This page provides support and guidance for Tourist & Heritage and other smaller, less-complex operators in their efforts to demonstrate compliance consistent with their specific operations.

What defines Tourist & Heritage

Tourist & Heritage and smaller, less-complex operations are typically represented by some or all of the following criteria:

  • operate on a branch line or isolated line, without other rail operators on the same track;
  • have a small uniform fleet of rolling stock;
  • operate at slow speeds of less than 40 km/h;
  • manage a yard or sidings only;
  • may carry passengers;
  • are often run by volunteers and have a limited and changing workforce;
  • are usually smaller and everyone and everything is in one general location; and
  • often have limited resources.

Control assurance in T&H

Under the RSNL all operators must specify how they will control the safety risks associated with their railway operations. They must also have procedures in place for monitoring, reviewing and revising the effectiveness of these controls.

Control assurance is an important part of risk management.

Put simply, it is a process that checks the controls you have are working and are being used by your rail safety workers.

This video provides further details of how tourist and heritage operators can understand and address control assurance within their specific operations.

ONRSR acknowledges that the Tourist and Heritage sector of the rail industry in Australia is diverse, both in the scope and nature of operations, but also when considering infrastructure and rolling stock assets, geographic location, the level of interaction with other operators, and the number and type of safety interfaces.

Each operator will have a unique SMS, depending on the nature and scope of their operations and although some hazards will exist across all operators, regardless of the scope of their operations, the risk and associated controls will vary accordingly.

SMS modules for Tourist & Heritage (& smaller less-complex) operators

For a number of years, ONRSR has worked with the Tourist and Heritage sector and the Association of Tourist and Heritage Rail Australia (ATHRA), and engaged with stakeholders to educate and support the sector’s safety management system capacity - resulting in the development of a suite of SMS modules and templates to assist in SMS development.

It should be noted that the modules are not to replace existing safety management systems that are in place and working effectively. They are provided as a guide to smaller, less-complex operators who may require additional support in developing an appropriate SMS.

These modules provide information as to how the sector can customise and combine modules to develop a safety management system that is specific and appropriate to the scope and nature of their operations and accreditation.

Modules may contain:

  • Thought provokers/ questions for consideration;
  • Details of mandatory requirements;
  • Scalable options to identify appropriate responses;
  • Example suggested documents for inclusion in an SMS, or information about what documents should include.

A single module has been developed for each of the twenty-nine (29) SMS elements based on the principles of What and Why, How, Who and When.. All SMS Modules are available in a group listing via the side navigation link provided on this page.

There are two valuable resources which accompany the modules - also available via the side navigation links on this page:

  • The 'Introduction to the SMS Modules' will provide you with guidance on how to use the modules.
  • The 'Module Interactive Diagram' provides an overall view of the modules with a direct links to each module.

Included in the suite of documents are a number of example templates and tools which individual operators are able to customise or edit to apply to their specific operation.

These are examples only and use of them is up to each organisation.

Related content

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.

Safety Management System Guideline

Guideline to provide accredited rail transport operators,and those seeking accreditation, with guidance on the legislative requirements for safety management and what the National Rail Safety Regulator (NRSR) looks for when assessing the safety management system, and how to prepare a safety management system that complies with the legislative requirements.

Drug and Alcohol - Scalability of drug and alcohol management program requirements Fact Sheet

A rail transport operator must prepare and implement a drug and alcohol management program (DAMP) for rail safety workers who carry out rail safety work in relation to railway operations for which the operator is required to be accredited.

Interface agreements fact sheet

The Rail Safety National Law (RSNL) requires that rail transport operators (i.e. rail infrastructure managers and rolling stock operators) and road managers must enter into interface agreements to manage the risks to safety at interfaces.

Using the template interface agreement for rail or road crossings Guideline

Provides guidance to rail infrastructure managers and road managers in meeting their obligations to enter into interface agreements for rail or road crossings on public and private roads under Part 3, Division 6 of the Rail Safety National Law (RSNL).

Template interface agreement for rail or road crossings

Interface Agreement template for rail or road crossings.

Introduction to SMS modules

A valuable resource document that will provide you with guidance on how to use the modules..

Last updated: Jan 2, 2024, 2:54:36 PM