Forward this email | View in web browser

STOP PRESS: NEW rail incident reporting line - 1800 931 937.
Please ensure all systems are updated to reflect this change.

In this issue:

  • Director's update
  • Guidance on the use of standards
  • Electrical safety in a multi-regulatory environment
  • Challenges in risk assessments
  • Recent incident reports (UK, Belgium and Republic of Ireland)
  • Asset management of tourist and heritage structures
  • Governance and internal control arrangements for tourist and heritage railways
  • New Rail Locomotive Boilers Guideline
  • Tram incident statistics for 2017
  • Personal profiles - meet Rachel and Gerry
Director's update

Dear subscriber,

I hope you enjoy this edition of Rail Safety News.

We have incorporated your feedback on previous issues, that we have gathered from our interactions with each of you, and trust we will continue to develop the value in this publication for you.


This issue has been created online to improve readability, with links to the full articles at the end of each summary.

Transition to national regulator

I committed to providing the rail industry with updates on the status of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) between Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) and the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) through Rail Safety News.
I am pleased to advise that at a Transport and Infrastructure Senior Officials’ Committee meeting in March 2018 the Victorian Government announced that a policy decision has been made to remove the SLA and transition to a direct delivery model. This means that all rail safety regulation will be undertaken by ONRSR rather than some operators working under Local Legislation with TSV and others working under National Legislation with ONRSR.

Details and timeframes will be discussed further over the coming months. This is the final piece of the puzzle for ONRSR to be a truly national regulator of all railways across the country.

Victorian Rail Operations Forum

We held our second Victorian Rail Operations Forum on 5 June 2018, with 38 attendees from across industry.

The forum agenda covered topics including:

  • Engineering standards
  • ONRSR and TSV updates
  • Shared learnings from recent incidents
  • Victorian Rule Books.

The yearly forum is a great opportunity to get together with fellow operators within our industry to discuss matters of interest and gain greater understanding of the broader picture. An online survey to all participants via Survey Monkey has been emailed to all participants and will remain open until Friday 6 July 2018, so if you attended please log in and complete the survey so that we can gain further feedback on ‘where to next’ for our 2019 Rail Forum. 

TSV continues to have a visible presence with our operators providing education and advice through our regulatory activities. We have an increased focus on risk based compliance activities, both announced and unannounced, to assist in the improvement of safety within rail operations.

In late 2018/2019 we will engage with industry to support improvements to operators SMS to enable a smooth transition to ONRSR. 

Jodie Talone
Director, Rail Safety
Transport Safety Victoria

Guidance on the use of standards

In support of TSV’s goal to provide education and advice to duty holders, we today release ‘Guidance on the use of standards’, relevant to duty holders under the Transport Integration Act 2010 (Vic).

Read the full article: Guidance on the use of standards

Electrical safety in a multi-regulatory environment

Transport Safety Victoria recognises that managing electrical safety may present challenges for some operators in understanding their obligations in a multi-regulatory environment.

TSV aims to clarify operator obligations and regulatory arrangements in this article.

In summary:

  • TSV has a cross-jurisdictional operational relationship with Energy Safe Victoria (ESV).
  • This enables the sharing of resources in response to incidents, conducting investigations, and sharing technical expertise
  • Rail operators should make themselves aware of their obligations under the Electricity Safety Act.
  • TSV can assist you to contact appropriate staff at ESV.

Read the full article: Electrical safety in a multi-regulatory environment

Challenges in risk assessments

Rail safety law in Australia places a duty on persons including railway operators, contractors and rail safety workers, to ensure safety by eliminating or reducing risks so far as is reasonably practicable.

These duties apply alongside other safety-related requirements of rail safety legislation, including risk management and safety management system (SMS) requirements that specifically relate to risk.

Read the full article: Challenges in risk assessments

Recent incident reports

TSV has summarised four recently released investigation reports into light rail and heritage rail incidents that occurred in UK, Belgium, and the Republic of Ireland.

A common theme in these reports is the adequacy of risk assessments.

  • UK: Fatal collision between a tram and pedestrian at Woodbourn Road, Sheffield - 22 December 2016.
  • UK: Overturning of a tram at Sandilands junction, Croydon - 9 November 2016.
  • Republic of Ireland: Difflin Light Rail Passenger Fall, Co. Donegal - 17 December 2016.
  • Belgium: Failure of a flue on the smoke box side of a steam locomotive on a tourist train line, Maldegem - 30 April 2016.

Read the full article: Recent incident reports

Asset management of tourist and heritage structures

Asset management applies to all activities involved in stewarding structural assets including bridges, tunnels, stations and retaining walls. Many tourist and heritage structures are more than a century old and must be kept safe and fit for purpose.

A safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable approach to managing these structures requires a well-developed capability in asset management. This capability will be reflected in the asset performing optimally for the level of commercial viability.

Read the full article: Asset management of tourist and heritage structures

Governance and internal control arrangements for tourist and heritage railways

The CEO and Board (or any other person or body controlling the rail operator) are responsible for the conduct and performance of the rail transport operator.

This is reflected in the duty of the officers to exercise due diligence to ensure that the rail operator complies with its duties and obligations under the rail safety legislation. It is an important role to provide leadership and direction to, and monitoring of, the performance of railway operations. 

Read the full article: Governance and internal control arrangements for tourist and heritage railways

New rail locomotive boilers guideline

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator's (ONRSR's) Rail Locomotive Boilers Guideline is now available. It will help rail transport operators understand what is required and what evidence to provide to demonstrate compliance with both the Rail Safety (Local Operations) Law and the Rail Safety National Law.

The Guideline focuses on the competence of boiler operators, maintainers, repairers and independent inspectors. It clearly sets out the rail regulator's expectations for demonstrating that risks to safety have been eliminated or minimised so far as is reasonable practicable.

It doesn't change the expectation that operators will follow industry best practice (such as the RISSB Code of Practice for inspection maintenance and repair of rail locomotive boilers and relevant Australian Standards).

Read the ONRSR Guideline: Rail Locomotive Boilers

Tram incident statistics for 2017

There were over 1,930 incidents reported by tram operators to Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) in 2017.

The number of reported serious injuries in 2017 was lower than in 2016. There were 67 serious injuries in 2017 and 69 in 2016.

Read the full article: Tram incident statistics for 2017

Personal profiles - meet Rachel and Gerry

Rachel Tuckerman

How long have you been with TSV?
Six months. Time has moved quickly so far.

Brief work background?
I have been working in the rail industry for nearly 13 years now. I started driving cranes with Pacific National Rail then moved into operational management, then into safety.


Gerry Giuliani

How long have you been with TSV?
I commenced within the Bus Branch as a Transport Safety Officer in January 2017. My role was to manage an audit program of various bus operators in the Western region. I moved to the Rail Branch this January.

Read the full article: Personal profiles - meet Rachel and Gerry


Newsletter feedback

If you have any updates or further ideas, please reply to this email by mid-October, in time for our next edition in December 2018.


Privacy | Email:


Rail Safety News is distributed by the Rail Safety Branch of Transport Safety Victoria.