Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

TAIC seeks safety improvements at Wellington train station

TAIC seeks safety improvements at Wellington train station

Wellington's congested rail system is at "heightened risk" of collisions, with few failsafes and relying on train drivers, but is unlikely to see an upgrade because of lack of funding.



Photo: RNZ / Paloma Migone

Two trains nearly collided in May 2016 when the driver of an empty passenger train stopped on the tracks 13 seconds before one carrying 79 passengers crossed the same tracks.

The Transport Accident and Investigation Commission investigation found a red stop signal had been set to hold the empty train just short of the cross-over point so a train with passengers could pass.

However, there was another signal showing green adjacent to the red signal meant for the empty train. The driver confused the two signals and failed to stop at the red light but realised his mistake shortly after continuing.

There was no collision and no-one was injured.

The TAIC report released in December 2017 stated that the existing layout meant there were fewer safety overlaps designed into the area at the station.

It found there were fewer failsafe back-up systems in place in the event of a driver failing to stop at a red light.
It also noted that any increases in commuter train services would increase the pressure on this bottleneck area, which would also increase the risk of relying on train drivers to stop at red lights.

TAIC recommended that KiwiRail develop a long-term strategy to improve the safety of the tracks and signalling infrastructure.

"To decongest and modernise the track and signal infrastructure at Wellington Station will require significant resources, which is unlikely to occur in the near future," the report stated.

"However, there will likely be future increases in rail patronage and the system is already congested."

The TAIC said that there were a number of measures that needed to be taken to reduce the risk of trains colliding.

KiwiRail accepted the recommendation and agreed to meet with the Greater Wellington Regional Council to develop a long-term strategy for improving the safety of the track and signalling infrastructure.

That included providing better recognition of signals, standard procedures for signalling trains through the area, better communication between train drivers and people controlling the trains.

KiwiRail, the council and Transdev Wellington are co-operating closely on operating and strategic matters, as required by a memorandum of understanding between the three organisations.

KiwiRail are in agreement to conduct a review of current arrangements to identify opportunities for attempting to reduce the risk to train operations in the Wellington station area.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

UN Rights Declaration At 70: We Are All Born Free And Equal

On Article 1 of the UDHR: Dignity is the foundation of all human rights. Human beings have rights, and should be treated with utmost care, precisely because each one possesses intrinsic worth. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The (Delayed) Judgment Day For Theresa May

When under stress, British PM Theresa May reportedly eats peanut butter straight from the jar. Crunch time is looming... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Politely Fake Political Obituaries (And The Paris Discord)

One unfortunate side effect of “personality politics” is that when prominent politicians die, the niceties we observe at the death of private individuals get automatically extended to them as well... More>>

ALSO:

Unique And Vanishing: NZ Biodiversity Losses Match Global Crisis

One might think that it is buffered from some of the effects of biological erosion, especially since people only arrived less than 800 years ago. But as we show, the impact on wildlife has been catastrophic. More>>

Your Name Here(ish): Sponsor A Section On Scoop.co.nz!

Scoop.co.nz has just launched Section Sponsorships - the newest way for you to gain exposure for your brand to Scoop’s high value audience of 500,000 monthly readers. More>>

ALSO:

You Did It! The Scoop 3.0 PledgeMe Closes

Update: The Scoop 3.0 Crowdsale and Crowdfunding Campaign met its target with a total of $36,024 pledged. It looks like it has all been worthwhile. We are nearly there and Scoop.co.nz will ride again in 2019, our 20th year of operations. Moreover the past week has brought a number of inquiries from larger organisations, many of which have till now failed to respond to our messages... More>>

ALSO: