KiwiRail responds to TAIC report on Staircase-Craigieburn incident

17 October 2013 11:11AM

KiwiRail accepts the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) findings on the Staircase-Craigieburn incident and the factors that impacted on the train controller’s performance on the day.

Chief Executive, Jim Quinn says, “Safety is KiwiRail’s first priority. We have a culture of continuous safety improvement and have already made significant changes within our network and train control functions since the incident occurred over two and a half years ago.

“We have also actively engaged with TAIC as it conducted its investigation and appreciate the learning opportunities this has provided.”

“Our safety record has improved since this incident as a result of the implementation of further safety initiatives across the business. The combination of staff requiring medical treatment and/or requiring time off work because of injury has reduced by nearly 20% in the last year alone.”

Improvements undertaken by KiwiRail include:

  • Additional train control resourcing with 21 new train control staff recruited in the last 27 months.
  • Improved procedures and support systems for train controllers regarding workload management and wellness including:
    • Shift managers now check in on staff near the start of and during their shift to improve vigilance around possible stress and fatigue issues
    • KiwiRail provides all train controllers with alertness management training
    • Compulsory physical and mental medical assessments for all train controllers were introduced in 2012
    • Introduction of freely available food and fruit together with a “stepaway for 5” programme to more proactively encourage breaks
    • A project to phase the coordination of train control rosters into a new single coordinator role using a roster software application called Crew Management System (CMS).
  • A fundamental rule change which reduces the risk of error by requiring  trains to be completely clear of a control section before a maintenance crew can get on the track
  • The fit out of equipment in all of its main line locomotive fleet that will allow visibility of all trains in Train Control over all parts of the rail network where there is cell phone coverage. Technology to enable track users themselves to view trains in their vicinity has also been introduced.
  • A project to provide visibility of maintenance vehicles by train control and other KiwiRail staff is underway and is expected to be completed in 2014
  • Commissioning of a best practice IBM Maximo works scheduling and asset management system in the Lower North Island, which is due to be rolled this out across the country during 2014 and is expected to improve both safety and efficiency.



Media contact: Sarah Pomeroy, Senior Communications Advisor, 021 804 906 or 04 498 3219