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Footplate: NIF Update – Post Action Discussions

Dec 17, 2020NSW Trains Update

Following the scheduled “Mission Readiness” exercise on the NIF train and the safety events that followed, the RTBU has been meeting with NSW Trains and a Transport for NSW representative to try and resolve the outstanding safety concerns of the RTBU and its members.

The RTBU was forced into this position after continually stating its significant safety concerns with the proposed NSW Train NIF operating model and having them fall on deaf ears and completely ignored. At the meetings so far held, the RTBU has, once again, provided NSW Trains with its position and that of its members on what makes a safe railway operation on each of the issues below:

Driver Only Operations – Empty car running

The RTBU requires a Guard on all revenue and non-revenue train movements.

Right of way from safety qualified worker (i.e., Guard)

The RTBU requires an Absolute Right Away from a crew member (Guard) positioned at the open crew cab door withthe capability to assess the Platform Train Interface visually/audibly with the capability to stop the train if required.

Traction Interlocking

The RTBU requires crew cab doors to be configured in such a way as to allow the door/s to remain open once traction power is applied and automatically close at 10kph with an audible alert prior to closure.

Driver Seat

The RTBU requires a fit for purpose, air ride seat be installed in the NIF.

Use of cameras-CCTV

The RTBU is fundamentally opposed to the use of CCTV images as the primary method of train dispatch. It is considered appropriate that CCTV is utilised as an aid for the Guards absolute right away requirements and should be positioned in such a way that allows the same. The RTBU rejects the utilisation of CCTV by the driver as it is viewed as a major distraction from the primary task, that of the safe operation of the train.

Use of cameras – in cab camera

The RTBU views constant surveillance via the in-cab camera as creating stress and distrust without achieving a safety benefit.

The Passenger information button transmitting to the ROC

It is the view of the RTBU that all calls made on the PI button are directed to the CSG in the first instance with the default being to the ROC.

To date, in the meetings held so far, NSW Trains have displayed a marked change in attitude towards the above issues and meaningful discussions have occurred for which members should attribute to the action taken.

An in-principle agreement has been reached for the independent safety experts to examine the PTI process prior to any dynamic testing by NSW Trains.

Members will be kept informed of the outcomes of these significant meetings as they are available.

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