A new Australian Railway Research and Innovation Network (AusRRIN) – five Australian universities each recognised for strength in railway research along with key railway industry and regulatory entities – was officially launched on Thursday morning.
In a statement from Monash University, it was explained that the network will be formalised through a signed MOU between Monash’s Institute of Railway Technology (IRT), Central Queensland University, University of Queensland, University of Wollongong and the University of Technology Sydney. 
These universities will join five railway industry entities – the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR); Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB); Australasian Railway Association (ARA); the Rail Track Association Australia (RTAA); and the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) – to create AusRRIN.
AusRRIN partners will identify and deliver areas for railway research and innovation and to advance an associated manufacturing sector in support of the Australian government’s National Rail Manufacturing Plan.
The government describes the plan as an “election commitment to lift productivity, improve social and environmental outcomes and create economic value” through the sector.
“There are many reasons to get excited about the future of railway transportation in Australia. Adopting targeted research and innovation has already transformed Australia to become the global benchmark for heavy haul railways,” said Professor Ravi Ravitharan, Director of Monash IRT (pictured.)
“Strong research and innovation is a key enabler to build at scale, a sustainable, advanced manufacturing base in Australia,” said National Rail Manufacturing Advocate, Jacqui Walters, who launched AusRRIN with assistant minister for manufacturing Tim Ayres. 
“We can build on the capabilities of Australian manufacturing to design and construct efficient, modern, low emission rolling stock that will carry Australians and freight for decades to come.”
“The AusRRIN initiative is a great example of the collaboration between research and industry that the Government is supporting under the National Rail Manufacturing Plan, and our recently announced National Rail Procurement and Manufacturing Strategy,” added Ayres. 
“I look forward to AusRRIN’s contribution to the development of trains that are designed and built to Australia’s unique condition – lowering costs for government and industry, improving the quality of the commuter experience and lowering our national transport emissions.”
Picture: credit Monash Institute of Railway Technology
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