In Detail: Our Rail Services Business

It’s not just the big jobs that make a difference. The Queensland Area Manager for Rail Services, Paul Tompsett, discusses a small but vital part of John Holland:

“Most of the work we do is on the heavy haul coal network with Aurizon between Gladstone and Mackay and west to Emerald and Moranbah, in an area of 1800km of sparse rural land. Our main works are the conduct of civil, track and overhead line asset maintenance for several clients, including various mine and sugar mill rail owners.

We also look after smaller new asset construction, such as private sidings and Network & Yard expansions, using subcontractors as necessary. The work conducted includes inspections and routine maintenance, re-sleepering, re-railing, turnout renewal, civil reconditioning, culverts and drainage works, level crossing reconditioning, overhead line structure, wire and system component renewal. There’s certainly plenty to get done. This is the same in NSW and WA as well, where we also have regional rail services offices.

A lot of this work is performed in situations where the rail line is shut down, and the pressure can be intense to achieve maximum works in minimum time, as shutting down a railway is at significant cost. Planning for safety surety and maximum productivity is critical. Safety is our top priority at all times.

Moving people and equipment, often at short notice, over such a large area, arranging accommodation and rescheduling rosters so that the necessary competencies are at each job can be testing.

It’s a very dynamic environment and the works planned for each week can change every day due to changing priorities. The ability to be able to respond and remain flexible at short notice is critical and our people understand and work with this.”