Keep up with all ONRSR's news and information to the rail industry - current and earlier items located here.

Seymour incident
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Safety Alert - Direct Drive Hydraulic Pumps

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has issued a new Safety Alert advising rail transport operators of the risk of uncontrolled movements associated with direct drive hydraulic pumps installed on Road Rail Vehicles (RRVs).

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WA rail
Friday, April 5, 2024

ONRSR Welcomes Passage of RSNL in WA

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has welcomed the Western Australian Parliament’s decision to approve the full application of Rail Safety National Law (RSNL).

ONRSR Logo w Image 6b jpg
Wednesday, April 3, 2024

ONRSR Statement On Wallan Findings

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and NSW Trains have been found guilty of breaches of Rail Safety National Law in relation to the derailment of a passenger train that killed two rail safety workers at Wallan, Victoria in February 2020.

Regional railway tracks
Wednesday, February 28, 2024

ONRSR Welcomes RSNL Court Clarification

ONRSR has welcomed the outcome of an appeal in the NSW Supreme Court by rail transport operator, Aurizon, against a decision that saw a variation to its accreditation denied on the basis of inadequate consultation with rail safety workers.

Technology graphs and charts
Thursday, February 22, 2024

National Rail Safety Data Strategy delivers significant safety data improvements

A joint initiative of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) to undertake a massive overhaul of industry rail safety data reporting has now been completed, marking a significant milestone for the Australian rail industry.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Safety Alert follow up - ASQA

Following the release of an ONRSR safety alert the Australian Skills Quality Authority is now investigating technical training providers who are registered training organisations delivering rail worker industry competencies.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

ONRSR Statement - Fatal Accident 31.12.2023

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator has deployed investigators to the scene of today's fatal accident near the South Australian and NSW border.

Friday, December 15, 2023

ONRSR facilitates demo of clean, green auto wagon

ONRSR was recently on site when Arc Infrastructure publicly revealed its Autonomous Rail Wagon (ARW) concept with a demonstration of the rolling stock’s capabilities at the Kenwick Rail Freight Facility in Perth.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Queensland Rail fined over 2021 fatal accident

ONRSR will use a court ruling into a fatal train accident to continue educating rail transport operators of the risks associated with long end leading locomotive operations and actions required to improve safety.

Monday, November 6, 2023

ONRSR welcomes new Chief Executive

The search for Australia’s next National Rail Safety Regulator is over, with Dr. Natalie Pelham appointed Chief Executive of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Train driver fined $5,000 for disregarding legal notice

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has welcomed a decision in the Brisbane Magistrate’s Court to fine a train driver for failing to attend a post-incident interview.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

$20,000 fine for train driver

A Victorian train driver who exposed his passengers, and those on another train, to the risk of a catastrophic collision while talking on his mobile phone has been fined $20,000 in the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court.

Friday, July 21, 2023

ONRSR backing Rail Safety Week '23

ONRSR is again throwing its support behind the upcoming Rail Safety Week (August 7-13), using the important period to highlight the responsibility we all have for safety on the network.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Repeat Offender Cops Fatigue Conviction

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has welcomed the finalisation of proceedings against a rail safety worker in New South Wales who pleaded guilty to three charges relating to serious and repeated breaches of Rail Safety National Law (RSNL)

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

New ONRSR Fact Sheet Released: Powers to Obtain Information

ONRSR has released a new rail industry fact sheet designed to clarify the requirements when persons, particularly rail safety workers, are compelled to answer questions by our Rail Safety Officers.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Driver charged over potentially deadly breach

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has this week charged a Victorian train driver who it alleges exposed numerous passengers and crew to the risk of death or serious injury by recklessly passing through multiple red signals while talking on a mobile phone.

