Applying systems methodology to transport operations

Applying systems methodology to transport operations

Applying system of systems methodology to transport systems 964x300

A framework to link transport stakeholders with the delivery process.

SMART Infrastructure Facility is assisting in the development of a framework capable of describing and linking all key transport enterprise stakeholder concerns and involvements in the transportation project delivery process. The initial model is for the Heavy Rail sector, with the ultimate goal being to generalise the model to cover all modes of public transport.

The need for such a model-based systems engineering approach and toolset is becoming increasingly urgent across multiple sectors in order to understand and work with all the interdependencies that exist between the components comprising modern transport systems. Experience has also shown that access to such a model, rather than a document-based system, leads to deeper understanding of the systems and a greater ability to discover errors.

The use of an architecture framework-type model provides a powerful structure for managing the engineering and behavioural aspects of large complex transport systems. At the top level, many stakeholders and their expectations are modelled and presented to them in views specific to each user’s needs so that the interdependencies can be managed in a timely manner.

Importantly, the architecture framework is designed to be readily adaptable to a range of applications within the transport sector, for example in addressing the impact of introducing new technologies in rail operations to human behaviours.

At the lowest level, the hundreds of thousands of standards, design documents and requirements specifications which are required can all be placed in a common database and linked to all the applicable nodes and viewpoints in the model. This provides users with a common underlying information base, and an easy-to-use graphical interface to navigate to the views of the information they need.



Project Case Study

ACRI Track Worker Safety & Organisational Capability Maturity Model

The SMART Infrastructure Facility is an industry partner with The Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI) in two research projects – the Track Worker Safety (TWS) project and the Organisational Capability Maturity Model (OCMM) project.
These initiatives are developing models to ensure the effective and safe introduction of new technologies into the rail industry – at trackside level and throughout the organisations.

They are split into three phases.

Phas I: Knowledge gathering and development of framework models
Phase II: Detailed modelling, framework population, developing a generic model
Phase III: Integration of specific organisational tools and processes into the generic model

ACRI Phase Flow

ACRI Diagram Updated


Track Worker Safety


The Track Worker Safety model involves building a structured and evidence-based tool to enable rail organisations to effectively identify and respond to the effects of changes to trackside worker competence needs arising from the integration of new technology into existing systems. The tool is being built through the development of a modelling framework.


Organisational Capability Maturity Model


The Organisational Capability Maturity Model addresses the complex issues which arise when installing new technologies into existing rail operation systems over extended periods of time. Specific issues include competency and training needs, safety assurance and risk mitigation, and cyber security.

The model will support understanding and analysis of the effects of the introduction of new technology across all levels of a rail organisation’s operations, in particular the impacts that these technologies have on human behaviour.

The model can be tailored to specific organisations and will provide insight into the human factor inter-relationships as well as system and operational performance.



Peter Campbell Headshot

Professor Peter Campbell

Project lead


Grace Kennedy Headshot

Grace Kennedy

Telephone: +61 2 4239 2344


Fatemeh Rezaeibagha Headshot

Fatemeh Rezaeibagha

Telephone: +61 2 4239 2353


Will Scott Headshot

Dr William Scott

Telephone: +61 411 892 491


Farid Shirvani Headshot

Farid Shirvani

Telephone: +61 2 4239 2330


Last reviewed: 26 November, 2018