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  • RIGHTheadlamp Front Cover Photo: Network RailWelcome to Issue 3 of What is OFG? Right Track is sponsoredRight Track, the rail industry’s by the Operations Focus Group (OFG), whoseoperational safety magazine. meetings are attended by operational heads and specialists from across the rail industry. By workingSignallers have a huge burden of responsibility, four trains an hour; the other juggles ten trains together, it helps everyoneensuring the safe passage of some 30,000 at once in the busy world of York IECC. Both make improvements totrains, their drivers, crew, passengers and share the same dedication and professionalism, safety by sharing thingsfreight across 21,000 miles of railway every and both are aware of the effects their actions and running joint initiativesday. One slip can lead to delays, collisions, can have on each other, on colleagues, track – including this magazine.derailments – or death. Even when signallers staff, passengers and hauliers. Find out morehandle the pressure and get everything right, on page 4.they’ll often be the first to see things gowrong, reacting as fast as technology allows Elsewhere, we look at the Polmont accidentto minimise the problem: replacing signals of 1984, in which 13 people were killed whento red because of a landslide, trespasser or a push-pull train struck a cow on the line – an accident whose lessons have been made more Contentsderailment, changing points to divert runawaysand instigating emergency procedures in the pertinent by a fatal accident in Germany during 2-3 // Headlamp / How’s January and a collision and derailment near my driving?wake of an accident. Letterson Junction in July. 4-7 // Thinking insideMake no bones about it, signallers are a vital the boxpart of our operation and their dedication is We also feature the runaway trolley incident 8-9 // The hidden risksparamount to our safety and efficiency. The at Haslemere in September last year and a on the road / Afact that their slips are rare is a testament to summary of RAIB’s report into the incident at reminder that stickstheir professionalism. King’s Cross in October, in which a passenger / Lowdown was caught in the closing doors of a train and 10-11 // RAIB report brief:Signal boxes vary from traditional lever frame dragged along the platform. trapped andinstallations to the latest integrated electronic draggedcontrol centres (IECC), which use modern RMT safety man Paul Clyndes is our lowdown interviewee, while SPADtalk takes a look at 12-13 // One trolley,technology to control movements over longer SOYSPADs. It’s all here, and much more, in no signalstretches of the railway. In this issue of RightTrack, we feature an interview with two your Right Track. If you’ve got feedback or a 14-15 // Day of the cattlesignallers from the York area: one works at possible story, get in touch at Back Page // SPADtalkPoppleton, a mechanical box that handles righttrack@rssb.co.uk.Right Track is produced by RSSB through cross-industry cooperation. It is designed for the people on the operational front-line Right Track can beon the national mainline railway, yards depots and sidings and London Underground. Their companies are represented on the downloaded from Opsweb -cross-industry Operations Focus Group, managed through RSSB, and Right Track is overseen by a cross-industry editorial group. www.opsweb.co.uk RSSB Block 2 Angel Square 1 Torrens Street London EC1V 1NY Tel 020 3142 5300 Email righttrack@rssb.co.uk www.rssb.co.uk www.opsweb.co.uk Designed and printed by Urban Juice / Willsons Group Services.Right Track is designed to share news and views from individual companies in a positive way. However, the views expressed in Right Track are those of the contributing authors; theydo not necessarily reflect those of the companies to which they are affiliated or employed, the editors of this magazine, the magazine’s sponsors - the Operations Focus Group - or themagazine’s producers, RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board).02 //
  • Award winning how’s my driving? Southern’s new driver competency management system has been highly commended at the recent Modern Railways 2012 Innovations Awards. The system, dubbed CHURROS, uses assessments and this commendation ‘black box’ on-train monitoring and recognises the value of this innovative recording equipment to check driver system.’ performance and identify long-term trends. For the first time, drivers can be assessed CHURROS replaces the existing outside the training room, and be given cumbersome and time-consuming good quality feedback. manual analysis of information snapshots downloaded from data recorders. It Simon Green, Southern’s Chief Engineer, also leads to the opportunity to reduce said: ‘I am delighted that our work to costs and increase the effectiveness of improve driver performance has been driver competency and performance recognised at the awards. Significant management. amounts of time, money and effort are invested in driver training and competence Photo: Southern Don’t stay silent, talk to the rail industry’s confidential reporting system WHAT IS CIRAS?CIRAS is an alternative way for rail industry staff toreport safety concerns confidentially. If you’ve triedcompany channels, or don’t feel that you can, CIRAS offers another way of reporting. WHO CAN REPORT?CIRAS is available to anyone who works in the rail in-dustry, whether you’re operational staff, office based, on-site, trackside, overground or underground. Freephone 0800 4 101 101 Freepost CIRAS “Confidentiality has never b Text 07507 285887 www.ciras.org.uk // 03
