Is accreditation/safety etc too restrictive in Australian rail operations?

 
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
The conversation in the PN Shunting thread got me thinking about accreditation.  Essentially, are the accreditation and safety requirements in Australia too high, and are they a limit to rail productivity and ability to contribute?

In a way, looking at it as an outsider, it almost looks like rail has to comply with the safety requirements at the level of airlines, but compete against road that doesnt.

Don't get me wrong, safety is important and these are huge vehicle combinations that require proper management, and there are some cowboys (bot operators and individuals) that need to be kept in line so they don't cause issues, but given the number of serious crashes is very very low, are the settings set too high?

I know its probably a controversial topic.  But discuss....

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  sthyer Deputy Commissioner

Part of your question assumes that there is a single entity demanding compliance standards be met. While it was no doubt beneficial to national operators when a single national accrediting agency was created (ONRSR), there are also standards imposed by track managers, e.g John Holland, Brookfield, V/line, ARTC, depending on where you are in the country. I suspect the issue raised about the $50k cost for accrediting a wagon was not an ONRSR fee but rather a track manager cost, but I could be wrong.

So the answer has to factor in how many separate track managers one has to deal with as an operator. A consistent set of data that could be supplied to all managers nationally would seem like the logical conclusion, but is probably not the approach that any of them use. They are not bound by legislation to work in a nationally consistent manner, unlike ONRSR.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The whole issue is another break of gauge disaster where everyone has an empire to protect at all costs.
  neillfarmer Junior Train Controller

There needs to be one set of a National Standard for Rolling Stock, another for track. Then any vehicle can be accredited in any State and this would be sufficient to operate anywhere on the interconnected SG.
Later we can tackle the problem of crew accreditation, one standard to be achieved to operate a train, another additional standard that relates to the route. It is high time the accreditation mess was swept away with a common-sense solution.
All the petty wallahs in offices can then spend their time out in the field ensuring the Standards are adhered too.
  sthyer Deputy Commissioner

Trouble with national standards, they get applied uniformly. Try writing a national standard that applies to urban passenger, freight, heavy haul freight, light passenger lines and then the varying tourist railways. For example, V/line has 5 'classes' of track on its network.

As for agreement on a national level of operating and training standards, probably won't happen. The operators in Victoria can't even agree on the new rule book to replace the 1994 book of rules. It has been an ongoing project for over a decade. Multiply that sort of complexity across the country and you'll have agreement shortly after the last railway is replaced by maglev in 2235!!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
We need to separate 'accreditation' and 'safety' before this discussion goes too far.

We started out talking about the accreditation of rolling stock which means that a vehicle must meet certain criteria in relation to such things as dimensions, clearances, brake percentages, ride and twist characteristics.

These standards were agreed years ago in the RoA (Railways of Australia) Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices as far as I know.

The Americans have the AAR (Association of American Railroads) Standards covering pretty much everything related to locomotives and wagons. Many of these Standards are also used in Australia.

Safety largely relates to 'people' somewhere along the line and is an entirely different matter as it must cover so many local human and operational issues.

We should not confuse the two.

We should also not confuse the difference between the 'Rule Book' and the 'General Appendix'.
  Beta4Me Locomotive Driver

Can we also stop referring to rolling stock class registrations as 'accreditation'?
  ssaunders Train Controller

Part of your question assumes that there is a single entity demanding compliance standards be met. While it was no doubt beneficial to national operators when a single national accrediting agency was created (ONRSR), there are also standards imposed by track managers, e.g John Holland, Brookfield, V/line, ARTC, depending on where you are in the country. I suspect the issue raised about the $50k cost for accrediting a wagon was not an ONRSR fee but rather a track manager cost, but I could be wrong.

So the answer has to factor in how many separate track managers one has to deal with as an operator. A consistent set of data that could be supplied to all managers nationally would seem like the logical conclusion, but is probably not the approach that any of them use. They are not bound by legislation to work in a nationally consistent manner, unlike ONRSR.
sthyer

There is no charge for 'accrediting' wagon as such. But if a new wagon or new type of wagon then plenty of costs to get them tested to meet the standards.

ss
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
Can we also stop referring to rolling stock class registrations as 'accreditation'?
Beta4Me
I understand the difference.  Accreditation is required for a new vehicle type.  Registration is adding a new vehicle of an accredited vehicle type.

