Rail safety issues and actions

Operational rules and procedures

Issue number: RO-2015-028-SI-02
Who it affects: All rail safety workers conducting work on the rail network
Issue owner: Queensland Rail
Operation affected: Rail: Operations control
Background: Investigation Report RO-2015-028
Date: 09 December 2016

Safety issue description

The Queensland Rail network rules, procedures and safety manual provided insufficient guidance to identify the magnitude of the potential hazard from a weather event, or define the response when encountering water that had previously overtopped the track and receded or was pooled against the track formation or ballast.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Queensland Rail
Action number: RO-2015-028-NSA-02
Date: 09 December 2016
Action status: Closed

Queensland Rail has:-

  • Installed a weather monitoring station at the site of the derailment to assist with preventing reoccurrence
  • 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 rule.

  • Queensland Rail is conducting a review of available weather monitoring services that provide coverage of the Mt Isa Line
  • Queensland Rail is looking at methods of upskilling knowledge for relevant personnel relating to use and interpretation of meteorological information.
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
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.

Last update 09 December 2016