The ATSB has commenced an investigation into a signal passed at danger (SPAD) rail occurrence that occurred near Bowen Hills station in Brisbane, Queensland on 10 January 2018.

Suburban passenger train, designation TP43, exceeded its limit of authority by passing signal ME45 at danger, and continued on as the driver at the controls was unaware of the occurrence. At this point there was an imminent risk of a collision, as train TP43 was travelling directly into the path of suburban train TR50.

The train controller, who was alerted to the SPAD by the activation of a systems warning alarm, was able to broadcast an emergency call to the driver of train TP43, who subsequently stopped the train prior to the point of conflict. As part of the investigation, the ATSB will be collecting evidential material to determine the safety factors which contributed to the SPAD occurrence.

A final report will be released at the end of the investigation.

Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify those affected and seek safety action to address the issue.