Brian has been active in the WA industrial hemp industry since 1995.
Brian is a dedicated, knowledgeable and enthusiastic supporter of the hemp industry. Brian shares extensive knowledge and industry experience of the industrial hemp agriculture sector, farming and processing through to manufacturing of the IHEM Ballastless Railway Sleeper System.
Elia's industry sector experience was gained over 37 years and includes roles in communication, engineering and design, project management and industrial machine design in the UK, Italy and the Middle East.
Following the move to Western Australia in 1995, Elia has worked as a Technical Project Manager with interest and focus on construction, industrial automation and manufacturing. His insatiable curiosity for innovation and progress has contributed to the latest developments in the IHEM Ballastless Railway Sleeper System.
A carbon negative, semi-automated product plant facility is currently at the design and development stage. This will facilite large scale manufacturing and production of the Ballastless Railway Sleeper System.
The hemp plant provides mainly hemp seeds and hemp stems. The hemp stems are processed so that the outer fibre (bast) is separated from the inner core (hurd) which is used in the IHEM railway sleeper.
Hemp as a plant is not fireproof but when mixed with the lime binder used in the IHEM railway sleeper and following curing of the mix, the IHEM railway sleeper becomes fire resistant.
For the past 400 years the general approach in the railway industry has been inclining towards a no change or very slow change policy. This is not keeping up with both the current and exponential technological advancements in the industry. In particular, safety and cost factors are often cited to justify and delay any change.
HRI is interested in innovative ideas to assist the farming community to make use of, and optimise on their agricultural product.
The hemp plant can grow a full season without any pesticides. It will adapt to soil conditions easier and quicker than other plants. It is important to consult an industry expert when attempting to grow industrial hemp as the legislation requires the THC level to be below 1%.
The cost per kilometre is approximately $700,000 which is lower than current costs of standard railway systems. Following adoption of the IHEM railway sleeper system, the cost will be significantly reduced. In addition, the maintenance costs are 10% of that of the current railway systems.
It is difficult to define a failure rate as the IHEM railway sleeper system has not yet been produced in substantial numbers.
There are two methods of building a railway system based on the IHEM railway sleeper concept. The first method would be to attempt to grow the industrial hemp at the remote mining site and produce the IHEM railway sleeper at the remote mining site. A second option would be to seek a suitable area appropriately located near the mining site to enable industrial hemp agriculture, processing and manufacturing.
Building sustainable Infrastructure
Currently in use worldwide
Transports travellers at high speed, over long distances