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Access Principles and Guidance

TasRail (as the Below Rail operator) is required to negotiate a Network Access Agreement (NAA) in good faith with an access seeker.    The NAA will set out the requirements to be met by the access seeker in relation to the specific section of the operational network of interest.  These requirements will ensure that the third party Above Rail operations are compatible with the existing network infrastructure and consistent with applicable safety, technical and operating and performance criteria that is subject to the Below Rail ONRSR accreditation, audit and oversight.  These requirements will include (but not limited to the following):

  • Commercial terms:
    Examples include any capital requirements for necessary upgrades required to facilitate third party access; and the provision of other agreed services to be provided by TasRail such as incident recovery services that may be negotiated on a fee-for-service basis.
  • Safety management requirements:
    Examples include appropriate connection and integration with the Automated Network Control System (ANCS -Train Control) and related mandated competencies in ANCS operation, applicable SafeWorking Rules, General Orders and Network Operating Rules. 
  • Communication Standards:
    Examples include competencies in radio and ANCS communications protocols and operating rules;  the interface with existing level crossing technologies; mandated reporting requirements including all incidents including near miss and injury data.
  • Compatibility requirements (includes technical and operating parameters):
    Some of these requirements will vary according to which operational line the third party is seeking access to, and the type of service/activity the access seeker intends to operate.  Listed below are some indicative examples, but the access seeker is encouraged to submit an expressions of interest to NAA@tasrail.com.au to obtain more specific information.

    - Axle Loadings
    Maximum is 18 tonnes per loco except for the Melba Line which is 16 tonnes per loco

    - Braking System
    Compliance with the relevant RISSB Standard

    - Wheel Profile
    For locomotives – must be compliant with ANZR-1
    For other rollingstock – to be agreed with TasRail

    - Rollingstock Outline
    Compliance with TasRail’s ONRSR accredited Rollingstock and Infrastructure Standards

    - Vigilance System

    - Emergency Management and Incident Recovery
    Compliance with TasRail’s ONRSR accredited policy, procedures and work instructions.
    TasRail will provide incident recovery services on a negotiated fee-for-service basis

    - Track Speed
    Compliance with the operational requirements at the time, noting that Temporary Speed Restrictions can be applied at any time.

    - Level Crossings
    There are minimum and maximum speeds to align with level crossing relays, as well as Train Horn Protocols and other considerations.  TasRail may also seek to jointly assess specific level crossings to identify any new risks associated with the change in conditions arising from the third party access.  

    - Train Driver Competencies
    Acknowledging that provision of train drivers and RTO assessment of competency is a matter for the Above Rail operator and its own ONRSR accreditation, the NAA will have a requirement to ensure that the relevant staff employed by the Above Rail operator are assessed as competent to operate points and signalling equipment.

    - Environmental 
    The NAA will require information about other factors including for example fitting of spark arrestors (exhaust); brake lining materials (no asbestos);  prevention and mitigation for fuel leaks; etc.