RISSB releases its 2020/2021 work plan

RISSB’s projects in the next year expand the organisation’s role.

The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) has released its 2020/2021 industry-driven work plan, which includes close to 30 publications and 16 major projects that will be delivered over a two-year horizon.

This work plan is a result of RISSB’s overhauled project planning process and heralds a new era for RISSB. In addition to delivering standards, guidelines, codes of practice and rules, RISSB now has a new major projects portfolio set up to address industry- wide issues focusing on business imperatives. This holistic approach demonstrates that RISSB is future-focused and is equipped to address industry’s current and future challenges, now.

Input from stakeholders directly informs the development of our priorities and the vital publications that we make available to industry. The work plan was developed after significant consultation with CEOs, other senior industry executives, and RISSB’s standing committees helped us determine the priorities that will create a safer and more productive industry.

Throughout the year, RISSB will be managing the development of a total of 29 publications comprising reviews, resubmissions from the previous year’s priority planning process (PPP), AS 1085 series of documents still transitioning from Standards Australia, and projects put forward and endorsed by Standing Committees.

A list of our Australian Code of Practice (ACOP) projects is available in the table below.

Type Title
Guideline Achieving compliance at railway station platforms with DSAPT
Under consideration Firmware, software and configuration management for operational rail assets
Standard LED Locomotive Headlights, LED Ditchlights
Standard Safety Critical Comms
Standard Light Rail Interfaces with Roads (Signals and Signage)
Guideline Australian Rail Industry Management System Framework
Guideline Fatigue Risk Management
Form SPAD Investigations Proforma
AS 7460 Operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (Drones) on the Railway Network
AS 7519 Bogie Structures
AS 7520 Body Structural Requirements
AS 7522 Access & Egress
AS 7533 Driving Cabs
AS 7640 Rail Management
AS 7651 Axle Counters
AS  7658 Level Crossing
AS 7664 Railway Signalling Cable Routes, Cable Pits & Foundations
AS 7703 Signalling Power Supplies
Code of Practice Wheel Defect Manual
AS 7474 System Safety Assurance for the Rail Industry
Guideline Reliability, Availability and Maintainability (RAM) Guideline for the Australian Rail Industry
AS 7450 Interoperability
AS 7636 Structures
AS 7638 Earthworks
AS 7639 Track Structure & Support Systems
AS 7642 Turnouts and Special Trackworks
AS 7666 TPC Interoperability
Guideline Wheel Rail Profile Development
AS 1085.17 Railway track materials – steel sleepers


Taking into consideration the impact of COVID-19 on the rail industry, improved workflows, revised Development Group membership requirements, and streamlined internal processes will ensure ongoing Development Group commitments are optimised during what continues to be a challenging time for all.

Our new Major Projects portfolio will enable RISSB to address key challenges facing the industry, focus on activities that directly address the needs of its stakeholders, and deliver step change improvements for the benefit of the Australian rail industry through a number of workstreams: Track Worker Safety, National Rules, National Vehicle Register, Train Control Interoperability, Noise, Technology Benefit Realisation and the National Rail Action Plan.

The table below shows all 16 major projects.

Type Title
Report Exploration of Technological Solutions (RISSB / ONRSR joint project)
Action Plan Action Plan from Technology Study
Guideline Good Practice for Planning Works in the Rail Corridor
Standard Digital Engineering
Guideline Achieving a Positive Safety Culture in the Rail Corridor
 Training Explore the Viability of Nationally Recognised Protection Officer Training
Rule National Communications Rule
Plan Produce a Pipeline of Harmonized and Rationalized National Rules
Glossary Glossary of Terms
Standard Railway Rulebooks
Register National Vehicle Register
Report Interoperability Technology Solutions and Funding Models
Report The Case (SFAIRP) for (taking away/reducing etc) Horns in Built Up Areas
Code of Practice Industry Code of Practice on Horns
Report Current Good Practice in Wheel Squeal
Website Wed-based Technology Sharing Platform
Various National Rail Action Plan


  • Energy Storage
  • Heating, Ventilation and Airconditioning (HVAC)
  • Noise (especially in tunnels although its scope is likely to be expanded)

Capping off what has already been a successful year for RISSB, in 2019/2020 RISSB delivered an impressive 21 standards, codes of practice, and guidelines bringing the total number of publications RISSB has in its catalogue to more than 220. In addition to these projects, RISSB also published The National Rules Framework, and the seminal study into Rail’s Current Innovations and Trends and the Assessment of Interoperability Issues from the Proposed Introduction of New Train Control Systems; these are noteworthy achievements in themselves.

If you would like to see a list of publications delivered by RISSB in 2019/2020 and our 2020 /2021 work plan, visit rissb.com.au/work-program/.