ARTC Remote weather monitoring equipment/needs
Date issue released
Safety Issue Description

ARTC had not undertaken formal assessments to determine the need for or the locations of remote weather monitoring stations to detect extreme weather events that could affect the integrity of its rail infrastructure.

Issue number
Issue Status
Open – Safety action pending
Transport Function
Rail: Infrastructure
Issue Owner
Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)
Mode of Transport
Issue Status Justification

The ATSB acknowledges that some proactive safety action has been completed and anticipates that once all safety actions have been completed the safety issue should be addressed. ATSB will monitor progress on the implementation of ARTC safety actions.

Proactive action
Action number
Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)
Action Status
Action description

ARTC advised that following the occurrence they installed an additional 20 remote weather monitoring stations along the Telarah to Acacia Ridge corridor in addition to the 15 that were being installed at the time of the derailment. The additional weather stations provide a benefit both for flooding alerts but also increased ARTC knowledge around the risk of flooding. 

In response to the draft report ARTC advised of the additional proactive safety actions in progress or planned as outlined below.

  • ARTC engaged a consultant to undertake a hydrology review of the ARTC network. The hydrology review is being informed by the results of analysis by separate consultant on the effects of climate change focussing on the Brisbane to Albury corridor.  
  • The hydrology review will identify the theoretical hydraulic capacity of all of ARTC culverts along the length of its network. This will determine what the culverts are capable of handling and following risk analysis to prioritise the locations for installation of monitors and consideration to upgrade to a greater hydraulic capacity. The first package of this work has been completed. It covered approximately one third of ARTC's network and was based on risk and findings from the analysis of climate change assessment report. The hydrology study for the Nana Glen section will be completed in July 2023, with all hydrology investigation works to be completed by December 2023.
  • Planned installation of an additional 50 weather monitoring stations across the network over the next two years, with current plans to install approximately 500 stream flow monitors at higher risk locations.
  • ARTC and ONRSR have agreed to a three-stage approach aimed at assessing and improving ARTC's ability to manage increased risks associated with climate change and extreme weather events. The first stage involves an independent assessment of ARTC's maturity in dealing with these risks, while the second stage involves the development of an extreme weather and climate change strategy. The third and final stage entails the design and implementation of an improvement project. The project is a Self-Assessment to assess ARTC's maturity and will evaluate various aspects of ARTC's systems, processes, infrastructure, and people, including expertise and training. Specifically, the Self‑Assessment will cover five key areas: risk management, safety governance, asset management, incident management, and regulatory compliance.