Rail safety issues and actions

Rail fractures

Issue number: RO-2016-007-SI-01
Who it affects: All operators of rail freight
Issue owner: V/Line Pty Ltd
Transport function: Rail: Freight
Background: Investigation Report RO-2016-007
Issue release date: 30 May 2017

Safety issue description

The inspection regime to identify rail fractures was ineffective for the condition of this track.

Proactive Action

Action number: RO-2016-007-SI-001
Action organisation: V/Line Pty Ltd
Date: 30 May 2017
Action status:

V/Line has revised their Technical Maintenance Plan schedule to clarify that front of train inspections cannot be used to replace hi-rail patrols on the Tocumwal line.

Further, V/Line intends undertaking a risk review of the appropriateness of its current condition based responses for sleeper condition, as set out in the V/line standard for inspection and assessment.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB accepts that the replacement of front of train inspection with hi-rail patrols will increase the opportunity to detect fractured rail. The ATSB also considers that the proposed risk review, when completed, has the potential to result in a safety action that reduces the likelihood of a derailment following a fracture. The ATSB considers that the safety issue has been partially addressed and has issued the following safety recommendation.


Action number: RO-2016-007-SR-001
Action organisation: V/Line Pty Ltd
Date: 30 May 2017
Action status: Released

The ATSB recommends that V/Line completes the risk review and implements safety actions to reduce the likelihood of derailment following a rail fracture.

Last update 30 May 2017