Lycopodium Infrastructure has attained national accreditation as a Rolling Stock Operator, enabling the team to operate maintenance vehicles known as 'hi-rail' vehicles for the purpose of conducting on-track repairs, maintenance and project management.
What does it mean to become a Rolling Stock Operator?
In order to operate any vehicle on a rail track in Australia, it is a requirement that the operator becomes properly accredited in order to ensure adherence to the strict industry safety policies in place. This accreditation is maintained by the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator and is known as the Rail Safety National Law (RSNL). The RSNL also ensures proper maintenance of all relevant vehicles and machinery, along with communications and associated procedures and systems.
What is a hi-rail vehicle?
A hi-rail vehicle, or RRV (Road Rail Vehicle), is a vehicle such as a truck or ute that is suitable for use both on roads (‘highway’) as well as on rail tracks (‘railway’). Often these vehicles are road-going vehicles which retain their road tyres but have been fitted with specially engineered rail wheels that can be slotted into place when required. Lyco has kitted out 3 such vehicles with a collection of tools such as angle grinders, 2-foot-long adjustable wrenches, sockets, bolts and other common railway maintenance tools.
Many hi-rail vehicles are purpose-built heavy machinery, such as excavators or crane trucks. These vehicles can be driven by road to a location nearby to the work site, then rail-mounted for the final part of the journey, making remote rail locations more accessible.
What are the benefits for Lyco?
Lycopodium Infrastructure has an experienced rail team with a proud history of conducting professional independent track inspections and verifications for many high-profile rail and logistics clients right around Australia. Becoming an RSO alongside the addition of hi-rail vehicles enables more efficient inspections and a broader service offering to clients of all sizes. Inspections can be conducted much faster and to a higher degree of accuracy with the vehicle providing a better ‘feel’ for undulations in the track. It also enables access to locations inaccessible by personnel such as some bridges due to height and width restrictions related to safety requirements. Reducing the need for having track inspectors walk many, many kilometres of track, particularly in summer, further improves safety.
What are the benefits to our clients?
With hi-rail vehicles and maintenance tools now available on-site, many minor maintenance issues can be rectified immediately, in many cases saving the client the expense of having to arrange for third party repairs, often in remote (expensive) locations. The RSO accreditation also broadens the scope of services which Lycopodium can provide, such as major maintenance tasks or managing large-scale projects. Now with the benefit of engaging hi-rail (on track) machinery such as excavators, dumpers, tampers, grinders, etc. we are in many cases able to manage the completion of maintenance in a much more efficient manner, as we can access areas that cannot be accessed by ‘road bound’ machinery, also reducing the risk of damage to rail infrastructure.