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Unique Rail – Partnering with Downer for Success 

Unique Rail has a proven track record of delivering solutions for all major rail prime contractors operating in Australia. We pride ourselves on our ability to create tailor-made engineering solutions that address a wide range of rail infrastructure challenges.

One of Unique Rail’s customers is Downer, an ASX-listed transport infrastructure giant with operations around the world. Unique Rail has been supplying world-class Schunk pantographs under license to Downer and the relationship has grown to incorporate a range of solutions including a specialised bogie rotator, axle grounding contacts, lifting jacks and condition monitoring.

The completion of the tailor-made bogie-rotator for Downer was an engineering highpoint for Unique Rail. As far as Unique Rail can ascertain, it is the only rotator in the world that has the latest technologies and the capability to service 15 different types of bogies. Installed in the iconic Downer Newport Rail facility, the bogie rotator gives Downer the flexibility to tender for a broad range of maintenance projects in Australia and New Zealand.

As a key supplier and in recognition of the partnership that has developed between the two companies, Unique Rail’s Managing Director Fabian Borgonha was invited to speak at a recent Industry Capability Network (ICN)-run ‘Doing Business with Downer’ event at Hoppers Crossing.

Over 300 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) attended the event to learn more about working with Downer on upcoming tender opportunities.

Fabian told the audience that the key to working successfully with the large contractors, or Primes, like Downer, is the ability to work with a degree of flexibility and to remain service oriented at all times. “Prime contractors are seeking partners that can deliver solutions to multiple challenges. Simply being local is not enough. A capability edge, combined with the added value attributes of flexibility and scalability, is what Prime contractors are looking for,” he said.

“At Unique Rail our policy is to remain customer focused, to use our skilled people, our experience and modern technology to continually provide the highest quality innovative solutions in a time-efficient and cost-effective manner and to provide ongoing support to our customers.”

Fabian reinforced the importance to SMEs of Primes investing in the supply chain to support capability development and growth.

“Through investment and technology transfer, large Prime contractors bring critical opportunities for further development of capability and capacity,” he said.

Fabian was also appreciative of Downer’s efforts to engage with the industry through the ICN events, confirming it was not easy for SMEs to secure access to major Primes.

“To get a foot in the door with a Prime contractor typically takes a lot of work and relationship building, and requires a commitment to collaborate,” he said.

“It’s about working together to see how you can enhance the product or service to achieve a superior result for their proposition.”

Unique Rail has a proud heritage of building close relationships with its customers. At the heart of that approach is willingness to share knowledge and know-how for mutual benefit, which Fabian strongly believes translates into further opportunities and growth.