Rail safety issues and actions

Driver’s manual explanation of effects and control of low adhesion

Issue number: RO-2013-005-SI-09
Who it affects: All owners and operators of rolling stock fitted with electro-pneumatic disc actuated braking systems incorporating wheel slip-slide protection control.
Issue owner: Queensland Rail Limited
Transport function: Rail: Other
Background: Investigation Report RO-2013-005
Issue release date: 20 December 2013
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

Some action has been taken to address driver training, however QR advises the Drivers Manual is still under revision.

Safety issue description

The Queensland Rail driver’s manual did not explain the effects of low adhesion at the wheel/rail interface, how low adhesion is a precursor to prolonged wheel slide events and why these elements reduce the likelihood of achieving expected braking rates.

Proactive Action

Action number: RO-2013-005-NSA-048
Action organisation: Queensland Rail
Date: 04 November 2013
Action status: Closed

Train drivers are trained to drive to the environmental conditions including effective use of the train’s wheel slip-slide protection system. Following the Cleveland collision, rail traffic crew (RTC) received a safety critical notice detailing the train handling procedure for low adhesion conditions specific to the IMU160/SMU 260 class. Debriefing sessions were provided to RTC on the learnings from the Cleveland collision incident regarding wheel/rail adhesion. Updates regarding progress on the recommendations of the Rail Interface Working Group were also provided to the RTC on a regular basis.

Under Queensland Rail's Safety and Environment Management System, a standard details the required actions for RTC, network control, network maintenance staff, rolling stock engineers and rail safety management following a wheel slide event. These actions were documented following the release of the ATSB's preliminary report into the Cleveland collision incident and communicated to relevant stakeholders. The procedures have also been incorporated in Queensland Rail's Train Management Manual.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by Queensland Rail addresses this safety issue.

Last update 25 February 2015