Rail safety issues and actions

Hazard identification and assessment by rail traffic crew

Issue number: RO-2015-028-SI-01
Who it affects: All rail transport operators working rolling stock on the rail network
Issue owner: Queensland Rail
Transport function: Rail: Operations control
Background: Investigation Report RO-2015-028
Issue release date: 09 December 2016
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the initial actions taken by QR will addresses this safety issue. The ATSB encourages QR to continue work toward incorporating additional guidance to improve the effectiveness of the network rules with respect to managing weather conditions.

Safety issue description

The Queensland Rail General Operational Safety Manual (MD-10-107) contained insufficient guidance for rail traffic crews to ensure the timely identification and management of a potential hazard (resulting from a weather event) that might affect the safe progress of the train.

Proactive Action

Action number: RO-2015-028-NSA-024
Action organisation: Queensland Rail
Date: 09 December 2016
Action status: Closed

Issued two safety alerts to improve the effectiveness of its current network rules in relation to managing hazards associated with extreme weather. The first alert has been sent to RTC (including third party operators) and relates to the immediate stopping of rail traffic if water is observed at or above the bottom of the ballast and also the correct reporting of information relating to weather to Network Control. The second alert provides additional guidance for Network Control on decision making relating to extreme weather.

The processes contained within both alerts will be trialled over the 2016/17 tropical season and, if found successful, will be implemented into network rules;

Last update 28 July 2017