Rail safety issues and actions

Use of hazard location register

Issue number: RO-2018-005-SI-01
Who it affects: Train crew and passengers on board trains on Aurizon-owned track
Issue owner: Aurizon
Operation affected: Rail: Infrastructure
Background: Investigation Report RO-2018-005
Date: 28 June 2019

Safety issue description

When planning track disturbing work, Aurizon’s normal practice was to use its Hazard Location Register as a record of past occurrences at a specific location. Aurizon did not use the Hazard Location Register as a resource to consider the situational characteristics of a location that may increase risk, such as continuous welded rail, track gradient and proximity to fixed points such as turnouts or level crossings.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Aurizon
Action number: RO-2018-005-NSA-001
Date: 28 June 2019
Action status: Closed

During the investigation, Aurizon advised that:

  • To assist in identifying potential track buckle locations, all work sites were required to be assessed for risk, with a focus on track leading up to fixed points, locations with a history of track buckling and sections on which loaded coal trains descend steep grades. Risk assessments were also required to consider ballast condition, rail stress free temperature, site temperature and forecast temperature.
  • Sites with a high risk of compressive rail stress will be identified and added to the site hazard map before conducting ballast cleaning.

Related safety action was also proposed or introduced to reduce safety risk associated with track buckling (see Additional safety action).

Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the safety action will reduce the risk associated with the safety issue.

Last update 28 June 2019