  • thinkinginside the box Rugby Signalling Control Centre Photo: Network RailToday’s railway is signalled by a range oftechnologies, from Victorian mechanics to modernIT, but the people are as important as ever, asRight Track was reminded recently.Greg MorseOperational Feedback Specialist, RSSBPulling in to York on a bright summer and new inventions came in to keep pace European Rail Traffic Management Systemmorning, I was thinking of thanking the with the growing complexity of the task. (ERTMS), which has been in operation ondriver for our ‘right time’ arrival. But the Cambrian Line in Wales since Octoberrailways are teamwork, and the track In particular, innovations like track circuits, 2010. Add the in-cab signalling system inmaintenance crew and train planners colour light signals and AWS helped use on High Speed 1, and that makes sixare just as much to thank for my smooth increase line capacity and significantly different systems interfacing and workingpassage as the man or woman in the reduce the chance of a SPAD. The latest together on one network.cab. So too is the signaller, whose advances have seen the introduction ofvigilance not only helps ensure we get Route Relay and Solid State Interlocking Within these wallswhere we want to go when we want to and Integrated Electronic Control Centres (IECCs), which can cover much wider areas York has a grand and impressive railwayget there, but safely too. than a traditional mechanical box. pedigree, but today I ignored thePlatform starter magnificent train shed and the temptation Yet railways do not happen, they evolve, of the National Railway Museum, sneakedIn the early nineteenth century, signallers which is why the network now includes through an unassuming gate and was metwere railway policemen, responsible for a range of signalling technology – from by Local Operations Manager (LOM) Ianguarding against trespass and theft, as well nineteenth-century semaphores and 1930s Carroll, who was to be my escort and guideas keeping trains a safe distance apart. At colour light signals to 1960s multi-aspect for the next few hours.first, hand signals and time interval working colour lights and 1980s radio electricwere enough, but as services increased, the token block equipment. At the newestpolice and signalling roles were separated end of the signalling spectrum is the04 //
  • Signalling RED 22: Safety Critical Communications Signallers, drivers and other safety critical staff rely on having the right communication between each other, to establish a common understanding of a situation. This isJim Boyle especially important during degradedAfter checking in at the IECC, we set off for What seems like a normal day can often working.Poppleton, a small village on the outskirts take an unexpected turn, and the signal Shortly after 09:00 on 10 May 2008,of the walled city, boasting beautiful box is no place for complacency – even a barrier failed at Widdrington levelbrick houses and an old tithe barn. But when, like Jim, you only deal with four crossing near Morpeth on the EastPoppleton has something else, something trains an hour. ‘When everything’s running Coast Main Line. The barriers had athat few other rural areas have got these perfect, this is the best job in the world,’ he history of being unreliable and weredays: a railway station. Opened in 1848, agrees. ‘But when something goes wrong, due for replacement.the single line on which it sits sees a steady you need to know what you’re doing, so The barrier failing to rise confusedstream of services shuttle between York that you can sort it out and keep everything early-morning motorists, who wereand Harrogate. And passenger numbers moving.’ zig-zagging over the crossing againstare rising – so much so that the local bus ‘I was taught to “look twice, think twice and the lights. The signaller asked for aservice has been cut back due to lack of act once”, and that’s what I always try to MOM to attend to manage the trafficdemand. do,’ he adds. and control the crossing manually.Local bobby Poor safety critical communications ‘Last week, the token machine failed. It between the signaller and the MOMOn duty this morning is Jim Boyle, who locked everyone in, so I had to get Ian out led to a misunderstanding aboutjoined Network Rail eight years ago, moving to be pilotman (basically to be a human when the next train was due withto Poppleton from Scunthorpe in search of token). That let us maintain a safe service the result that a fast train very nearlyfresh challenges. ‘I saw the job advertised – which is what it’s all about. After all, a collided with road traffic on thein the paper and immediately liked the late train from me can cause bigger delays interface.sound of it,’ he says. ‘I also knew a couple at York – with all the problems of missedof lads who worked for the railway and they connections and disgruntled passengers This incident is covered as atold me it was a good industry to work for.’ – not to mention the charges we rack up reconstruction in RED 22. when trains are late and it’s “our fault”, so to speak.’ We know what we’re doing in this The box itself is a similar mixture of old and job, we know each other and we I ask if Jim had been glad of Ian’s company, new, with its traditional token machine and get on with it. seeing how he works the box alone. ‘I block bells sitting alongside the TRUST know what you mean,’ he says. ‘But I computer and interface with York IECC – Jim Boyle, signaller, which also has a block bell linking it back consider myself very much part of a team. Poppleton SB to Poppleton. It’s a system that might fox We all work well together on this line, often standing in for each other if someone needs other industries, but it works well and willStanding in his elegant wooden signal box, bit of leave. We’re like a family, really. It’s a go on working well until the signalling isJim smiles as he tells me his story – a story question of respect.’ upgraded.which started with a Cat B SPAD in his ‘Some have worked here for thirty-odd A beat on said bell breaks our mood, andfirst week, but has seen little out-of-course years,’ he goes on. ‘Others are new starters Jim springs into action. After answeringsince. ‘Mind you, that doesn’t mean I can and graduates. To me, the graduates are the ‘call attention’ and acknowledging therest on my laurels,’ he says. ‘I have to make a fresh pair of eyes. I know we need to train description, he sets a small timer. Thissure I’m well rested, alert and ready for the remember the old ways, but we need to will go off when he needs to start openingchallenges the shift might bring just like any keep up with new technology too. If we the station crossing gates. It’s a methodother signaller.’ didn’t, we’d soon get left behind.’ used throughout the branch, but the road // 05
