Rail safety issues and actions

Effects of wind load on rail wagons

Issue number: RO-2010-012-SI-01
Who it affects: All rail operators
Issue owner: Genesee & Wyoming Aust Pty Ltd (GWA)
Transport function: Rail: Rolling stock
Background: Investigation Report RO-2010-012
Issue release date: 20 December 2011
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

Minor safety issue, no further action required, however closed out by GWA

Safety issue description

Double stacked container wagons are at particular risk of wind induced roll-over. This is a direct relationship of exposed side area, and was therefore probably exacerbated by out of gauge/high loads on some wagons with a large surface area exposed to the gust front.

Proactive Action

Action number: RO-2010-012-NSA-014
Action organisation: Genesee & Wyoming Aust Pty Ltd (GWA)
Date: 20 December 2011
Action status: Closed
GWA acknowledges that double stacked container wagons are at a higher risk of wind induced rollover due to the large surface area they present. GWA has considered it’s options in relation to the double stacking of containers and has adopted a loading protocol which is designed to minimise the potential for wind induced rollover by requiring that the heaviest container in any double stacked configuration is loaded on the bottom. This practice is designed to reduce the wagon/loading centre of gravity to levels that are as low as reasonably practicable.

ATSB comment:

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is satisfied that the action proposed by Genesee & Wyoming Australia Pty Ltd will adequately address the safety issue.
Last update 31 January 2014