Rail safety issues and actions

WOE class wagon, dynamic performance

Issue number: RO-2014-008-SI-01
Who it affects: All rail transport operators throughout Australia
Issue owner: Aurizon and Brookfield Rail
Transport function: Rail: Rolling stock
Background: Investigation Report RO-2014-008
Issue release date: 26 March 2015
Current issue status: Safety action pending
Issue status justification:

At the time of this report release, the safety actions advised by Brookfield Rail and Aurizon had not yet been fully implemented.

Safety issue description

When travelling at speeds near 90 km/h on track having particular track irregularities, the WOE class wagons appear to be susceptible to harmonic oscillations of sufficient magnitude to produce wheel unloading, flange climb and derailment.

Proactive Action

Action number: RO-2014-008-NSA-007
Action organisation: Brookfield Rail and Aurizon
Date: 23 March 2015
Action status: Closed

In response to this safety issue, Brookfield Rail and/or Aurizon have advised of the following proactive safety action:

  • Brookfield Rail and Aurizon will undertake further investigations into lateral harmonic vehicle oscillations induced by cyclic track irregularities.
  • Brookfield Rail and Aurizon will engage independent expertise to assist in the identification of the causes of track misalignment associated with lateral harmonic vehicle oscillation, including analysis of contact band wear, sleeper voiding, rolling contact fatigue and a review of bogie hunting video evidence.
  • Brookfield Rail and Aurizon will fit instrumentation to a WOE class wagon for examination of lateral harmonic vehicle oscillation.
  • Brookfield Rail and Aurizon will support RISSB in a review of track geometry standards in relationship to combinational and cyclic track defects.
  • Brookfield Rail will investigate the acquisition and installation of wayside equipment capable of monitoring the onset of lateral harmonic vehicles oscillation across their network. This will include field testing with the intent of identifying any need for altering current operating parameters of fleets across the network.
  • Brookfield Rail and Aurizon on its ‘Joint Technical Committee’ have added an ongoing item ‘Status of follow-up investigations’.
  • Brookfield Rail will fully capture rail profile details for all future derailments of this type to assist with computer modelling.
  • Brookfield Rail and Aurizon will ensure that mapping of a derailment site is completed prior to the restoration process taking place.
  • Aurizon will ensuring that all locomotive data and video footage is captured (quarantined) following serious incidents/derailments.

ATSB comment:

While the ATSB is satisfied that the actions proposed by Aurizon and Brookfield Rail will, when fully implemented, adequately address this safety issue, there remains a broad opportunity for rolling stock providers and rail transport operators to address the future risk associated with the development of resonant dynamic vehicle behaviours. The ATSB is therefore issuing the following Safety Advisory Notice.

Safety Advisory Notice

Action number: RO-2014-008-SAN-001
Action organisation: All rail rolling stock providers and rail transport operators
Date: 26 March 2015
Action status: Released

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau encourages all rail rolling stock providers and rail transport operators to note the circumstances of the derailment outlined in this report and to consider the use of computer modelling, along with traditional field testing, in predicting the dynamic behaviour of rolling stock over combinational cyclic cross level/lateral track irregularities.

Last update 17 August 2015