Update on ZIg Zag Railway

Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today provided an update on Zig Zag Railway based on advice to Transport for NSW by an independent safety adviser.

This follows the Independent Transport Safety Regulator (ITSR) identifying more than 150 instances where Zig Zag was deficient in its safety management. ITSR also found that Zig Zag had difficulty carrying out maintenance of its rolling stock.

On March 27 ITSR restricted Zig Zag’s passenger operations to only diesel railcars and in June ITSR reported Zig Zag’s management of safety had deteriorated further. 

ITSR ordered Zig Zag to cease operations, until the safety regulator is satisfied that the safety issues have been addressed.

On Ms Berejiklian’s instruction, Transport for NSW engaged an independent safety adviser to assist Zig Zag Railway by assessing its safety management system and to provide advice on the steps needed to deal with the safety concerns.

“A report by the adviser has identified a number of issues affecting Zig Zag Railway and makes it clear that Zig Zag Railway is currently poorly equipped to address the problems raised by ITSR,” Ms Berejiklian said.

A short term ‘Safety Program’ has been designed by the safety adviser to help Zig Zag Railway satisfy ITSR that the organisation could safely resume rail passenger operations. 

“I’m advised that if Zig Zag Railway is willing to undertake serious reform and follow the Safety Program, it may be in a position to provide a strong case to ITSR within a six month period,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Late today I met with Transport for NSW and members of the Zig Zag Railway Board and the report has now been provided to the Board.” 

It is now up to the Board to release the report publicly if they choose to.

“Initial indications are that they acknowledge and accept the findings of the report, and the actions required to regain accreditation,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“I have asked Transport for NSW to provide its advice, if required, to the Zig Zag Railway to assist in this process.”

The safety adviser’s recommendations included that the Zig Zag Railway:

  • develops comprehensive governance arrangements which clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the Board, and management positions;
  • develops an improved safety management system, including safety competencies for management, staff and volunteers; 
  • develops a business plan based on a sustainable business and financial model; and
  • implements a comprehensive asset management system to identify rolling stock needed to initially recommence operations.

Update on Zig Zag Railway (pdf 106KB).

6 September 2012
Related items: