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News & Views from the RTBU NSW Locomotive Division

Driverless trains could be on new Aurizon CEO’s wishlist

Jan 10, 2017News
A recent article in the Australian Financial Review speculates that introducing driverless trains and continuing to cut staff could be among the changes that new Aurizon CEO Andrew Harding will make to the company.
 
Harding replaced Lance Hockridge in December and was a former boss at Rio Tinto.

The article notes that as a Rio Tinto boss, Harding was in charge of developing the company’s driverless trains rail system to haul iron ore in WA.

The AFR reports:

“Analysts expect that automated trains will be one of many efficiencies that Harding could eventually introduce at Aurizon even at the risk of strong opposition from unions, some politicians and possible regulatory issues.

“Other efficiencies at Aurizon that analysts have focused on include continuing to reduce staffing levels and the move to one integrated technology system rather than many legacy systems inherited from QR National that should improve productivity.”

The article also speculates about the impact of falling coal demand on the company’s growth prospects and the intensions of “activist shareholder” TCI management, which reportedly owns between 6 to ten percent of Aurizon and may push for a buyback or to return capital to shareholders rather than invest it.

Read the full AFR article here

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