Rail safety issues and actions

Risk assessment, procedure and guidelines

Issue number: RO-2013-014-SI-01
Who it affects: All owners and operators of road rail vehicles
Issue owner: West Coast Wilderness Railway
Transport function: Rail: Operations control
Background: Investigation Report RO-2013-014
Issue release date: 15 August 2013
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the actions taken by West Coast Wilderness Railway and the Office of National Rail Safety Regulator address this safety issue.

Safety issue description

West Coast Wilderness Railway had not considered all of the risks associated with the operation of road-rail vehicles on the steep railway. As a result, documented operational procedures had not been developed and locations where vehicles could be safely on/off railed had not been defined.

Proactive Action

Action number: RO-2013-014-NSA-002
Action organisation: West Coast Wilderness Railway
Date: 15 August 2013
Action status: Closed

The West Coast Wilderness Railway has advised the ATSB that they have:

  • Reviewed their risk register in relation to the operation of road-rail vehicles.
  • Reviewed ISMS manuals – systems, rolling stock and infrastructure for operation and training for road-rail vehicles operations.
  • Developed procedures (operations manual) governing the operation of road-rail vehicles including on/off tracking and vehicle operation.
  • Initiated a new training and assessment program for personnel customised around West Coast Wilderness Railway operations and procedures.
  • Implemented a requirement for all West Coast Wilderness Railway operators to receive the new training and be reassessed in road-rail vehicle operations on the network.
  • Begun implementing a road-rail vehicle procurement and selection program, procedure and vehicle compliance checklist.
  • Reviewed rail conditions.
  • Reviewed all road-rail vehicle on/off tracking locations.
  • Upgraded the VHF radio system
  • Considered providing ‘Spot Track’ GPS based emergency contact system.

ATSB comment:

West Coast Wilderness was advised in the preliminary report that the ATSB will continue to monitor these and any further safety actions initiated to address this safety issue.

Recommendation

Action number: RO-2013-014-SR-010
Action organisation: West Coast Wilderness Railway
Date: 15 August 2013
Action status: Closed

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that West Coast Wildness Railway undertake further work to address the risks associated with railing road-rail vehicles on an incline.

Additional correspondence

Response from: West Coast Wilderness Railway
Action status: Closed
Response text:

The West Coast Wilderness Railway reviewed and updated their risk register, included with respect to managing hazards associated with the operation of road-rail vehicles on steep grades. The changes were developed in consultation with the Office of National Rail Safety Regulator.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB is satisfied that the West Coast Wilderness Railway has addressed the safety recommendation. As a result of this safety recommendation the ATSB has issued a safety advisory notice to all operators of road-rail vehicles.

Safety Advisory Notice

Action number: RO-2013-014-SAN-011
Action organisation: All road rail vehicle operators
Date: 15 August 2013
Action status: Closed

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau advises that all road rail vehicle operators should consider the risks associated with railing road rail vehicles on an incline and take action where considered appropriate.

Additional correspondence

Response from: Office of National Rail Safety Regulator
Action status: Closed
Response text:

The Office of National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) advised that it is raising the awareness of operators with respect to road-rail vehicle safety. The ONRSR issued a Safety Bulletin in August 2013 and has conducted a series of workshops with industry across New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia.

Further details are available on the following web address: www.onrsr.com.au/safety-improvement/roadrail-vehicle-safety

Last update 25 February 2015