Rail safety issues and actions

Network rule governing Distant signals

Issue number: RO-2015-009-SI-02
Who it affects: Drivers operating on rail networks using this rule
Issue owner: V/Line
Operation affected: Rail: Operations control
Background: Investigation Report RO-2015-009
Date: 12 December 2016

Safety issue description

The rule describing the required driver response to a Distant signal at Caution in a two-position signalling system did not fully reflect the signalling system design principles. 


Action organisation: V/Line
Action number: RO-2015-009-SR-029
Date: 12 December 2016
Action status: Closed

That V/Line amends the rule for the required driver response to a Distant signal at Caution. The amendment should bring the rule into alignment with the signalling system design principles.


Date received: 20 September 2017
Response from: V/Line
Action status: Closed
Response text:

V/Line has amended Rule 5 Section 2 (distant signals). 

Proactive Action

Action organisation: V/Line
Action number: RO-2015-009-NSA-028
Date: 12 December 2016
Action status: Released

Whether or not the ATSB identifies safety issues in the course of an investigation, relevant organisations may proactively initiate safety action in order to reduce their safety risk. The ATSB has been advised by V/Line of the following additional safety actions in response to this occurrence:

  • On 19 June 2015, a 70 km/h speed restriction was introduced for Up (Geelong-bound) traffic approaching Marshalltown level crossing.  
  • On 22 June 2015, V/Line issued a notice to drivers advising of the SPAD incident and lessons learned.
  • On 4 September 2015, a 40 km/h speed restriction was also introduced for Down trains approaching Marshall Station.
  • The driver underwent a detailed return to work plan that included a two-position signals theory and assessment, and an extended period of safety audits.
  • SPAD investigation findings recommended a three-position signalling upgrade for the Geelong - Waurn Ponds section of track. Subsequently, the 2016-17 Victorian State budget has funded the Business Case Development and Feasibility Study for Track Duplication South Geelong - Waurn Ponds.
Current issue status: Not addressed
Status justification:

V/Line has not yet finalised its response to the safety issue.

Last update 12 December 2016