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Transport Agency welcomes TAIC report into near collision on Midland rail line


The NZ Transport Agency is welcoming today's publication of a Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) report on a 2011 near collision rail incident, and will work closely with KiwiRail to ensure that all of the Commission's recommendations are fully addressed to improve rail safety and reduce the likelihood of similar incidents occurring in the future.

Transport Agency Rail Safety Director Celia Patrick says agency staff attended the TAIC hearing into the April 2011 incident through the Craigieburn-Staircase area on the Midland line, and the agency had already strengthened its auditing of KiwiRail's train control procedures.

The Transport Agency would now work with KiwiRail to ensure that all appropriate measures are in place to provide adequate supervision and support for train controllers, workloads are managed reasonably to address the risk of stress and fatigue, and that available technology is used to ensure that all trains and rail service vehicles on the rail network are visible to train controllers.

"Our top priority as a regulator is ensuring that rail travel is safe for passengers and rail workers, and it's important that the lessons learned from this incident are acted on so people can have confidence that all reasonable steps are being taken to avoid the possibility of a potentially serious collision between rail vehicles. The Transport Agency is committed to ensuring that the Commission's recommendations are fully addressed."

Ms Patrick said the Transport Agency's role as rail safety regulator in New Zealand involved approving all rail licence holders and safety standards, monitoring and enforcing operator safety performance and having oversight of findings from incident investigations.