Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Urgent recommendations follow Melling rail accident

Urgent recommendations follow Melling rail accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May 2014) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. Two of the 12 people on board suffered minor injuries, there was substantial damage to the train and stop block, and overhead electricity wires were brought down when a power pole behind the stop block was broken.

An interim report of the Commission’s continuing inquiry released this morning (10am, Thursday, 24 July 2014) describes how the train driver rounded the final bend to the station and, realising the train was not going to stop in time, alerted passengers to brace themselves for the impact that followed. The train’s wheels slid several times on the apparently wet track as the brakes were applied.

Data from the train event recorder for this accident showed that the braking system responded correctly to the driver’s control inputs, the report says. A post–accident static brake test confirmed that the air pressure in the brake pipe and at the brake cylinders was correct, and that the wheel-slide protection control valves were operating correctly.

However, due to the damage sustained to the forward bogie in the collision, tests of the complete braking system had yet to be conducted. “Consequently, it cannot yet be determined whether the train’s complete braking system was functioning as it was designed to when the train was approaching Melling Station,” the report says.

“The performance and operation of the accident train’s brake system, and the driver training provided by KiwiRail for the Matangi trains are both lines of continuing inquiry,” Deputy Chief Commissioner Helen Cull QC said when releasing the report.

“The accident happened just as the rising sun’s rays hit the track and humidity in the area had reached its peak,” Helen Cull said. “Other lines of inquiry are looking at the effects of humidity on adhesion between the rail and the train wheels, potential indicators of slippery conditions, and the ability of Matangi trains to stop on wet or greasy track.”

The report outlines how the driver had eleven and a half years’ experience driving metropolitan trains in the Wellington Region, and had been on the Matangi trains for about three years. After the accident he was tested in accordance with KiwiRail’s standard policy for drugs and alcohol. “His urine sample returned a reading for the active ingredient in cannabis which experts have told us was consistent with a non-chronic user smoking a cannabis cigarette two to three days earlier,” Helen Cull said. “The issue of whether the driver’s performance was impaired by cannabis is a further line of inquiry.”

The Commission’s four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail have all been accepted. These concern: restricting station approach speeds at Melling and any similar terminal stations, upgrading the stop block design to better absorb collision, and shifting any poles carrying overhead wires from behind the end of rail lines.

“The implementation of these recommendations should significantly reduce the chance of any further similar recurrence while our inquiry continues,” Helen Cull said.

The Commission hoped to wrap up its inquiry by March 2015 in conjunction with its separate inquiry into an earlier lower-speed collision of a Matangi train with the Melling stop block in April 2013.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Two Years With New Methods: Crime Stats Show Increase Led By Burglary

The two years of data show an increase in the total victimisation rate of 3.1 per cent, with 12,060 more victimisations in the 2015/16 year when compared to 2014/15 year. From this increase, 72 per cent is attributable to burglaries. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Relocation Grants: 12 Grants Paid So Far

Since the policy took effect one month ago, 12 applicants have received the non-recoverable grant, supporting 32 people. $54,508 has been paid out, covering things like moving costs, bond, rent in advance and letting fees. More>>

ALSO:

Vaccine Funding Change: HPV Vaccines For All Children

PHARMAC has today announced changes to funded vaccines, which will benefit an extra 100,000 people... The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available for all children and adults up to the age of 26 years, and boys will now be included in the HPV school vaccination programme. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Opinion Polls For Key And Trump Defy Gravity

What is going on? Donald Trump got confirmed as the Republican presidential candidate at a bizarrely chaotic political convention… and promptly received an upwards bump in the polls to where he’s now rating ahead of Hillary Clinton, for only the second time this year. More>>

Sugar: Auckland Leisure Centres Axe Unhealthy Drinks

Auckland Council is to stop selling drinks that are sweetened by sugar from vending machines at its leisure centres in a bid to try to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Todd McClay’s Faulty Memory

Time and again, whenever an issue arises the initial response by government is to deny or diminish the problem – nothing to worry about here, everything’s OK, move on. Then, hang on. In line with the usual pattern, as embarrassing details emerged into daylight, the story changed. More>>

ALSO:

Labour's 'Future Of Work': Major Reform Of Careers And Apprenticeships

The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news