Friday, April 28, 2023

National Law boosted to stamp out competency frauds

Rail safety workers using fraudulent qualifications will face fines of up to $10,000 under changes being made to Australia’s Rail Safety National Law.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Queensland Rail charged over fatal accident

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has filed three charges against Queensland Rail (QR) following an investigation into a fatal train accident at Westwood, near Rockhampton in Queensland, in June 2021.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

ONRSR welcomes conviction on rail safety worker failure

ONRSR has welcomed a conviction, under Rail Safety National Law, recorded against a rail safety worker whose actions endangered others at a Queensland worksite in 2020.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Safety Forum shines light on Illawarra Range

ONRSR has hosted representatives of some of the largest rail transport operators in Australia at a forum dedicated to optimising safety in one of the nation’s busiest rail corridors.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Investigations @ ONRSR - a visual guide

Our safety animations are a very effective and popular way to provide information to operators and individuals alike. This time we have tweaked the format a little.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Level Crossing Isolation - Safety Video

New safety video produced by ONRSR on safety measures around level crossing isolation.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

ONRSR Prosecution: Warning to all in Magistrate’s decision

A train driver who put lives at risk after inexplicably “losing” four carriages and failing to take immediate action to secure and recover them has been issued a $30,000 fine for two breaches of Australia’s Rail Safety National Law (RSNL).

Friday, November 4, 2022

Sue McCarrey to depart national rail regulator

Following a highly successful eight-year tenure spent fostering Australia’s fledgling rail regulator into a nationally recognised safety authority, ONRSR Chief Executive Sue McCarrey will depart her post at the end of the year.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Cost Recovery: Time to complete Management and Control Assessments

In preparation for the new national cost recovery model which, subject to Ministerial approval and legislative amendments, will come into effect from 1 July 2023, accredited commercial operators required to undertake the Management and Control assessments can do so via the ONRSR Portal. These will need to be submitted by 2 December 2022.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Decisions, Delivery and Data - A decade of ONRSR

On the 20th of January 2013 the Curiosity Rover found signs that water once flowed on Mars. Elsewhere, Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term as President of the United States, and a little closer to home, a heat wave that had sparked bushfires across much of south-eastern Australia finally relented.

And on that same day, in a somewhat less seismic but nonetheless historic development, the doors opened at the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Notice to all operators - Cyber security alert

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has become aware of an accredited rail transport operator (RTO) receiving an email requesting payment of its Annual Fees Invoice to updated banking details. The email comes from an account purporting to be ONRSR.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Girl power @ ONRSR

Like the broader Australian rail industry, ONRSR has worked hard since its inception to provide career pathways for women into what were once male dominated roles.

Monday, August 15, 2022

ONRSR welcomes operator incident recreation

For the past 2 years, ONRSR has been using digital re-creations of rail safety occurrences as an educational tool for rail transport operators. Recently, some rail transport operators have begun developing their own digital animations that detail the circumstances of incidents that have occurred.

Friday, August 5, 2022

ONRSR welcomes focus of Rail Safety Week '22

Australia’s National Rail Safety Regulator has thrown its support behind Rail Safety Week 2022 and its emphasis on the dangers of distraction.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Safety Alert RSA-2022-001 Infrastructure Trailers: Coupling and Braking Systems

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has today issued a new Safety Alert advising rail transport operators of the risk of unbraked runaway associated with coupling systems and braking systems fitted to infrastructure trolleys and trailers.

Friday, July 1, 2022

National Rail Safety Data Strategy – Go Live – 1 July 2022

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) are today celebrating a major milestone following the official launch of Australia’s new rail safety data reporting scheme.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

ONRSR prosecutes on synthetic urine sample

ONRSR has commenced its first prosecution against a rail safety worker for attempting to provide synthetic urine when directed to provide a sample for routine drug and alcohol testing.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Updated NSW Rail Safety Regulation

The NSW Rail Safety (Adoption of National Law) Regulation 2018 is being amended.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

National Priorities review

Every two years ONRSR reviews its national priorities, those areas of regulatory focus that apply to multiple jurisdictions and operators and warrant a sustained period of regulatory attention.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

In-Cab audio & video endorsed

In late 2021, Federal and State Transport Ministers endorsed ONRSR’s policy to mandate in-cab audio and video on mainline passenger and freight trains.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Train Visibility Review

A review of research, and national and international best practice in relation to train visibility – commissioned by the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has been completed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

ONRSR 2020-2021 Rail Safety Report

Friday, December 10, 2021

Safety Alert - Fraudulent Rail Safety Worker competencies

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has today issued a new Safety Alert advising rail transport operators that a check and verification process has revealed that a significant number of fraudulent competencies have been uploaded into the Rail Industry Worker (RIW) program.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Welcome to a new

All rail safety stakeholders across Australia are welcomed to ONRSR’s brand new website.

