Point Locking and Point Detection (Standard)

Type of product being suggested:
Title of product being suggested:
Point locking and point detection
Date of suggestion:
Reason for suggestion:
Points locking and detection is a critical aspect of railway signalling
Sponsored by RISSB Standing Committee:
Points locking and detection form one of the fundamental requirements of a signalling system
Currently, RISSB has in place standards for wire, cable route, small buildings, train detection and rolling stock interface however, points locking and points detection is an obvious omission.
A new standard that defines:
Establishment of design principles for when locking and detection is and isn’t required ie in yards
Establishing practices for when points are being installed or removed from the network as part of a staging process
Documenting the different drive and locking mechanisms currently in use
The minimum locking and detection requirements.
Also suggested that a study is undertaken to understand the minimum switch opening for locking and detection looking at the rolling stock and track requirements and variables, understand any safety margins and have this minimum switch opening dimension validated / ratified for use by industry
Hazard identification:
9.8 Points and or release failure (Design)
9.21 Points and or release failure (Construction)
9.30 Points and or release failure (Test and Commission)
9.40 Points and or release failure (Operations)
9.50 Points and or release failure (Maintenance)
9.60 Points and or release failure (De-commission)


Safety risk
Working towards a harmonised figure for minimum switch opening which has been formally assessed and validated
Provides a clear set of requirements for staging points
Provides clear principles for when points locking is and isn’t requir
Interoperability / harmonisation
This standard would achieve national harmonisation i.e. all railways would be able to adopt and apply it.
It would enable Contractors to work in different jurisdictions without navigating different/conflicting requirements (thereby reducing costs – see below).
The interoperability/harmonisation benefits are aligned with the Industry’s Safety strategy.

Benefits to TfNSW
A standard / specification on this topic would be valuable because even with the modern technologies that are on the horizon, points are still in use.

The standard itself is anticipated to be fairly simple and inexpensive.