Passengers will soon benefit from more frequent and reliable train services with the completion of major works on the Waurn Ponds Station upgrade in Victoria. Read more
The spread of COVID has affected scheduled train services in Adelaide. Read more
Three more dangerous and congested level crossings in Melbourne’s south-east are set to go – making the Pakenham Line completely level crossing free by 2025 – with a total of 22 level crossings being removed on the line. Read more
Australia’s first ever harmonised rule, AHNR 2007 Network Communication, has been published.
Consolidating three disparate Australian Network and Procedures rules, it is one in a set of national rules being developed by the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board that will bring Australia closer to achieving rail harmonisation and interoperability.
The rule manages safe working communications across the rail network, protecting the lives of track workers and ensuring the safe passage of people, goods and materials around the country.
The national rules will apply to all participating operators and track managers across the nation and are set to not only deliver significant safety and productivity benefits, but also support the modernisation pathway for network rules.
So far, 13 of the biggest rail operators in Australia have pledged to help develop and implement the series of agreed national rules within their business.
The foundation organisations that have committed to supporting RISSB’s national rules harmonisation efforts are:
RISSB CEO Deborah Spring said that the 13 organisations had shown great leadership in committing to support the adoption of harmonised rules in their own networks.
“We applaud the commitment from these rail companies to improve the quality and consistency of industry rules. RISSB has been on this journey for many years so to see these organisations band together now and support our work is a terrific outcome,” she said.
Work is already underway on a new rule – Walking in the Danger Zone – continuing RISSB’s emphasis on track worker safety. This second national rule is expected to be released to industry in mid-2022.
Members can access RISSB’s AHNR 2007 Network Communication here.
The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) has announced the release of the first dedicated Australian light rail Standard – AS 7601.1 Light rail and road interfaces: Management of light rail vehicle movements.
This Standard is the cumulation of over 12 months work by some of the light rail industry’s leading operations, human factors, and safety experts, who worked collaboratively to ensure that all aspects of light rail vehicle movement was covered.
AS 7601.1 seeks to assist the light rail sector by providing requirements and recommendations that are specific to the nature of light rail networks and aims to improve safety whist reducing engineering and project costs, as well as bringing a level of harmonisation to the industry.
The Standard covers line of sight movements, road crossings, and signaling systems, including standardised approaches to signal indications. A key focus of the Development Group was the consideration of human factors across all areas, to ensure that system design considers the needs of light rail drivers and other road users.
RISSB has already received feedback from light rail organisations that they intend to adopt the requirements and recommendations outlined in the Standard, as it will provide significant value to their networks. Prior to its publication, light rail networks have largely had to comply with heavy rail and road specifications which have often proved to be sub-optimal from a light rail perspective.
RISSB is continuing to support the light rail industry, with the Light Rail Safeworking Code of Practice under development, and the creation of the Light Rail Standing Committee to oversee the RISSB Light Rail program. Further light rail specific products will be developed over the coming years, all aimed at improving safety, interoperability, and harmonisation for this rapidly expanding urban transport system.
Members can download AS 7601.1 Light rail and road interfaces: Management of light rail vehicle movements directly from RISSB’s website.
If you’re interested in knowing more about RISSB’s activity in light rail or you want to contribute to a light rail project, please email email@example.com.
New vaccine and testing requirements have been introduced for passengers on Interislander ferries in New Zealand. Read more
Sydney’s Canley Vale Railway Station has been given a major overhaul, with the installation of two new lifts for better customer access, a widened station entry, platform resurfacing, new toilet facilities and improved safety. Read more
Police have formed Strike Force Tuohy as they continue proactive operations to actively prevent and disrupt illegal protests throughout NSW’s Hunter Valley rail freight network.
Newcastle City Police District and Police Transport Command have been dealing with ongoing protest activity which has affected commuter and coal trains.
Actions have included the placement of a car on the lines and protestors suspending themselves above the tracks in scaffolding or from power poles: moves slammed by the railway sector for not only putting the safety of train crews in great peril, but also forcing the cancellation of vital coal, and containerised grain and cotton services.
Officers have arrested almost 30 people, who have been charged with various trespass and rail disruption offences.
One of them, a 22-year-old serial climate activist, was this week sentenced to 12 months in prison for his part in the blockade . He will serve at least six months in jail.
Officers attached to Strike Force Tuohy will continue carrying out proactive patrols and targeting anyone engaging in suspicious behaviour.
Members of Police Rescue, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Public Order and Riot Squad and PolAir, as well as intelligence resources, will also assist as required.
Police and Emergency Services Minister, David Elliott, said police have increased security and surveillance along the rail corridor to prevent further disruption to commuter and freight trains in the area.
“This government will not tolerate protestors undermining commuter activities and causing significant damage to these local industries which employ people from across the region,” he said.
Northern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter McKenna, said police were targeting protestors as a priority and their activities would not be accepted.
“The actions of this group and individuals involved are placing lives at risk,” he said.
“Illegally entering rail corridors and expecting trains that are over 1.5km in length to stop for people placing themselves in front of them is outrageous and incredibly dangerous behaviour.
“We will continue to use the full force of the law to locate and arrest any persons involved in this criminal activity.”
Police will continue to work with Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and other members of the coal supply network to prevent further disruptions.
Additional security, surveillance and lighting have also been instigated at high-risk access points.
The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) has launched its Learning Express program, which features four brand-new short online courses. Read more
More than 1000 new free car parking spaces have been created for commuters with completion of the car park at Sydney’s Leppington Railway Station. Read more