Rail safety issues and actions

Ultrasonic inspection

Issue number: RO-2013-010-SI-02
Who it affects: Owners and operators of rail infrastructure.
Issue owner: Speno
Transport function: Rail: Infrastructure
Background: Investigation Report RO-2013-010
Issue release date: 29 April 2015
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by Speno has increased the effectiveness of its ultrasonic inspection of corrosion defects in rail at unsealed level crossings. 

Safety issue description

The ultrasonic testing regime was not effective in consistently identifying corrosion and wasting of the rail web at unsealed level crossings.

Proactive Action

Action number: RO-2013-010-NSA-094
Action organisation: Speno
Date: 29 April 2015
Action status: Closed

Speno has undertaken safety actions to improve the effectiveness of its ultrasonic inspection of rail at unsealed level crossings. Capability improvements include the introduction of procedures for the identification of corroded rail at level crossings, and associated staff training. Specific procedural inclusions to enhance detection of deteriorated rail include:

  • A reduced test vehicle speed of five km/h for testing at level crossings
  • Criteria and protocol for re-inspection in the case of any identified discontinuities
  • Criteria and protocol for follow-up hand testing and engineering inspection
  • Enhanced reporting requirements.
Last update 29 April 2015