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

 

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>c

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news