Rail safety legislation

The Rail Safety (Local Operations) Act 2006 establishes a regulatory scheme 'to provide for safe rail operations in Victoria'.

The objects of the Act focus on the safety of local rail operations, management of safety risks, continuous improvement in local rail safety management, public confidence in the safety of local rail transport and appropriate stakeholder involvement.

Following the commencement of the national rail safety scheme in Victoria on 19 May 2014, the Rail Safety (Local Operations) 2006 now only applies to the tram network, as well as the following tourist and heritage railway operators—

  • Yarra Valley Railway (Healesville)
  • Red Cliffs Historical Steam Railway
  • Alexandra Timber Tramway & Museum
  • The Central Highlands Tourist Railway (operating as Daylesford Spa Country Railway)
  • South Gippsland Tourist Railway
  • Castlemaine & Maldon Railway Preservation Society (operating as Victorian Goldfields Railway)
  • Walhalla Goldfields Railway
  • Melbourne Tramcar Preservation Society (Haddon)
  • Ballarat Tramway Museum
  • Bendigo Tramways
  • Portland Cable Tramway.

Key elements of the regulatory scheme are:

  • performance-based safety duties, applying to a broad range of parties that can affect rail safety outcomes
  • an accreditation scheme for key rail industry operational parties
  • a requirement that rail operators have a safety management system in place
  • a broad range of sanctions and penalties
  • cost benefit protections against excessive action by the regulator
  • alcohol and drug controls on rail safety workers
  • provision to make codes of practice to guide regulated parties.

For more information, please visit the Transport Safety Victoria website.