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News & Views from the RTBU NSW Locomotive Division

Update: Hunter Valley Freight Issues

Oct 21, 2016News


RTBU Locomotive Division recently invited Hunter Valley network owners and operators to a meeting to discuss a number of local issues. We facilitated a meeting at the Newcastle RTBU office and both ARTC and Freightliner sent representatives. It was disappointing that Pacific National and Aurizon did not see the benefit of this meeting and were absent.

The discussion was around the following points:

  1. Evacuation procedures at Bylong and other tunnels, including: 
    • Standardising procedures for all operators
    • Reviewing track owner regulations

The RTBU raised the issue that each operator had different procedures and there is a need for standard procedures that should be led by the Network Owner and Regulator.

  1. Crew Relief Points
    • Currently under trial with feedback encouraged

The RTBU now understands that our members were unaware that this was under trial, and need to provide feedback. A copy of the risk assessment has been requested.

  1. Crew meal / rest breaks
    • Scheduling of Crew meal / rest breaks

The Loco Division is requesting that the network owner, HVCCC, and all freight operators investigate allocating time in the train scheduling to allow our members to have a required crew meal / rest break during their shift. In line with fatigue management, it is essential that crews can take a meal or rest break during their shifts, which can be up to 12 hours long.

The Division conducted meetings with members from local operators Pacific National, Aurizon & Freightliner during the latest shut down to receive feedback and to report on these issues and their progress.

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