David Warburton

Asia Pacific Rail 2016 Event highlights: 10 minutes with David Warburton, Auckland Transport

With more than NZD 2.5 billion to be invested in Auckland’s City Rail Link, did you managed to catch David Warburton, Chief Executive of Auckland Transport‘s presentation on “Rail as the backbone of an integrated transportation ecosystem” at Asia Pacific Rail?

Following his exciting session, we sat down with David to find out what are the key challenges and upcoming plans at Auckland Transport in the coming year:

As the Chief Executive of Auckland Transport, what’s your biggest challenge and how are you meeting it?

The biggest challenge will be meeting the multiple demands of a growing city with a limited capital budget. To overcome this, with the assets, we need to try to make sure that we are making the most out of the asset and try to spread some of the peak demand. We also need to invest in some new digital technologies to improve the communication to the people.

What are the major projects in the pipeline, and are there any collaboration opportunities?

The biggest project is the city rail link which is an extension of the rail program to the center of the city.  It’s about NZD 2.5-3 billion and that will free up the rail network, double the capacity of the service and halve the travel time into the city center,

Contracts will all be done through international tenders and the nature of the contracts are still being determined. Some alliance work but most of them will be early contractor works, VCI type.

What technologies are you seeking?

Two to three technologies from the customer perspective that will allow us to offer better communication on the trains -Wi-Fi, continuous real-time travel updates, and advance notifications that are relevant to the traveling public, notifying them of any disruption and improving the quality of provision. We’re also looking at improving the separation speed operations of the trains to provide a better service.

Where do you source new technologies?

We usually go to Europe but the technical support comes from global consulting companies. Asia is pretty strong – China is taking a very strong position; Strong technologies from Korea are coming through as well; Japan has always been very strong. It a pretty global procurement, based on who can best provide it, who can best maintain it and who maintains the collaborative working relationship when things go under and in the long run.

Why do you choose to attend Asia Pacific Rail?

We have been to this event before. Some of our staff were coming up from a technology point of view. We’re working with some of the participants of the show and with the amount of work with heavy rail and the move the light rail in a year or two, it is great to attend and touch base with the technologies available at the conference. It has been a good meeting and things have gone well for us.

Like what you’re reading? Why not join us at the conference and hear insights firsthand from our rail leaders attending the conference. Or better yet, speak to them directly.

Join us in Hong Kong in March 2017 as we continue to overcome challenges facing the rail industry in Asia Pacific.

Find out more here.

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