Remote control equipment system safety assurance
Date issue released
Safety Issue Description

Although Air Digital Engineering had safety as a design objective and safety elements were included in the remote control equipment, system safety assurance activities appropriate to its application were not conducted.

Issue number
Issue Status
Closed – Adequately addressed
Transport Function
Rail: Rolling stock
Issue Owner
Air Digital Engineering (ADE)
Mode of Transport
Issue Status Justification

TasRail advised that it had withdrawn all remote-control technology and ADE advised that the generation 3 remote control equipment has not been offered to, or used by, any other rolling stock operators. ADE advised that it would re-evaluate the generation 3 remote control equipment under system safety design principles if it were to be used for future operations. Accordingly, the safety issue is no longer relevant.

Proactive action
Action number
Air Digital Engineering
Action date
Action Status
Action description

On 5 July 2022 Air Digital Engineering (ADE) advised:

In the future, with any continuation work of the RCE [remote control equipment] product, ADE would appropriately address the points the ATSB has raised. This would also lead to a re-evaluation with reference to AS [Australian Standard] 61508 of the RCE as well as the consideration of new technologies for the practical implementation of a calculated SIL factor using new microprocessor architecture selection, for example two out of two voting processes for the benefit of design safety assurances.

The integration problems and other matters of software / hardware arrangement may be addressed by software design with the necessary testing and documenting in accordance with the AS 61508 standard and changes to hardware also in accordance with the same standard. This could include further references to associated standards that have evolved since the original IEC [International Electrotechnical Commission] 61508 Draft publication in the mid 1990s as well as the publications mentioned within the ATSB’s draft report and also, taking into account the report’s referencing under: System safety in the Australian rail industry.