Rail safety issues and actions

Class BM Steel prone to subsurface Cracks

Issue number: RO-2011-009-SI-02
Who it affects: Rail Rolling stock owners, operators and maintainers
Issue owner: SCT Logistics
Transport function: Rail: Freight
Background: Investigation Report RO-2011-009
Issue release date: 03 July 2013
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

SCT has advised the following actions: • Update the wheel management policies to require a more regular wheel machining regime across the fleet, in the range 130,000 km – 150,000 km, removing 4 mm per turn. • For future wheel purchases, particularly for high speed operations specify NUVAN class vanadium modified steel that provides increased fracture toughness.

Safety issue description

Subsurface cracks appeared to be more common on wheels made with Class BM grade steel while operating under conditions of high speed cyclic loading, such as the SCT class locomotives

Proactive Action

Action number: RO-2011-009-NSA-025
Action organisation: Class BM grade steel
Date: 03 July 2013
Action status: Closed

To reduce the risk of further failures with wheels fitted to the SCT classes of locomotives, SCT has advised the following actions:

  • Update the wheel management policies to require a more regular wheel machining regime across the fleet, in the range 130,000 km – 150,000 km, removing 4 mm per turn.
  • For future wheel purchases, particularly for high speed operations specify NUVAN class vanadium modified steel that provides increased fracture toughness.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by SCT Logistics addresses this safety issue.

Last update 31 January 2014