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Working together for Rail Safety

The Australian and Queensland Governments are continuing to work collaboratively on improving rail safety, following the transfer of responsibility for investigating rail occurrences in the state to the ATSB last July.

ATSB Executive Director of Transport Safety Mr Nat Nagy by the state Department of Transport and Main Roads General Manager Mr Dennis Walsh

The ATSB has launched nine investigations into rail occurrences in Queensland since becoming the single national transport safety investigator for rail on 1 July 2017. To support this expanded responsibility, the ATSB signed an agreement with the Queensland Government last year to facilitate its investigation of incidents and accidents on the metropolitan and regional passenger, and freight rail networks in Queensland.

The Queensland Government has now provided further support to the ATSB, through the contribution of equipment that can be used to measure track geometry when investigating rail occurrences, such as derailments.

A dual gauge continuous digital track geometry device was presented to ATSB Executive Director of Transport Safety Mr Nat Nagy by the state Department of Transport and Main Roads General Manager Mr Dennis Walsh on Monday 29 January.

The device includes two track measuring trolleys which are for use on 610mm and 1067mm rail track gauge, as well as the related hardware and software to enable the capturing, saving and analysing of the measured data. The gauge-specific nature of the trolleys means they are most useful for investigations in Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania.

The ATSB will now be able to measure track geometry independently

Mr Nagy said the device would increase the efficiency of investigations into derailments, as the ATSB will now be able to measure track geometry independently. “In the past, the ATSB has relied on either obtaining information from the operator or occasionally engaging a track surveyor to undertake measurements,” Mr Nagy said.

Mr Nagy said an example of where the device could have been used was during the onsite phase of the investigation into the derailment of coal train EF01 near Duaringa, Queensland, on 24 January 2018.

“As part of this investigation, the ATSB worked with the operator to manually measure the track. In the future, the ATSB will be able to more effectively perform these measurements with the added benefit of being able to convey the information in real-time from the site to the office.”

Mr Walsh said the handover of the device to the ATSB marked another milestone in the transfer of the rail investigation services from the Department to the ATSB.

“It gives us great pleasure to know this device will be put to good use by the ATSB, as rail safety continues to remain a top priority for our Department.”

Mr Walsh said the Department looked forward to continuing its partnership with the ATSB. “Our relationship continues to grow stronger as we work together to prevent rail incidents and accidents throughout Queensland.”

 
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Last update 02 May 2018