Recommendation Date
Recipient Name
The stop block at Melling was mounted directly in front of the terminal (last) pole supporting the high-voltage overhead contact wire for the electric trains. At the previous collision in 2013 the support structure was damaged, and in this recent 2014 event the pole was snapped off at ground level, causing the overhead contact wire to drop onto the body of the train. The fallen high-voltage line created a risk to the train occupants and delayed the evacuation of the train after it came to rest.
Placing the power pole directly in line with the stop block was a safety issue that increased the potential consequences of a train overrunning the station platform and striking the stop block.

The Commission recommends that KiwiRail relocate the terminal pole for the overhead line at Melling Station to be clear of the potential train overrun path.
Reply Text
KiwiRail advised that as part of the "friction retarder" type buffer solution being implemented in response to recommendation 020/14, a design for an offset pull-off pole is being prepared. This will remove the terminal pole from track centre and relocate to a location where it would not be foul of a railed train. It is expected that his design will also be considered for the terminal pole at Johnsonville Station.
Related Investigation(s)