Electrified Rail Training

Department of Transport SA – Electrified Rail Training


During the last decade, South Australia’s public transport system has undergone a major overhaul to transform it into a state-of-the-art and modern system providing faster, more frequent and efficient services for commuters.

The network includes a coast to city electrified light rail network and new electric trains that replace the existing diesel fleet on specific rail lines.

Our role

Thomson Bridge developed and delivered electrical training pathways and curriculum for new staff undertaking the following tasks:

  • SCADA operation, fault and incident response for control room operators
  • High Voltage switching for overhead lines and substations
  • Preparing switching instructions for planned and unplanned activities

Our specialists in network control room operations worked with the Department’s System Control Engineers to create a curriculum that encompassed realistic incident scenarios and the DPTI response protocols and procedures.

The program includes role playing on a SCADA simulator and provides operators with skills and confidence to respond to network plant during events that range from normal occurrences, through to unplanned events and emergencies.

High Voltage operator programs were developed for the overhead lines and substation switching. Initial and refresher programs were designed to support competency for specific accreditation pathways and is supported by log books to record requisite on the job activities to demonstrate competence and record evidence required for the awarding of Nationally Accredited Units of Competency.

Finally, a program was designed for trainees to develop skills and confidence to write switching instructions within their rail network operating environment. During facilitated workshops, trainees develop skills and understanding in the procedural requirements for switching instructions and field operation; how to read and interpret single line diagrams; and understand the correct identification of plant for access, isolation and earthing requirements.

Project Details

  • Client: Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure – Electrified Trams and Trains Division
  • Location: South Australia
  • Our role: Develop curriculum and authorisation pathways for the electrical control room and the rail network’s high voltage apparatus
  • Outcome: Thomson Bridge’s detailed knowledge of network control and field switching enabled the development of foundation electrical training for new employees and ongoing maintenance of competency