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200years combined experience
400+vehicles registered
550projects and counting
15+national & global
rolling stock experts
200years combined experience
400+vehicles registered
550projects and counting
15+national & global
rolling stock experts
Business News

Q&A with Basil Hancock

11th Jun 2024

Transport Engineering Legend

We sat down with one of Rail Confidence’s new hires, Basil Hancock, to chat about his lengthy career in transport and what brought him to the team.

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Q: Welcome to the team, Basil. Thanks for joining us. So tell us a little about your career story.

Basil: Pleasure to be here! Like many engineers, I took a liking to trains and gadgets from a young age. Naturally that progressed through my education and career. I completed my degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Transport Planning & Engineering from the University of Leeds in 1976. From there I worked with Leyland Bus in the UK for the next decade.

My next career jump took my family all the way to Australia in bus design and manufacturing. I then worked for the NSW State Transit Authority (STA), Sydney Olympics transport, and Sydney Trains in fleet procurement and management.I’ve worked on major transport projects across the country, and I’ve directly influenced the systems, vehicles, technology on those projects. I officially retired in 2021, but I’m excited to join the Rail Confidence team as an associate for special projects.

Q: What capabilities do you bring to the team?

Basil: I’m a passenger transport specialist with extensive experience in bus, light rail and rail. Having worked in this space for a long time, I’ve held a variety of technical and managerial roles, so I like to think I understand how the system works. 

As the technology between bus, light rail and heavy rail converges, and many organisations now run more than one mode, sometimes all three, I’m passionate about bringing an independent view to projects, especially across fleet planning and management. Sustainability is now a key aspect in transport, so I also bring experience in alternate fuels and energy sources.

Q:  What interested you in transportation engineering?

Basil: I’ve always been interested in the technical side of things, the logistics, and how it all works together. My career has been a natural extension of those interests.

I’ve been lucky enough to work on some fantastic projects over the years – The Sydney Olympics, Inland Rail Brisbane Metro – and with each one I try to look at the greater picture of how it all integrates together.

Q:  Yes, let’s get into your approach. Can you explain how you approach a project?

Basil: It’s important to start first with what the project is actually trying to achieve – what problem is being addressed and why is it there in the first place? If you don’t start there, you may end up solving the wrong issue – perhaps it’s actually a traffic issue instead of a technical problem. Once that’s correctly identified, we may approach the problem in another way that ends up fitting better into the bigger picture. Either way, it’s important for organisations to bring in that independent view.

Q:  What do you hope you accomplish with the Rail Confidence team?

Basil: I’m excited to continue work on the technical side of these projects, affecting change and giving our clients the right advice – we share a mutual responsibility for shaping transport in Australia. It’s an experienced team, and I hope to add my expertise into the mix and continue to broaden our portfolio in transport advisory. I’m also passionate about mentorship and passing on my knowledge to the up and comers of the team.

I’m excited to continue work on the technical side of these projects, affecting change and giving our clients the right advice – we share a mutual responsibility for shaping transport in Australia.

Basil Hancock
Portrait of Tash Francavilla

Tash Francavilla

Operations Support

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