Rail journeys: Marc Feron

As a project manager, Marc has spent much of his time in the rail sector overseeing the construction of train stations. He says seeing a station evolve from design to a finished building that the community uses is a highlight of his job.

QHow did you come to work in the rail sector?

I worked for a telecommunications company on its fibre optic networks in Belgium. Around 18 years ago, I moved to Western Australia and got a job with the Public Transport Authority as a technical officer. Over time I moved into project management and ended up in the Major Project Unit.

There’s a lot of satisfaction in projects – you get to see from concept all the way through to delivery. The first station I worked on was being built about 5 kilometres from my home. It was fantastic to see it, you know, coming out of the ground. Then seeing people use it – and then I used it. And it was the best-looking station, of course [wink]!. It really did have a unique design.

Quick Q&A

Favourite train movie scene?

I like the train scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It’s a circus train too, so added drama with a lion!

There’s also a great train scene in Some like it Hot with Marilyn Monroe.

Another classic is the high-speed train scene in Mission Impossible.

QWhat are you working on now?

The Cross River Rail project in Brisbane – which is a new rail line that will include twin tunnels under the Brisbane River and CBD.

For my part, I’m working on the Hope Island station, which is one of three new stations that will be built on the Gold Coast line.

As the project manager, I’m basically the interface between the Delivery Authority building the project and Queensland Rail. So, all station specifications, innovations – everything really about the station, come through me.

QWhat are some recent trends for the industry?

There’s a need to move more people, more quickly. So, a lot of advances in technology and design are used to help with that goal. There’s improved signalling technology and communication – which can safely reduce the distance between trains on tracks, and therefore increase train frequency. things like that.

Train designs are also evolving, in Perth for example, the third generation of trains will have more doors so people can move more easily in and out of carriages during peak hours, and reduce the dwell time at a station.

Paul poses in front of a Queensland Rail train on the Gold Coast line

Marc poses in front of a Queensland Rail train on the Gold Coast line.

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