On Track News

As you may be aware, HRASA contributes to and participates in the processes that lead to the creation and maintenance of South African railway safety standards by being an active member of the relevant Technical Committees at both the SABS (TC 1066) and the RSR (TC 001).

You will be pleased to know that many of the safety standards published have the mark of HRASA’s suggestions and comments upon them and that if there are any serious issues impacting upon the operation of heritage railways we are able to influence the outcome. The resulting published SANS and RSR standards have thus been through democratic review processes and that we have ensured as best we can that your views are represented and accounted for.

Ultimately, after drafting and committee-stage approvals by the appropriate Technical Committees, the draft standards are opened for comment by each participating organisations’ representatives and/or members. Recently, HRASA circulated a draft RSR standard on “Verbal Safety-critical Communications (VSCC)” as proposed by the RSR’s TC for your comment. No comments were sent to our RSR Rep, Steve Appleton, so I must assume all HRASA members were satisfied with both its intent and its content.

The SABS recently held a meeting of its TC 1066 at which the following standards were reaffirmed which means that they remain current and relevant.

  • SANS 3000-2-4 Railway safety management Part 2-4: Technical requirements for engineering and operational standards – Train authorization and control, and telecommunication.
  • SANS 3000-2-5 Railway safety management Part 2-5: Technical requirements for engineering and operational standards – Operational principles for safe movement on rail.
  • SANS 3000-2-6 Railway safety management Part 2-6: Technical requirements for engineering and operational standards – Interface and intraface management, and interoperability.

In addition, the committee agreed that SANS 3000-4 Railway safety management Part 4: Human factors management, would be amended to update referenced standards. Also, that the RSR would propose standards to replace standards that have been withdrawn and that this would therefore be balloted to the committee.

The committee resolved that ARP 084-1 Railway stations – Passenger platforms Part 1: Clearances on ballastless track (1 065 mm track gauge) would be withdrawn as it has already been incorporated into SANS 3000-2-2 Railway safety management Part 2-2: Requirements for systemic engineering and operational safety standards – Track and associated civil infrastructure and installations.

In terms of the TC 1066’s program of work, SANS 3000-2-2-1 Railway safety management Part 2-2-1: Technical requirements for engineering and operational standards – Track, civil and electrical infrastructure – Level crossings, was circulated as a committee draft (CD). It would soon be circulated as Draft South African Standard (DSS). However, a concern was raised with regards to conflicting clauses between level crossings in SANS 3000-2-2-1 and the Road traffic Act. The committee noted that there was a need to have a discussion to address road maintenance matters as it relates to a level crossing. The committee resolved that the Department of Transport would engage with the relevant stakeholders to find a resolution.

I do hope that this update is of interest to you and that it shows that, as a nationally representative body representing its members, the importance (and pedantic nature, it might be said) of HRASA’s participation in these processes. In fact, some of these standards are adopted by other standards bodies within the SADC region, adding grist to HRASA’s “Southern African” nature.

Without HRASA’s involvement, it would be virtually impossible for individual heritage railway operators and organisations to be a part of these processes and to have a voice in their outcomes. For this reason (amongst others) if you are not a member (or are a lapsed member) of HRASA, we urge to join or renew. Email enquiries for further information to bod@hrasa.co.za

Philip Steel (Acting Chairman, HRASA)

On behalf of the Board of Directors