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Waratah ATP – Ongoing Operational Issues

A recent increase in Automatic Train Protection (ATP) related issues on Waratah type rollingstock has resulted in further delays to these sets being operated in NORMAL, which in turn, has further delayed drivers being trained in ATP.

Your ATP project representatives formalised their concerns regarding the “ad-hoc” testing of ATP equipment and systems when Waratah sets operate in revenue service via correspondence to Sydney Trains. Of particular concern is the fact drivers still have a limited understanding of the system, faults, and failures, and little or no formal training in ATP. 

RTBULD representatives and Divisional HSRs have submitted a formal position to Sydney Trains which states:

“…we have debated and requested the ATP system onboard the Waratah rollingstock be temporarily switched from ‘Bypass’ to ‘Isolate’ due to the number of issues Drivers are experiencing during revenue service operations.”

The ATP system is the foundation upon which the Digital Systems project and the NSW Transport 2056 plan is built. Currently, Sydney Trains’ approach to addressing ATP operational issues does little to develop the necessary confidence in this foundational safety system.

Driver Representatives are firm in their view that the lack of action to address driver concerns is creating reduced confidence in the safety of the network. Additionally, proposed engineering fixes rely on software changes which take considerable time to implement and track fitment issues also continue to plague the rollout. 

Sydney Trains have committed to supporting drivers who experience ATP issues/faults whilst driving but have yet to provide the commitment in writing as requested.

RTBULD representatives and Divisional HSRs have faith in the overall safety system that is Automatic Train Protection, however we expect the safety system to be fully operational, as defined by Division 2 – Object of the WHS Act 2011, rather than still experiencing teething issues whilst in revenue service.

Members should contact the RTBULD working party or head office for more information if required and report all ATP faults through the normal operational process and also to the working party reps.