Heavy haul responds to the business challenge

first_imgBYLINE: John A ReochChairman, International Heavy Haul AssociationAS THE current Chairman of the International Heavy Haul Association, it is my pleasure and privilege to welcome railway professionals throughout the world to the Sixth International Conference of the IHHA, being held on April 6-10 in Cape Town, South Africa.This year’s event includes post-conference tours and, for the first time, a special post-conference educational course to be held in conjunction with the University of Pretoria.The IHHA believes that the heavy haul freight railways of the world play a key role in worldwide economic development, and seeks to serve these railways in their pursuit of excellence in heavy haul operations and technology, and the design, development and maintenance of fixed and rolling assets. The Association was formed in the first instance to promote and disseminate the full range of technologies and operating practices required for successful heavy haul operations. In both mandate and practice, the IHHA has been strongly technical and research-orientated.The railway scene is changing. Privatisation, corporatisation, commercialisation and outsourcing of a wide range of services, and shifting organisational patterns are increasingly part of the mosaic of railway practice in many parts of the world. All this is creating fresh challenges for the railway professional. The Cape Town conference has been designed with these in mind.Even so, the IHHA has not departed from its roots. Applied research as well as operating and maintenance issues will be very much in view. Heavy haul railroading – all railroading in fact – is a technology-based business. The particular challenge that the Cape Town conference organisers have undertaken is to ensure that a business focus runs through the entire conference, even when technical specifics are being addressed.The Cape Town conference will be a broad-based event with the theme Strategies beyond 2000. The IHHA sponsors bi-annual conferences that alternate between ’Specialist Technical Sessions’ that put a spotlight on highly specific issues, and broad-based conferences like the 1997 Cape Town event that survey the full range of issues currently affecting heavy-haul railroading and which may advance the industry. This will be an important event in the railway calendar for railway professionals, generalists and specialists alike. oConference detailsThe Sixth International Heavy Haul Conference is being held at the Cape Sun Inter-Continental hotel in Cape Town on April 6-10.Late registration is being handled by:Connex, PO Box 111, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa.Tel +27 11 884 8110 Fax +27 11 884 3090Other enquiries should be addressed to:Chairman of the Organising Committee, IHHA “6” 1997, PO Box 2737, Joubert Park 2044, South Africa. Tel +27 11 773 8486 Fax: +27 11 773 2393last_img

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