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Close, collaborative relationships are essential to ensure alignment of capability, capacity and customer needs as WA’s mining, resources and infrastructure rail pipeline develops.

March 2019’s Minerals & Investment Week conference in Perth, co-sponsored by EMRAILS, brought together industry leaders from the iron ore and steel, mineral sands, lithium and battery metals and Asia-Pacific nickel sectors for a series of events to discuss opportunities, challenges and strategies.

A delegation from LIBERTY Rail and EMRAILS attended the conference, where they acquired valuable insights into the mining and resources sectors’ developing needs. The conference was also a forum for them to nurture relationships with current and future customers and partners.

Following the event, the delegates went on to engage directly with a number of major WA-based customers including Fortescue Metals Group and BHP, as well as leading infrastructure operators including Arc Infrastructure and the Perth Public Transport Authority. 

Customer Paul Lowney of Arc Infrastructure said: “Working closely with the LIBERTY team is essential as we develop our rail infrastructure to meet the needs of the resources, freight and passenger sectors in WA.”

Forrestfield–Airport Link rail project

The delegation’s visit to the $1.86 billion Forrestfield–Airport Link rail project was an opportunity to experience first-hand the value of close collaboration between LIBERTY and its customers. Jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian governments, the Forrestfield–Airport Link project will deliver a new rail service to the eastern suburbs of Perth – with three new stations at Redcliffe, Airport Central and Forrestfield – when it opens in 2021.

Carbon storage: hemp railway sleepers

The LIBERTY Rail team also presented at a dinner hosted by Hemp Rail International (HRI), WA-based industrial hemp company whose world-first hemp railway sleepers have the potential to provide a unique method of carbon storage in railway infrastructure. HRI’s audience included representatives from a broad cross-section of Australian industries, including farming, mining, steel manufacturing, architects, brickmakers, sustainability groups, government, research companies, education and construction.

HRI showcased a scaled-down 3D model of their ballastless railway sleeper system, demonstrating the use of embedded sensors and interactive wireless technology to communicate across and between the IHEM sleepers, and report and act on the operating status of the railway track.

HRI’s Elia Saba said: “This critical component of the ballastless railway sleeper system lays the groundwork to accelerate research and expansion into infrastructure and the environment.”

LIBERTY’S Market Manager Rail, Brenton Marcinkowski, said: “LIBERTY is innovative and moving to be a world-class supplier in Australia’s rapidly growing rail sector. Maintaining a collaborative working partnership with customers in the mining and resources and public infrastructures sectors, as well as innovators in the rail supply chain, is vital to ensure we remain focused on meeting their evolving needs.”