Friday, August 27, 2021

UPDATE: Identifying Rail Safety Work under the RSNL Guideline

ONRSR has updated the Identifying Rail Safety Work under the RSNL Guideline which provides guidance on the term “rail safety work”, and outlines how rail transport operators (RTO) can identify rail safety workers as part of their risk management processes.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

New smart resource a game changer for level crossing safety

A brand new digital resource for the rail industry is set to transform the management of safety at more than 20,000 level crossings around Australia.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Regulator using Rail Safety Week to highlight priority issues

ONRSR has thrown its weight behind TrackSafe’s Stand Back, Look Up, Stay Rail Safe, campaign, while also using this Rail Safety Week to highlight how its focus on a series of national rail safety priorities is helping keep Australians safe on the rail network.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Contractor management update - July 2021

The contractor management national priority has been scoped to include a 4-phase approach

Friday, June 25, 2021

Safety Alert issued: Review of long end leading operations

ONRSR has today issued a new Safety Alert advising rail transport operators to review the risks associated with ‘long end leading’ locomotive operations.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

ONRSR Engauge-ment Forum #1

In early June, ONRSR held the first of its new Engauge-ment Forums, meeting with representatives from accredited operators located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Previously badged as Branch Operations Forums (or BOFs), these face-to-face sessions are a great opportunity for industry representatives to get information most relevant to them.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Best practice Track Worker Safety resource released

ONRSR, in conjunction with the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB), has released the results of a global investigation into how world standard technology can protect track workers in the Australian rail industry.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Consultation paper - National Rail Safety Data Strategy

The National Rail Safety Data Strategy (the Strategy) is a joint project between the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA). The proposed data set has been developed jointly by ARA, ONRSR and industry representatives.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Consultation paper - ONRSR's Cost Recovery Model

ONRSR has been progressing the development of a national cost recovery model based on risk and regulatory effort, on behalf of Transport and Infrastructure Ministers. This model represents a significant shift from current cost recovery arrangements.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

New Control Assurance Fact Sheet

ONRSR has produced a new industry fact sheet covering its National Priority rail safety issue of control assurance.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Cost recovery consultation

ONRSR will soon be releasing a consultation paper on our proposed cost recovery model.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Safety Alert issued: Isolation of level crossings on adjacent lines

ONRSR has issued a Safety Alert in response to several recent occurrences where level crossings were incorrectly isolated resulting in trains travelling through unprotected level crossings.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Network Control Safety Issues

ONRSR is providing more information to rail transport operators and network controllers about the common issues we have identified across network control operations in Australia.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

ONRSR Rail Safety Report 2019-2020

ONRSR’s yearly account of rail safety has been released and as the first such report produced since becoming a fully national rail safety regulator, it provides the most comprehensive statistical picture of the Australian rail industry’s safety performance to date.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Investigations at ONRSR

ONRSR’s ability to take a detailed and formal look at the circumstances behind a specific rail safety issue is a fundamental element of our broader role in administering Rail Safety National Law. But, exactly how does the national regulator approach investigations?

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

ONRSR Guideline - Fatigue Risk Management

ONRSR has developed a Fatigue Risk Management Guideline to provide practical guidance to rail transport operators on how to manage the fatigue-related risks associated with rail safety work and set out ONRSR’s expectations for meeting the requirements of the RSNL.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

ONRSR releases 2019-2020 Annual Report

ONRSR’s Annual Report 2019–2020 is now available to download.

Friday, October 9, 2020

National Rail Safety Data Strategy Consultation

ONRSR has partnered with the ARA and industry representatives to develop the National Rail Safety Data Strategy with the aim to deliver a relevant, consistent and high-quality national rail safety dataset that is readily available to stakeholders to make rail safety decisions.

