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Derailments Workshop summary

by Rail Express last modified Mar 14, 2012 12:57 PM
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The first Derailment Investigations and Analysis Workshop, held on February 20-24 in Canberra, provided an opportunity for rail safety investigators to gain an insight in the area of derailment investigations.

Investigating a derailment scene is a complex task. Accordingly it is important to set a practical and realistic environment for attendees to learn the skills required to be competent in railway accident investigations. It is critical that rail safety investigators correctly identify the mechanisms of derailment and the contributing factors that caused the loss of guidance.

The three-day practical session provided a pragmatic opportunity for those rail practitioners attending the workshop to gain and improve their knowledge base and skills in this area. The three-day practical exercises focused on what to observe, record and collect at a derailment site.

Over 90 Australian and overseas rail safety practitioners attended the two-day workshop, with a further 25 attending the three-day practical exercises at the ARHS Kingston Railway Museum in Canberra.

The two-day workshop examined derailment issues, with many well-known railway derailment investigators providing delegates with the benefit of their knowledge  and experience. Topics discussed included derailment investigation and associated regulations, the investigation process, reporting layout, legal elements, human factors, the potential derailment triggers in rolling stock, infrastructure and operations, as well as examining a number of recent case studies.

The three-day practical exercises were divided into five main learning areas, namely: derailment theory, evidence recording, rolling stock, Infrastructure, track survey and operations. The undertook a practical and theory test to evaluate their  knowledge of the course content and to determine if the  learning objectives were satisfied.

The Rail Safety Standards and Safety Board (RISSB) said it was very pleased with the industry response and the number of safety practitioners who attended the workshop.

“RISSB will continue to work with the rail industry to coordinate future derailment training seminars,” a spokesperson for RISSB said.

RISSB’s YouTube page contains a number of interviews with the key speakers as well as some thoughts about the five days from participants.

Additionally photographs for the workshop and practical exercises can be found on the Informa website at :

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