Friday, May 31, 2024

Review and update to Rail Locomotive Boilers Guideline

The ONRSR Rail Locomotive Boilers Guideline provides rail transport operators with guidance on ONRSR’s expectations for demonstrating the safety of rail locomotive boilers. It also includes some guidance on the operation of reciprocating steam engines.

Steam Rules

In 2023, ONRSR conducted a review of the Rail Locomotive Boilers Guideline to ensure consistency in terminology and instructional information. As part of that review, ONRSR consulted with the Association of Tourist and Heritage Rail Australia (ATHRA) and as a result, an updated version has now been published on the ONRSR website.

In addition to minor changes to terminology and language, there have been some updates to the guidance in relation to inspections and maintenance as itemised below (highlighted in italic text):

>Section 7: Inspection and certification of rail locomotive boilers

  • Evidence of independent inspections should be in the boiler history file and should include:
    • any previous work carried out on the boiler to facilitate the annual inspection (e.g. what tubes were removed and reinstalled so that the inspector can access the barrel)
  • (checkbox) Written inspection reports including timeframes for actions to be undertake

>Section 8: Maintenance, repairs, and alterations of rail locomotive boilers

  • The boiler history file should include registers of all steam locomotive boiler operations, inspections, maintenance and repairs for ready reference. This should include, among other things:
    • any works undertaken to facilitate access for the independent boiler inspector (e.g. what tubes were removed and reinstalled so that the inspector can access the barrel.)

>Appendix A: A5 Australian Standards

We have also added two Australian Standards to the table within the Guideline.

    • AS4343 Pressure Equipment – Hazard Levels as a hazard B pressure vessel
    • AS3788 Pressure Equipment – In Service Inspection

We encourage industry stakeholders to read through the reviewed and re-versioned Guideline thoroughly to acquaint themselves with all updates.

If you have any questions or require any further clarification in relation to the Guideline, please contact Debbie Wielgosz, Strategic Policy via email at

Last updated: May 31, 2024, 9:25:07 AM