The rail industry is being reminded about the new dataset recently added to the National Product Catalogue (NPC), which enables rail suppliers and clients to log, manage and share information on their products and materials to improve efficiencies. Read more
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.
The past year has seen RISSB enhance its role as industry’s partner in co-regulation.
A common approach to rail safety is being supported by a common approach to rail training.
Annual survey shows over 90 per cent of the rail industry is making use of RISSB products and services.
RISSB released its take-up survey results in July showing that more than 90 per cent of respondents use RISSB publications.
Comprising an online survey and face-to- face interviews, this independent survey was undertaken between May and July 2020.
A total of 44 rail organisations (including 19 companies/organisations who are currently not RISSB members) completed an online survey and eight one-on-one interviews were held with senior executives from the rail industry.
The results also show that In broad terms, RISSB’s external stakeholders believe that RISSB has improved in the past 12 months, that its credibility has continued to increase, and that RISSB publications are extremely influential in the rail industry with more than 93 per cent of survey respondents stating that their organisation has been influenced in some way by a RISSB publication.
For the first time ever, the survey also asked respondents to not only comment on the use of RISSB publications in their organisation, but also consider the use of RISSB services (conferences, forums, programs and events) by employees. All organisations surveyed indicated that their organisation utilised RISSB services and more than 90 per cent of respondents indicated that RISSB services influence their company or organisation’s internal documents, systems, practices or procedures.
SOME OF THE KEY FINDINGS ARE:
- There is an extremely high level of take-up of RISSB products in the rail industry with over 90 per cent indicating they use RISSB products in some way.
- There is a growing trend in government procurement processes for RISSB standards to be used by the successful bidder.
- The Australian National Rules and Procedures and the National Rules Framework are two of RISSB’s more valuable and influential publications.
- 100 per cent of those surveyed indicated their companies/organisations utilise RISSB services.
- The stand-out service provided by RISSB is its safety conference and it is an important industry learning and networking event.
- Over 93 per cent of industry is aware of RISSB’s training programs and they are well used across industry with around 80 per cent of organisations surveyed indicating they had attended a RISSB training program.
- The specialist forums offered by RISSB are well regarded with over 100 per cent awareness and 95 per cent responding that the forums benefitted their organisation.
- The Horizons Program is actively promoting the next generation of rail industry leaders and has a wide of level of support within the industry.
- RISSB’s The Whistle Board weekly newsletter is widely read within the industry and is easy to read.
A survey summary report is available to download from RISSB’s website: www.rissb.com.au/publications/.
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.
|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 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.
|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|
|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|
|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
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.
2020 is the year to get moving on the digitalisation of rail asset management and implementing GS1 global data standards under the auspices of Project i-TRACE.
Project i-TRACE encompasses a range of digitalisation initiatives including the standardised identification and marking of parts, components and assets in the Australian rail industry.
Rail and network operators, suppliers, manufacturers and contractors should now all be on board to ensure international best practice in supply chain management; the first phase of which is the joint initiative of the ARA and GS1 Australia, involving 11 steps, identified as stations in a visual representation of phase 1 of the Project i-TRACE journey.
“By now, everyone should have departed Station 5, otherwise they are behind schedule,” said Bonnie Ryan, director of freight, logistics and industrial sectors at GS1 Australia.
Towards achieving a national approach, at a minimum suppliers should have attended a workshop, established a business case, obtained executive sponsorship, joined GS1 and received their unique global company prefix to enable GS1 identifiers to be assigned to materials.
Station 6 encourages the attendance of a Project i-TRACE training session while Station 7 involves the actual assignment of compliant identification numbers to products/materials/assets, adding these to internal systems and informing customers of same so they can also add to their systems facilitating the beginning of data alignment between suppliers and their customers. Support is provided for Project iTRACE training through GS1.
Many suppliers have already arrived at Station 8, which is where additional data elements can be added, such as serial numbers and production dates that can be embedded in data carriers such as barcodes.
Having assigned GS1 codes and associated data elements to materials, the next step is to physically mark and/or tag objects so that they can be electronically scanned. Choosing a data capture technology is an important and crucial element (Station 9) and vital to enabling data to be captured at the point of use, whether in a depot or out on the network.
GS1’s Ryan said that Project i-TRACE provides a critical foundation for the industry to digitalise common operational processes.
“In a couple of years, i-TRACE will no longer be a project but will be a normal part of business.
“Knowing that we are all working towards end-to-end traceability as a common goal is rewarding. The benefits are many and include improved maintenance and repair operations, reducing costs by automating operational procedures and improving traceability,” Ryan said.
Early adopters achieve success
One of Australia’s largest rail networks, Sydney Trains, has been very active driving improvements in their business.
The suburban passenger rail organisation is on track to having all the parts in its Rail Equipment Centre marked with an i-TRACE compliant label. It has also been actively involved in the Project i-TRACE Material Master Data work group, focussing on the efficient exchange of Material Master Data across the rail sector; a process which is currently very manual or non-existent.
Thermit Australia, a supplier of aluminothermic welding and glued insulated joints, began the journey of implementing GS1 standards in 2018. It worked with Victoria’s regional rail network, V/Line, to help standardise the identification (codification) and barcode labelling of stock to help fast track the management of inventory at V/Line’s main warehouse in Lara and the company’s additional 33 inventory depots across Victoria.
For assistance on Project i-TRACE contact GS1 on: firstname.lastname@example.org
In its ongoing efforts to standardise rail safety, RISSB has released a new resource for industry.
