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RailCorp fails on route knowledge

Jul 1, 2013News

Reports of RailCorp drivers being pressured into driving trains on routes they’re not qualified for have raised serious safety concerns recently.

Current route knowledge is a key element of professional train driving standards. Drivers not qualified for a particular route should always be piloted by another qualified driver.

According to the RailCorp agreement, in CountryLink an OSM may be utilised to pilot but only in the case of an operational emergency, and where no suitably route-qualified driver is available.

Recent reports of the unsafe practice suggest RailCorp has been failing to maintain route training to a suitable standard in many instances.

Emergencies and trackwork resulting in train service diversions is also a major player, putting pressure on operations staff and drivers to take unlawful shortcuts in order to keep trains moving.

Members are reminded that under no circumstances should drivers operate trains over routes they are not currently qualified for. You should request the services of a pilot driver as soon as you aware there is a problem.

In the event a member is involved in a SPAD, safeworking breach, accident or fatality when driving a train over a route for which you are not qualified, and action being commenced against you, there is very little the RTBU can do for you.

Members are also reminded that unless you have had refresher training, your qualifications on any line in the Sydney metropolitan area expire after 12 months.