To mitigate the likelihood of a similar derailment, GWA conducted an inspection of all mainline fishplated joints to ensure structural integrity of each join and have since removed all the joints through a welding program.
In addition to the welding program, GWA completed an organisational audit and review of maintenance standards and processes. This review included the contracted maintainer (Transfield Services Australia), and targeted:
- inspection of used fishplates prior to installation
- removal of fishplates with flame cut bolt holes from service
- improving the training of track inspectors with respect to monitoring and maintaining mechanical joints the accurate recording of the derailment risks attributable to the activities carried out by track maintenance staff
- track standards to determine what constitutes a temporary joint along with track speeds and the inspection frequencies that should apply.
Through their own investigation GWA identified the degradation of the track substructure as a contributor to the derailment of 24KW. In cooperation with Arrium Iron Ore they are currently completing a study into the track substructure in the section between Iron Baron and 21km Junction and have engaged a subject matter expert to manage this process.