Rail safety issues and actions
Recommendation issued to: WestNet Rail
|Date issued:||26 June 2009|
|Safety action status:||Closed|
|Background:||Why this Recommendation was developed|
There was no clear guidance within the WestNet Rail rules for train crews that defined an allowable speed associated with proceeding 'cautiously'. Had the train been travelling at a slower speed it is probable that the extent of damage caused by the derailment would have been less.
Action taken by WestNet Rail RO-2007-006-NSA-007
WestNet Rail has advised:
Immediately after the derailment WestNet Rail implemented, on the 47 kg/m track equipped with CTC, between Koolyanobbing and West Kalgoorlie, the following instruction - Upon any unexplained illumination of a track or block section in the above section the Train controller must not permit any train to enter the section concerned until the Infrastructure person and the Safeworking Technician on call have both been advised and attended to ascertain the cause and corrective action implemented.
The above instruction applies 24 hours a day until further notice.
ATSB assessment of action
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau notes that WestNet Rail has taken action in response to this safety issue. However, WestNet Rail has not addressed the lack of guidance within their rules for train crews who are requested to proceed 'cautiously'. WestNet Rail's rules in this regard are not best practice when compared to rules in other rail systems.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that WestNet Rail undertake further work to address this safety issue.