Rail safety issues and actions

Deficient Track Occupancy Authority Form

Issue number: RO-2010-004-SI-01
Who it affects: Train operations and track maintenance organisations
Issue owner: Australian Rail Track Corporation
Transport function: Rail: Operations control
Background: Investigation Report RO-2010-004
Issue release date: 20 April 2012
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ARTC ammended the TOA form effective 13 November 2011 and provided an adequate response to address the safety issue.

Safety issue description

The ARTC form ANRF-002 (Track Occupancy Authority) was deficient as there was no provision to record critical information regarding the location and type of worksite. Consequently, both the Protection Officer and Network Control Officer incorrectly concluded that the train had passed beyond the limits of the worksite.

Proactive Action

Action number: RO-2010-004-NSA-016
Action organisation: ARTC
Date: 20 April 2012
Action status: Closed

The ARTC issued a safety alert (number 52) on 27 September 2011 to advise all stakeholders of improvements to the rules and procedures. The changes were effective from 13 November 2011 and included significant changes to the TOA form and instructions for completing the new form.

The ‘Request’ section (TOA form ANRF-002B) clearly requires the location of the protection officer to be recorded. The section also provides for two work methods, a track vehicle journey and a fixed worksite. In each case, the form requires the start location and the end location to be clearly recorded. The ‘Validation’ section provides for two options if a train is known to be within the limits of the proposed TOA.

Optional step 11 states:

Train Number [number] is still within the limits of the TOA proceeding towards [location] and the Protection Officer has observed the identification number of the lead unit of the train [id number] which has passed beyond the starting point of the track vehicle journey or fixed worksite boundary, if following be prepared to stop. Note: The Network Control Officer must confirm the correct identification number of the lead unit of the train.

Optional step 12 states:

A track vehicle journey is to commence within the yard limits at [location]. Train number [number] is still within the limits of the TOA proceeding towards [location]. This train departed the starting point of the track vehicle movement, at [time, hours] follow and be prepared to stop.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by the Australian Rail Track Corporation will adequately address this safety issue.

Last update 29 January 2014