22 Dec 2021

First Ever Industry Rule Paves the Way for Harmonisation

Australia’s first ever harmonised rule, AHNR 2007 Network Communication which consolidates three disparate Australian Network and Procedures rules, has been published. The rule is one in a set of national rules being developed by RISSB that will bring Australia closer to achieving rail harmonisation and interoperability.

The rule manages safeworking communications across the rail network, protecting the lives of track workers and ensuring the safe passage of people, goods and materials around the country.

The national rules will apply to all participating operators and track managers across the nation and are set to not only deliver significant safety and productivity benefits, but also support the modernisation pathway for network rules.

So far, 13 of the biggest rail operators in Australia have pledged to help develop, and implement the series of agreed national rules within their business.

The foundation organisations that have committed to supporting RISSB’s national rules harmonisation efforts are:

ONRSR COO Peter Doggett said: “ONRSR supports every effort to bring harmonisation to the railway, and especially in such an important area as communications. Having a suite of nationally harmonised rules will be a great asset to the industry.”

RISSB CEO Deborah Spring said that the 13 organisations had shown great leadership in committing to support the adoption of harmonised rules in their own networks.

“We applaud the commitment from these rail companies to improve the quality and consistency of industry rules. RISSB has been on this journey for many years so to see these organisations band together now and support our work is a terrific outcome.”

Work is already underway on a new rule – Walking in the Danger Zone – continuing RISSB’s emphasis on track worker safety. This second national rule is expected to be released to industry in mid-2022.

Members can access RISSB’s AHNR 2007 Network Communication here.

If you would like to get involved in RISSB’s national rules work, please send an email stating how you would like to get involved to info@rissb.com.au.