Rail safety inspections reveal room for improvement

19 April 2016

Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) recently conducted compliance inspections on a number of tourist and heritage rail operators in the local regulatory scheme. The focus of these inspections was track condition and maintenance, and the rail operator's compliance with its own safety management system.

TSV's inspections identified a number of areas where various operators were non-compliant, including:

  • a lack of standards against which to measure track features and design, such as sleepers, rails, and rail joint gaps, etc.
  • not managing defects according to the corrective action process in their safety management system. Examples were found where the track condition exceed acceptable levels and presented a risk to safety of derailment, and
  • inability to provide evidence to show defects with the greatest safety risk were being prioritised.

Non-compliant rail operators are required to rectify these issues to ensure the safe operation of their trains. TSV has also reminded all tourist and heritage rail operators of the importance of complying with the requirements of the track inspection and maintenance procedures included in their safety management system, and proactively managing the condition of their track.