Daily Freight (1994) Limited was sentenced today in Auckland District Court for an incident where two rail wagons uncoupled on a busy track, endangering the Auckland metro rail system, and rolling more than 400 metres before derailing.
Daily Freight was fined $234,000 for the serious safety breach, which occurred in its Auckland railyard in January 2017.
“This derailment was a very concerning near-miss and it’s sheer luck no one was hurt,” Regulatory General Manager Kane Patena says.
“The NZ Transport Agency’s detailed investigation found Daily Freight left an unsupervised and untrained employee to shunt the wagons. Daily Freight were fully aware of what was required of them in terms of training and supervision but failed to meet those essential safety standards.”
“It’s critical that people operating on the railways strictly adhere to safety requirements, because those rules are there not only to protect the public, but the workers too.”
Daily Freight failed to adhere to its own safety plan or recognise the importance of not entering rail corridors without authority.
The company also failed to promptly report the incident to the Transport Agency.
The Transport Agency has since placed restrictions on Daily Freight’s rail operations but acknowledges its cooperation throughout the investigation.
“The Transport Agency will be firm but fair in all our dealings as the rail regulator. We will continue to swiftly deal with non-compliance and hold rail operators to account who put public safety at risk,” Mr Patena says.