Aurizon have progressed the use of the Track Access System (TAS). The Protection Officer (PO) uses an electronic tablet with the TAS software installed to initiate the Coded Block track protection in the field. The TAS system provides the following benefits:

  • The PO has the same live system view of the Train Control System that Aurizon’s Network Control Officer (NCO) sees on the Control Boards, to confirm placement of blocks.
  • Using TAS in-field reduces the volume of interaction and verbal communication with NCO.
  • The PO and NCO can place multiple coded blocks on top of each other when there is no rail traffic within the protection limits, which means if one workgroup releases their authority, the other work group authorities will remain in place reducing the risk of error. The track becomes available for normal Rail traffic only when all coded blocks have been released.
  • In 2020, Aurizon’s network rules were updated to use the designed signal overlap in implementing worksite protection. The use of red boards and detonators (outside of LPAs) has been eliminated as coded blocks use departure signals as the authority limits and protecting signals and the signal overlap as the worksite protection.
  • Network Lockout (the use of a lockbox) is required for every network track protection activity (except lookout working). The intent of Network Lockout is for all workers to lock on to a box containing the release codes for the coded block they are working under, which means that the coded block cannot be released until all workers are locked off.
  • Mobile technology has been introduced that can check the qualifications of any rail safety worker on site (employees or contractors)
  • In 2022, an electronic pre-start has been introduced, which provides a tech-enabled, structured tool for teams. The pre-start brief clarifies the work, increases hazard awareness, and applies Aurizon’s critical control management.

Aurizon continues to investigate ways to continually improve track worker safety and is currently designing and testing:

  • Technology that identifies a work group, or rail vehicle’s position with a high-level of accuracy using precision GPS tools. The long-term intent is for this to be integrated into the issuing of authorities, to further reduce the risk of human factors contributing to the risk of a work group being unprotected.
  • Further safety improvements and efficiencies through testing electronic options for locking on and off.
Last updated: Jul 11, 2022, 9:46:40 AM