Grain train signals incident investigation discontinued

An incident near Wagga Wagga just over two years ago prompted an investigation.

THE Australian Transport Safety Bureau has discontinued an investigation into a train that passed a signal two years ago.

Around 5am on 1 March 2019, a grain train passed a stop signal at Wagga Wagga while on a journey from Ararat, Victoria to Cootamundra, New South Wales.

The train continued its journey north, passed another two signals at stop and through a set of points in Wagga Wagga yard.

The train was stopped after the Australian Rail Track Corporation network controller contacted the train crew by radio and informed them of the signals passed at danger events.

The train crew consisted of two persons.

The investigation found the crew of the train did not react to the signal indications within Wagga Wagga yard limits that were set, at first to restrictive indications, and then stop indications.

These signals were set to cross another train at Wagga Wagga.

The reason for the crew of the first train not responding to the signal indications could not be conclusively determined, according to the ATSB.

There was no evidence either of the crew of 5KC3 were affected by any medical or other health episode.

According to the ATSB, the contributing factors to this SPAD highlighted the need for a positive train control system to provide additional control in the prevention of SPAD events and their subsequent consequences.

The ARTC has advised its Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) is a project underway that will provide additional protection


Keolis Downer Adelaide to boost employee wellbeing

THE operator of Adelaide Metro train services, Keolis Downer, has committed to training local frontline staff in Mental Health First Aid, in a bid to drive recognition and support for mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

The commitment coincided with Rail R U OK? Day on Thursday 29 April, which encourages rail employees to check-in on each other.

Managing director of Keolis Downer Adelaide, Robert Tatton-Jones, said the company is committed to supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of its employees across Adelaide’s rail network.

“By participating in Rail R U OK? Day and training our staff in Mental Health First Aid, we’re aiming to provide a stronger, safer and more supportive workplace environment,” Tatton-Jones said.

“Some of our customer experience team leaders and driver managers, will complete a Mental Health First Aid Training Course, to upskill and develop an in-depth understanding of mental health problems in the workplace.

“We’re encouraging meaningful conversations within the rail industry, no matter what your role and to look after each other even further, by asking, – Are You Okay?”

Health, safety, quality and environment director of Keolis Downer Adelaide, Sandra Wilson-Ryke, knows firsthand the heartbreak of losing her best friend and younger brother Scott to a mental illness, two years ago.

“My heart remains heavy with sadness and there isn’t a day that goes by when I am not thinking about Scott – he was only 49 years old,” Sandra said.

Adelaide-born Scott Wilson was a well-known advocate for men’s health and mental health, and as an entrepreneur, had a successful international events career.

“Scott seemed to have it all. A loving partner, a career that enabled him to travel all over the world and financial freedom. His death came as a real shock to our entire family.

“I am very proud to work at Keolis Downer Adelaide and participate in Rail R U OK? Day and have Mental Health First Aiders as part of our team, who are specifically trained to support us.

“It gives you the confidence to check-in on others, even if there are no obvious signs that they are doing it tough.

“Life can be challenging for us all, whether it’s dealing with anxiety, depression, relationship breakdowns or trying to overcome the stress of a trauma.”

R U OK? has four simple steps to start a conversation: Ask, Listen, Encourage action and Check-in.

The rail industry’s harm prevention charity, the TrackSAFE Foundation, says rail workers often face various challenges at work and may be exposed to traumatic incidents.

The Foundation’s executive director, Heather Neil, said they were thrilled to have Keolis Downer Adelaide onboard, and also recognise the importance of Mental Health First Aid Training for frontline staff.

“Following the challenges of the last 12 months, there’s never been a more important time to connect and regularly check-in with those around us. The TrackSAFE Foundation encourages rail employees to support and engage with one another, and during our busy working days, take the time to listen to one another,” she said.

“Rail R U OK? is more than just a day, it’s a movement that aims to empower rail workers to identify the signs that someone might not be OK and offer guidance on how to listen and also how to help.”

Keolis Downer recognises the importance of ensuring the mental health and wellbeing of all employees and has close to 50 Mental Health First Aiders working across its network at Yarra Trams in Melbourne, on the Gold Coast and in Newcastle.

RISSB’s Safety List

RISSB is driving harmonisation of the Australian rail industry, and enhancing safety, productivity and efficiency. Under Australia’s co-regulatory model, RISSB supports the rail industry by coordinating the development of performance-based national rail standards and providing guidance and advice to help industry achieve safer outcomes.

RISSB is well known for helping its members mitigate their risks by providing safety tools in the form of Australian Standards, Guidelines, Codes of Practice and Rules. These publications help organisations and individuals who have a duty to ensure the health of their workforce and safety of their operations, ‘manage risks’ by eliminating or controlling them so far as is reasonably practicable (SFAIRP).

At its annual Rail Safety Conference in October last year, RISSB released a list of publications that provide practical guidance on how to manage risks in eight key areas. While the list was developed for the sole purpose of helping conference attendees understand how the conference streams and sessions aligned to RISSB publications, it is now available as aready reckoner.

One document that features on the safety list is the System Safety Assurance Guideline. This critical publication aims to create a harmonised, uniform and consistent approach for managing the safety of existing and future Australian railway network assets and systems. It provides the necessary governance, processes and objective evidence by which all interested parties satisfy themselves that a given product, service, system or organisational change can be safely integrated, operated and maintained into the transport network SFAIRP.

Another document that highlights the need for greater vigilance and control mechanisms in the rail corridor is AS 7644 Rail Corridor Access. As the name suggests, the aim of this Standard is to outline requirements that encourage rail organisations to adopt a whole-of- life approach to the management of rail corridor access. This approach includes the requirements in relation to rail corridor access in terms of design, supply, construction, and maintenance of access controls for a range of operational railways in Australia.

For the benefit of all who could not attend the conference, the list of downloadable resources (as they relate to conference streams) has been reproduced.

To access these publications and others in RISSB’s suite of Australian Standards, Codes of Practice Guidelines and Rules, visit

The documents on this list are a small representative sample of RISSB’s library of more than 210 publications that cover all aspects of rail operations. If you would like to receive a copy of our catalogue, please send an email with the subject line REQUEST TO RECEIVE CATALOGUE to