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RTAA & RTSA Combined Technical Event – Quality vs Quantity by Steven Johnson – General Manager, Operations East, Brimble

July 18 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm ACST

Come along to the RTAA & RTSA Combined Technical Event on Thursday, 18 July where we will be joined by Steven Johnson from Brimble for an insightful discussion, along with some networking while enjoying some drinks and canapes.

The topic of his presentation will be Quality vs Quantity.


We all face a common problem in our daily lives. There is a natural conflict between quality and quantity.

We all hope and want to believe that it is possible to have both, and I agree that in specific circumstances where an entire system is optimised towards this goal, it is possible to achieve high quantity while maintaining high quality.

However, in any highly variable, non-closed system, achieving both quality and quantity is challenging. We seem to face a choice rather than striving to achieve both.

Further, we have all heard the mantra, ‘What gets measured, gets done!’

As with all such statements there is truth in this phrase. The implication is that measures drive behaviour. It is also true that we often default to simple measures, even if they are not necessarily the right measures for achieving the desired outcome. In our game of mechanisation, we see simple measures, m/hr for tamping, and m/hr for ballast cleaning.

I argue that these measures oversimplify how we determine the success of a system or, in contrast, a service.

Do we want lots of track tamped, or do we want tamped track that ‘holds-up’ for a long time? When we ballast clean, a m/hr measure misses the point, ballast cleaning is a volume game, not a distance game. The ballast cleaning system needs to be designed to achieve a specified through-put, this is a function of distance, but distance is not the output.

I aim to explore how we measure performance and understand if there are opportunities to ensure alignment between the objectives of our work and the way our performance is assessed

  • Attendance is free for RTSA, TAs, PWI and EA members (Please remember to use the discount code provided in your email) – Register Here!
  • Attendance is AUD$30 for non-members (you can join find out more about joining the RTSA here.

Event Program

  • 5.30 pm: Pre-drinks, canapes and networking
  • 6.00 pm: Presentation commences with Q&A
  • 7.00 pm: Drinks and networking
  • 8.30 pm: Event concludes

About the Presenter

Steven Johnson’s love for railways has been a lifelong affair. With a Master’s in Railway Systems Engineering from England, he has dedicated over twenty years to working in railroads across the United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia.

Steven’s career has had a particular focus on turnout renewal projects, and he has been responsible for leading large interdisciplinary teams for multinational railway companies. In his new role as General Manager for Brimble’s east coast operations, Steven will primarily be focused on future planning, resource allocation, and business optimisation for the eastern states.


Steve Johnson
(General Manager, Operations East, Brimble)


July 18
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm ACST


Bobbi’s Bar and Restaurant
264 South Road
Hilton, South Australia 5033 Australia
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