The notice advises operators to be aware of locomotive braking systems

A safety notice has been sent to rolling stock operators as part of an ongoing investigation by the Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI) into the derailment of a grain train near Wollongong.

The advisory stems from an ongoing investigation by OTSI on behalf of the Australian Transport Safety Board, into the derailment of a loaded grain train on the 1 in 30 railway line between Robertson and Unanderra, NSW, on December 15, 2020.

“During the descent, the train driver lost control of the train,” said chief investigator and CEO of OTSI, Dr Natalie Pelham.

“The driver did not apply the emergency brake as the train continued to pick up speed, as they believed the emergency application of the air brake would disengage the dynamic brake.”

The investigation, however, revealed that the locomotive’s electronic braking system allowed the dynamic brake to remain active while the emergency brake was applied.

“This feature was unknown to the operator and train driver,” Dr Pelham said.

The investigation revealed that if the driver had been aware of this feature and had applied the emergency brake, it would have reduced the risk of derailment.

“Today’s advice asks all train operators to review specifications and test the locomotives under their control to understand how the braking systems are configured,” said Dr Pelham.

“Operators need to have a complete understanding of how their locomotives work. Identification of safety-critical information from locomotive technical specifications and operating tests should be completed and used to inform the organization’s procedural and training material. »

OTSI conducts railway investigations in New South Wales on behalf of the ATSB under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

The investigation into the Dombarton incident is expected to be finalized in the third quarter of 2022.

You can find the full Field Safety Notice here: (RO-2020-022-san-002) Unknown Functions in Locomotive Braking Systems

Last updated on June 27, 2022

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