Where it gets confusing is in Hi-Rail vehicles.  For road use a truck is accredited as a cab/chassis with a particular mechanical setup then the body can be whatever the customer needs.  From my experience with rail the truck with hi-rail gear needs to be accredited with any variation to the body type. ie a dedicated tanker is separate to a slide-on tanker which is separate to a tray vehicle.  However once that combination of truck/hirail gear/body is accredited vehicles can be registered to that design.

However if the manufacturer's name changes it then needs to be treated as a new type and accredited even though the design of the truck or body hasn't change  (It happened when IVECO brought out International and rebranded the ACCO)
  Beta4Me Locomotive Driver

Can we also stop referring to rolling stock class registrations as 'accreditation'?
I understand the difference.  Accreditation is required for a new vehicle type.  Registration is adding a new vehicle of an accredited vehicle type.

Where it gets confusing is in Hi-Rail vehicles.  For road use a truck is accredited as a cab/chassis with a particular mechanical setup then the body can be whatever the customer needs.  From my experience with rail the truck with hi-rail gear needs to be accredited with any variation to the body type. ie a dedicated tanker is separate to a slide-on tanker which is separate to a tray vehicle.  However once that combination of truck/hirail gear/body is accredited vehicles can be registered to that design.

However if the manufacturer's name changes it then needs to be treated as a new type and accredited even though the design of the truck or body hasn't change  (It happened when IVECO brought out International and rebranded the ACCO)
HardWorkingMan
From my experience, which is extensive, there is no such thing as "accreditation" - full stop. Rolling stock is merely registered with the relevant rail network managers (rail infrastracture managers). It is either a "new" registration (of a class) or an existing registration (of new or existing equipment within an already registered class). The term "accreditation" suggests something to do with the NRSR when this is not the case at all.

Might just be me being nitpicky, but I'm not wrong.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Can we also stop referring to rolling stock class registrations as 'accreditation'?
I understand the difference.  Accreditation is required for a new vehicle type.  Registration is adding a new vehicle of an accredited vehicle type.

Where it gets confusing is in Hi-Rail vehicles.  For road use a truck is accredited as a cab/chassis with a particular mechanical setup then the body can be whatever the customer needs.  From my experience with rail the truck with hi-rail gear needs to be accredited with any variation to the body type. ie a dedicated tanker is separate to a slide-on tanker which is separate to a tray vehicle.  However once that combination of truck/hirail gear/body is accredited vehicles can be registered to that design.

However if the manufacturer's name changes it then needs to be treated as a new type and accredited even though the design of the truck or body hasn't change  (It happened when IVECO brought out International and rebranded the ACCO)
From my experience, which is extensive, there is no such thing as "accreditation" period. Rolling stock is merely registered with the relevant rail network managers (rail infrastracture managers). It is either a "new" registration (of a class) or an existing registration (of new or existing equipment within an already registered class). The term "accreditation" suggests something to do with the NRSR when this is not the case at all.

Might just be me being nitpicky, but I'm not wrong.
Beta4Me
What is NRSR, please?
  Beta4Me Locomotive Driver

Can we also stop referring to rolling stock class registrations as 'accreditation'?
I understand the difference.  Accreditation is required for a new vehicle type.  Registration is adding a new vehicle of an accredited vehicle type.

Where it gets confusing is in Hi-Rail vehicles.  For road use a truck is accredited as a cab/chassis with a particular mechanical setup then the body can be whatever the customer needs.  From my experience with rail the truck with hi-rail gear needs to be accredited with any variation to the body type. ie a dedicated tanker is separate to a slide-on tanker which is separate to a tray vehicle.  However once that combination of truck/hirail gear/body is accredited vehicles can be registered to that design.

However if the manufacturer's name changes it then needs to be treated as a new type and accredited even though the design of the truck or body hasn't change  (It happened when IVECO brought out International and rebranded the ACCO)
From my experience, which is extensive, there is no such thing as "accreditation" period. Rolling stock is merely registered with the relevant rail network managers (rail infrastracture managers). It is either a "new" registration (of a class) or an existing registration (of new or existing equipment within an already registered class). The term "accreditation" suggests something to do with the NRSR when this is not the case at all.

Might just be me being nitpicky, but I'm not wrong.
What is NRSR, please?
YM-Mundrabilla
The National Rail Safety Regulator of which there is an 'Office of' (ONRSR).
  Clyde Goodwin2 Chief Train Controller

James do try to think about why we have very few crashes or worker deaths.
It is because we have very high safety standards.

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