Monday, September 28, 2020

In-cab audio and video safety recordings: Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement

It is timely to consider the value of in-cab video and audio recordings in providing critical information about the in-cab environment in the moments leading to a rail incident on Australia’s rail network. This has been highlighted following recent fatal rail incidents and also in response to a number of ATSB investigations, where this information would help provide investigators and the rail industry with critical information that may help to prevent a similar incident from occurring again.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

ONRSR Major Projects Guideline review and update

The ONRSR Major Projects Guideline is one of the most accessed of our industry resources and given the significant investments being made in major rail projects around Australia, it is more important than ever.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Consultations to round out 2020

ONRSR will be using the closing months of 2020 to undertake stakeholder consultation on a range of key policy matters affecting the Australian rail industry.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Draft Fatigue Risk Management Guideline for consultation

ONRSR has produced a draft Fatigue Risk Management Guideline to provide practical guidance to rail transport operators on how to manage the fatigue-related risks associated with rail safety work and set out ONRSR’s expectations for meeting the requirements of the RSNL.

Monday, August 3, 2020

New fact sheets - Safe software and safe systems

ONRSR has developed two new fact sheets for industry to help ensure system upgrades – be they physical or digital - are implemented as seamlessly and safely as possible.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Reminder: Immediate incident notification

ONRSR is reminding operators of the requirement to verbally report Category A incidents immediately – also noting where two operators are involved, both operators must notify ONRSR.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Identifying rail safety work – changes from 1 July 2020

Changes to the definitions of rail safety work in the Rail Safety National Law will take effect from 1 July 2020 (except in Western Australia). This follows the work of the National Transport Commission and agreement of State and Territory Ministers in November 2019.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

New Fact Sheet released for Tourist & Heritage operators

With the gradual reopening of services and operations, ONRSR has prepared a Fact Sheet providing Tourist & Heritage operators with relevant information to assist them in complying with all requirements of their safety management system (SMS) after an extended shutdown of operations.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Collaboration to ID best practice safety for Aussie rail workers

Australia’s leading authorities on rail safety will join forces to identify world standard safety technology that can be deployed to protect workers on our nation’s rail networks.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Website updates and document withdrawal

The ONRSR website has undergone some recent changes; including content updates of existing material and the introduction of new pages.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

New SMS modules for T&H and smaller operators

In response to feedback from Tourist and Heritage operators and, as part of broader stakeholder engagement, ONRSR has been working with the sector to roll out a number of initiatives to support the Tourist and Heritage sector and other smaller less-complex operators.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Stakeholder Survey Generates Invaluable Insights

On a daily basis ONRSR engages with a multitude of rail safety stakeholders in carrying out its functions and pursuing its objectives under Rail Safety National Law.

Friday, February 28, 2020

ONRSR calls for independent track audit

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has called on the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to immediately commission a fully independent audit of the railway track between Sydney and Melbourne.

Friday, January 24, 2020

ONRSR Chief hails the decade of delivery

ONRSR Chief Executive and National Rail Safety Regulator, Sue McCarrey has reflected on the past decade confident it will be remembered as one of the most telling periods ever for safety and efficiency in the Australian rail sector.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

ONRSR Welcomes Productivity Commission Draft Report

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) will continue its pursuit of safe railways for Australia, buoyed by the key findings of the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report into National Transport Regulatory Reform.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

ONRSR formalises jurisdiction in Victoria

Responsibility for rail safety regulation in Victoria will officially transfer from Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) to the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) from December 2.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Changes to the NSW drug and alcohol identity card issuing process

Following consultation with NSW rail transport operators (RTOs) and third party testing service providers, ONRSR is introducing changes to the NSW drug and alcohol identity card issuing process.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Release of NTC Dangerous Goods Emergency Response Guide

If you transport dangerous goods by rail, then the following article may be of interest to you.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Introduction of Prescribed Incidents on 1 July 2019

UPDATE: Please see updated information by following this link.

Last updated: Apr 28, 2023, 10:09:10 AM