Rail safety issues and actions

Wheel slip protection indicator light

Issue number: RO-2014-001-SI-01
Who it affects: Sydney Trains
Issue owner: Sydney Trains
Transport function: Rail: Rolling stock
Background: Investigation Report RO-2014-001
Issue release date: 03 December 2015
Current issue status: Safety action pending
Issue status justification:

At the time of this report release, the safety actions advised by Sydney Trains had not yet been fully implemented. The ATSB is satisfied that the actions proposed by Sydney Trains will, when completed, adequately address this safety issue.

Safety issue description

Drivers are desensitised to the wheel slip protection indicator light activations through its regular activation in response to momentary losses of adhesion. This, coupled with the inadequate warning provided by the TMS, may result in delayed reaction in response to activations that need driver intervention.

Proactive Action

Action number: RO-2014-001-NSA-023
Action organisation: Sydney Trains
Date: 03 December 2015
Action status: Released

Sydney trains advised of the following actions:

  • The generation of an awareness program for Tangara crew and RMC personnel related to the frequency and duration of wheel slip indications. The parameters of which will be determined by engineering experts.
  • The Train Operations Manual (OMET 220) as applicable to Tangara trains is reassessed for effectiveness with respect to the interpretation and management of wheel slip indications.
  • Support a review of relevant Tangara training and competence assurance methods, as well as fault rectification support mechanisms by HF Specialists, to determine the need for any improvements. The review will encompass;
    • Current Tangara Driver refresher training and competence assurance – to determine whether there is appropriate focus on fault finding with issues such as sticking brakes.
    • Documented guidance and support provided to Drivers relevant to the WSL indications and TMS alarms – to determine whether fault finding diagnostic information needs to be clarified or added to.
    • The Mechanical Control support process – to determine if we can improve the team working and decision making between Drivers and Mechanical Control relating to Tangara train faults.
  • Review the possibility of changing the TMS to provide clearer directions to reduce the likelihood of Drivers making the incorrect diagnosis of mechanical Tangara train faults. This review would be undertaken through the upcoming Tangara Technology Upgrade project, where the current TMS functions are to be provided by a replacement Train Operating System.

ATSB comment:

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is satisfied that the above safety actions if completed and implemented, will address the identified safety issue. 

Last update 02 December 2019