Centre for Railway Engineering

The Centre for Railway Engineering (CRE) is an industry-focused research centre hosted by the School of Engineering and Technology (SET) at CQUniversity located in Rockhampton.

CRE has a strong customer focus and endeavours to build robust partnerships between its researchers and the rail industry through high quality generic and commercial research, postgraduate education, innovation, development and consultancy services.

We are well known for our research expertise in train dynamics, wagon and bogie dynamics, wagon/track system dynamics, erosion control within railway corridors, simulation, instrumentation and field testing. Our physical resources include a unique laboratory that was purpose designed for full-scale testing of bogies, wagons, locomotives and civil infrastructure components. These capabilities allow CRE to offer commercial research and consulting expertise in the key areas of:

  • train and wagon simulation
  • erosion mitigation design (rapid grass)
  • heavy testing laboratory
  • data acquisition services
  • product development

Find out more about our facilities and equipment, news and staff.

Get involved in our research

The CRE provides applied engineering research for the rail industry in areas of mechanical, civil and electrical engineering along with specific collaborations concerning safety and human factors.

Our Centre’s research strength in mechanical engineering, facilitating the continuation of both high-quality publications and provision of applied capabilities to the railway industry.

The recent expansion into new areas of fatigue and wear simulation is key to involvements in product development for the Australian rail manufacturing sector. The addition of electrical engineering and electronics expertise to the Centre membership re-establishes opportunities in condition monitoring. The new CRE, reformed mid-2015 in accordance with CQUniversity’s updated “Research Institutes and Centres Principles”, retains the strengths from the previous Centre and combines these with a new emphasis on product development in collaboration with rail manufacturers. This expands the stakeholder group and also broadens the areas of engineering synergy, improving both sustainability of the Centre and appealing to a wider group of engineering academics in the School of Engineering and Technology and beyond.

Research Higher Degree students

CRE is proud to host and provide research higher degree training for postgraduate students. CRE, due to its industry environment, provides a multidisciplinary context for students and excellent opportunities to network with industry partners and rail researchers.


Scholarships are called once for year for the general CQUniversity merit rounds. In addition, projects are approved from time to time which allows stipend support of students will to study on specific railway research problems. Further information is available on our Research Scholarships page.

CRE has expertise in:

  • train, locomotive and wagon dynamics
  • train control and brake systems
  • simulation
  • structural fatigue
  • failure analysis
  • erosion control
  • driver advisory systems
  • condition monitoring
  • acoustics and noise engineering
  • contact mechanics and tribology
  • smart devices and software development

Innovation and development

Our commitment to applied research and customer focus results in involvement in projects right through to the development and pre-commercialisation stages.


Our research projects include:

  • curve lubrication
  • heavy haul drawgear
  • future train motive power technologies
  • rail grinding best practices
  • locomotive adhesion
  • wagon roadworthiness simulation
  • train simulation studies
  • longitudinal passenger comfort
  • development of new condition monitoring technologies


Previous research projects included:

  • intelligent train monitor
  • train health advisory system
  • insulated rail joints
  • rail squat strategies
  • short pitch rail irregularities
  • track sustainability management
  • cant deficiency studies
  • rail temperature & track stability
  • bogie rotation resistance
  • rollingstock crashworthiness
  • derailment simulations

CRE is a major supplier of research expertise to the national Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Programs. In addition, CRE has completed directly funded projects for Aurizon, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), the Department of Transport and Regional Services, Faiveley Transport, Pacific National, Bradken, AECOM, Calibre Global, Adani, the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB), Research Designs and Standards Organisation (Indian Railways), Queensland Government and Rail Innovation Australia.

Contact Details

Centre for Railway Engineering

Building 70, CQUniversity
Rockhampton QLD 4702

Prof Colin Cole (Centre Director)
Phone: +61 (0)7 4930 9769

Prof Maksym Spiryagin
Phone: +61 (0)7 4930 9677


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