Rail safety issues and actions

Other track inspections

Issue number: RO-2015-022-SI-02
Who it affects: Managers of rail networks
Issue owner: V/Line Pty Ltd
Operation affected: Rail: Infrastructure
Background: Investigation Report RO-2015-022
Date: 15 May 2017

Safety issue description

There was no supplementary system of inspection that was effective in identifying rail creep in jointed track. The network placed a high reliance on the asset management system to initiate closer inspection of track potentially affected by creep.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: V/Line Pty Ltd
Action number: RO-2015-022-NSA-036
Date: 15 May 2017
Action status: Closed

V/Line advised that the network standard for the inspection and assessment of lateral stability has been amended to provide specific guidance in respect of joint gap analysis to complement the measure of cumulative creep. Tables and instructions are provided within the standard to evaluate Stress Free Temperature (SFT) through joint gap assessment.

Current issue status: Partially addressed
Status justification:

The proactive safety action taken provides the methodology to be used to evaluate the stress condition of rail in instances where there is evidence of creep or incorrect stress. However, there is limited enhancement in the scope of inspection, and there continues to be a high level of reliance on asset management systems to identify rail creep in jointed track. The ATSB recognises that improvements have been made in the asset management systems, as described under safety issues RO-2015-022-SI-01 and RO-2015-022-SI-04.

Last update 15 May 2017