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End of train conspicuity

Issue number: RO-2015-007-SI-01
Who it affects: All rail transport operators throughout Australi
Issue owner: Australian Rail Track Corporation
Operation affected: Rail: Infrastructure
Background: Investigation Report RO-2015-007
Date: 16 December 2015

Safety issue description

Vegetation and a low fence adjacent the Mile End crossing loop partially obscured the view that the crew of train 2MP9 had of the empty flat wagons at the rear of train 2MP1.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Australian Rail Track Corporation
Date: 16 December 2015
Action status: Released

In response to this safety issue, the Australian Rail Track Corporation have responded:

The vegetation is located on private property, the fence is approximately 1.2 metre high chain mesh. Even if removed the increase in sighting distance would be minimal.

The precursor to the incident – over speed operation for the available sighting distance (speed at point of impact 22 km/h) clearly indicates that achieving a minimal increase in sighting distance would not have prevented the collision.

ATSB response:

The ATSB considers greater proactive action should be taken by the ARTC to resolve this safety issue. While the ATSB acknowledges ARTC’s viewpoint that the collision was ‘over speed operation for the available sighting distance’, the removal of vegetation and other obstructions to sighting may have allowed the more timely recognition of the train ahead (2MP1) by the driver of 2MP9 and may have prevented the collision or reduced the extent of damage sustained.

Recommendation

Action organisation: Australian Rail Track Corporation
Action number: RO-2015-007-SR-008
Date: 16 December 2015
Action status: Released

The ATSB recommends that the ARTC takes action to improve the sighting distances available within the Mile End crossing loop by removing unnecessary vegetation and other obstructions.

   
Current issue status: Not addressed
Status justification:

The ATSB considers greater proactive action should be taken by the ARTC to resolve this safety issue.

 
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Last update 16 December 2015