some of the unique challenges to maintaining and operating such a vast network; budgets are constrained, many lines are seasonal or low use, assets are ageing, non-operational corridors still need to be inspected, and the daily commute for the workforce can literally be a day. The CRN, however, is being upgraded to accommodate ‘bigger, faster and heavier’ trains, such as the upgrade works through the Fixing Country Rail program proposed for the Junee to Griffith line.

The second session started with Jim Modrouvanos, A/Executive Director Freight Industry, Transport for NSW, spoke of the growing freight task in NSW and the importance of rail in accommodating that growth. Freight rail is making a resurgence with programs like Inland Rail, the Parkes and Wagga Wagga Special Activation Precincts and Fixing Country Rail projects all adding to increases in rail productivity through provision of new loops, new corridors, track capacity upgrades and new sidings.
Graham Nelmes, A/Director Strategic Rail Transport and Melissa Jovic, Associate Director, Corridor Development from Transport for NSW, continued the theme of improving rail productivity for regional NSW. Graham presented the Fast Rail vision for NSW that will increase connectivity to regional areas through fast and efficient rail services to draw in more investment, generate job opportunities and attract skilled workers. Melissa outlined the methodology that the project using to develop these corridors and highlighted some of the challenges that are being met, including extreme topography, significant water crossings, environmental constraints such as National Parks, and the major infrastructure required.

New for 2019, our panel session included the team leads, managers and supervisors from the Alan Barham Maintenance Team awards. Chaired by Kirsty McGeachie from Sydney Trains, the session explored some of the challenges of maintaining track in regional NSW and in the Sydney metropolitan area, the processes used attracting, training and developing a high performing team, and some of the most significant achievements these teams had. This was a great session to show a side of the rail industry that is not often explored, and to explore the passion and dedication of our maintenance teams.
Alan Swaby, Head of Business Development from voestlpine Signalling Fareham Ltd then presented a very innovative paper on ‘Transforming switch maintenance to a predict and prevent system. Alan was involved in implementing a switch condition monitoring concept trial for ARTC to transition from reactive maintenance to predictive and reliability-centred maintenance.
The final paper of the day was not directly rail-related, but of great importance to the future of how regional communities get around. Simon Berry, NSW Business Leader of Highways at Amey presented on the Dubbo driverless vehicle trial, aimed at addressing the transport need in regional NSW but also reliant on efficient long-distance transport modes like regional rail services. Simon highlighted some of the technical details of the trial and the vehicles, the regional specific requirements such as using traditional powertrains, a production platform and a vehicle designed for environments similar to regional Australia. The expected results of the trial will be to develop a viable, scalable and valuable solution for regional Australia, contribute to the body of knowledge and experience of automated vehicles within NSW, and generate uptake, excitement and acceptance of automated technology by the citizens and tourists of Dubbo.


Throughout the day, delegates saw the high quality of work, dedication and innovation evident in the rail industry with all of the entries for the PWI NSW Annual Awards. Congratulations to all our award winners!

PWI Young Achiever Award

Jarod Wakefield, John Holland (Winner); Thy Pham, CPB Contractors (Highly Commended)

Welders Award

JWill Stapley, MP Rail

Alan Barham Maintenance Award

ARTC Taree and Dungog Provisioning Centres (Winner); Sydney Trains City East Track Team (Resilience Award)

Ken Erickson Innovation Award

Toolbox Spotter, Presien / Laing O’Rourke

Steve Maxwell Platelaying Award (Minor Category)

Cockle Creek Bridge Transoms, Reconditioning and Rerailing, John Holland and Sydney Trains

Steve Maxwell Platelaying Award (Major Category)

Newcastle Light Rail – Track Slab Works, Rhomberg Rail Australia


Post-Convention Networking Event

The day was capped off with a networking event sponsored by voestalpine VAE where delegates could catch up with old friends and make new ones.


Thank you to all of our corporate and enhanced corporate members, particularly our platinum corporate members CPB Contractors, John Holland, Laing O’Rourke and Lendlease, for their continued support and helping the PWI NSW make this one of the best-value conferences around. Thank you also to our presenters and session chairs for making the day such a great success – the outstanding response to our first country convention means that it won’t be the last!



Special PWI Train to Bathurst

Special thanks to our sponsors of the PWI train to Bathurst

Proudly jointly sponsored by:





To attend PWI NSW functions you must be a current financial member or corporate representative or guest.  Individual annual membership renewal is $30.00. Individual new membership is $60.00. Please refer to the membership page for all memberships including corporate membership.

If you are not currently a member of PWI NSW you can join via our Membership page.  Upon joining you will receive a Login ID and password to register for events.


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