Last month RISSB reached a milestone in its work towards harmonising rail operations throughout Australia with the online publication of a set of documents that contain safe working instructions for Rail Transport Operators (RTOs) – The National Operations Publications.
The National Operations Publications webpage contains both the Operational Concept for the Australian Rail Network (the Concept) and the National Rules Framework (the Framework).
The Concept contains seven fundamental operating principles and provides the highest level of incident prevention for all RTO’s:
The seven principles are:
- Rail traffic must maintain safe separation via an appropriate method of signalling;
- Before any rail traffic is allowed to start or continue moving, it must have an authority to move that clearly indicates the limit of that authority;
- Rail traffic and other transport modes must be separated, or the interface managed;
- Rail traffic must be prevented from moving if the infrastructure’s integrity is suspected to be in an unsafe state;
- Rail traffic must be prevented from moving if the rail traffic’s integrity is suspected to be in an unsafe state;
- Rail traffic must only operate on compatible infrastructure; and
- Safe separation must be maintained between people and rail traffic.
Rail Safety National Law requires RTO’s to demonstrate consideration of risk in all rail operations, that consideration includes the application or exclusion of risk controls. RISSB recognises that in a risk-based co-regulatory environment, every RTO has their own list of hazards and a unique risk profile and to that end, RTO’s implement operational rules.
The National Rules Framework consists of rules based on the seven fundamental operating principles, which are nationally applicable within the Australian rail industry. Each rule within the Framework has been mapped to one of seven fundamental operating principles providing RTOs with a logical progression for hazard and “top events” identification.
The Framework provides industry with a nationally consistent approach to the creation of risk-based operational rules and procedures.
The National Rules Framework:
- Incorporates nationally applicable rules to cover rail operations and alignment to specific roles within rail operations;
- Contains content derived from the Australian National Rule and Procedures to ensure each rule meets the intent of a set of rail operation principles;
- Incorporates new technology to ensure that it is captured in the Framework; and
- Demonstrates traceability to the associated risks for which the rule is providing guidance on mitigation.
In the coming months, RISSB will continue to refine the Framework by:
- Reconvening the National Rules Advisory Group;
- Consulting with senior executives of RISSB members;
- Conducting industry workshops to identify opportunities for harmonisation;
- Identifying and drawing upon on those rules and procedures, which currently remain, within the ANRP and can be refined to a nationally applicable; and
- Gaining commitment from its members, to move towards national harmonisation and interoperability.
The following diagram illustrates the conceptual relationship and traceability between documents within the National Operations Publications and those within an RTO’s network rules.
Based on seven fundamental principles, the Publications attempt to provide high standards of incident prevention.
Members seeking to help refine the Framework, or requiring assistance in the training and application of the Framework within their organisation, should contact RISSB for further information.
To access the National Rules Framework and the Operational Concept for the Australian Rail Network, RISSB members should visit www.rissb. com.au/products-main/national-operations.
The Rail, Train and Bus Union (RTBU) stated that it is pleased that the rail industry is taking the union’s concerns seriously.
The union wrote to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), Pacific National, V/Line and NSW Trains to request detailed information regarding plans for resuming services services through Wallan following the fatal XPT derailment last week.
ARTC advised the union on Thursday, February 27 that it would be imposing a 20km/h speed limit through Wallan. It also advised that the signalling infrastructure through Wallan was now operational.
Pacific National has advised the RTBU that it has imposed an 90km/h speed restriction between Seymour and Albury, and drivers are being instructed to adhere to an ARTC’s temporary speed restriction of 20km/h.
An RTBU spokesperson said the union’s Victorian branch has commenced discussions with V/Line, and the union’s NSW branch has also begun discussions with NSW Trains.
“At this point, we’re pleased that ARTC, PN, V/Line and NSW Trains are taking our concerns seriously. In particular, the companies have taken action on our concerns regarding track speed and signalling,” an RTBU spokesperson said.
The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has inspected the corridor and consented to the recommissioning of the track.
An ARTC spokesperson said services on the North East Rail Line resumed on Friday, February 28, with the first Melbourne-Brisbane freight service passing through at 2.50am on Friday morning.
An RTBU spokesperson said there are still more questions that need to be answered.
“It is important that all workers involved in services along the corridor are fully informed, and are able to raise any safety-related concerns,” an RTBU spokesperson said.
On Monday, March 2, John Fullerton, ARTC CEO appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, Canberra to address ARTC’s response over the past eleven days following the XPT derailment.
Fullerton said despite working hard to prevent accidents and prepare extensively in case they happen, the worst possible outcome happened earlier this month.
He said over the past 11 days, ARTC have supported staff and contractors, been working with emergency services and Transport for NSW to safely remove the train, repairing the track so it is available again for use and cooperating with investigations underway.
“In terms of supporting staff and contractors, many of our staff personally knew the people who were killed in the accident, and many others were involved in the first response,” Fullerton said to the committee.
“We are very aware of the potential impact that this could have on staff, and have been widely advising those who need to, to access the services they need through our Employee Assistance Program. We have also been asking them to take care of one another.”
Fullerton said the industry collectively owes it to John Kennedy, the driver from Canberra, and Sam Meintanis, the pilot from Castlemaine, to work with the investigators to understand what happened and what actions need to be taken to prevent it ever happening again, as they were “two employees in our industry who went to work and never came home”.
He said ARTC has been providing full support to investigators from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), ONRSR and the Victorian coroner.