  • RED 27: Fatigue Signallers have to be well-rested and well-focussed, as the movement of trains (and the people in them) is in their hands.Jenna Oldroyd On the evening of 27 Septemberthrough Poppleton is a main route for the only ever had one gent complain to me 2009, a collision nearly occurredemergency services, and more than once about a late train. But even he came and at Newhaven Harbour when twoJim has needed to make a judgement call apologised the next day! Usually, if you let passenger services travelling inon which thoroughfare to hold open. ‘You people know what’s going on as soon as opposite directions came face tocan hear the sirens coming,’ he says. ‘But you can, they’ll understand.’ face on the Down line to Seaford.with the timer, I can let the road traffic Fortunately, because one trainkeep moving as long as possible – which is Jim has become a real part of this community – as much as the vicar, was stationary and the other wasespecially important when an ambulance is travelling very slowly, an actualon the way.’ publican, or local policeman. But where next? What’s the next challenge? ‘I quite collision was avoided and no oneThe timer rings, Jim pulls off, unlocks the fancy York IECC, or maybe management. was hurt.gates, gets the token for the section ahead I’d definitely miss the railway family – the The signaller responsible had justand sets off for the crossing. ‘You walk drivers, the guards, the other signallers, the signed on for a twelve-hour shift,6,000 steps a shift on days,’ he grins. passengers – but I know that, whatever but was not properly rested. His‘10,000 on lates!’ comes along, I’ll be ready.’ neighbours had kept him awake and he had slept for only five hours.The train arrives and Jim exchanges tokens Panel beaterand pleasantries with the driver before As a result, he failed to observe theheading back to the box to put the details Ian and I get back to York IECC, where ‘normal detection N’ indicator, eveninto TRUST. ‘From my point of view,’ he Jenna Oldroyd is coming to the end of her having replacing the points lever toexplains, ‘the computer lets me see exactly shift. Like Jim, she’s worked on the railway normal in the frame. The signallerwhere the train is. It just gives me that extra for about eight years. Starting in admin, she was then unable to move signalsbit of time than the “call attention” from the progressed to a box on the same branch out of the frame to allow trains tonext box.’ before moving to York. ‘I had to decide proceed but reported it as a fault, where I wanted my signalling career to go,’ again without checking the pointsI ask if there’s ever any trouble with she explains, ‘and it took a lot of hard work indicator.impatient motorists – a known problem in and effort to get to the level of the IECC.other parts of the country, and one which It’s a fantastic, but very competitive, place This led to him permitting trains tohas been the subject of much industry to work.’ pass signals at danger, but ultimatelyeffort. ‘Not here,’ he insists. ‘Most of our with two trains travelling on the sameusers are locals. They all know me and line in opposite directions. The driver My job is all about constantly of the Seaford-bound train stoppedknow I’ll get the gates open for them as trying your best and making bold 75 yards from the train opposite,soon as I can. I did have a couple of people decisions. which was standing in Platform 1 atwho thought they’d open as soon as thetrain passed, but when I explained that I Seaford station. Jenna Oldroyd, signaller,can’t unlock them until it gets beyond a York IECC This incident is covered in acertain point, they were fine.’ reconstruction in RED 27.It’s clear that Jim has great respect for Jenna then takes me through the signallingpeople using the line, often passing on process – 21st century style. Her eyes scaninformation about delays to drivers and the bank of screens, setting routes and steps ahead of the trains.’guards. He also takes a pride in keeping noting delays, as she explains the ins andpassengers directly informed, and has been outs of the system. ‘Some people think ‘One of the problems of the IECC is that weknown to don his hi-viz before heading that ARS – Automatic Route Setting – is can’t go and talk to passengers and driversdown the platform to put waiting travellers doing the job for us, but more often than like Jim – we’re a bit isolated. That said,in the picture. ‘I know a lot of the regulars not we have to override the system, putting it’s easier to deal with the constant flow ofpersonally of course,’ he says, ‘though I divergences in to keep the traffic moving. services in an enclosed environment likecan get on with most people. In fact, I’ve It’s like playing chess – keeping one or two this.’06 //
  • SignallingOn average, the IECC signals around 1700 pass it on to the operating company fortrain movements a day, and between 300 assessment.’and 500 a shift, depending on which ofthe seven workstations you’re rostered to ‘I can’t let the train proceed until Controlwork on. This means Jenna can be dealing has given permission, but I can move it towith up to ten different trains at any one a more convenient location so that it isn’ttime, along with all the additional shunt blocking the line – as long as the driver’smovements and line blockage requests happy to make the movement, it won’t takethat are a natural part of a busy section of the train past another red and I can actuallyrailway like this one. “Multi-tasking” doesn’t set the route!’begin to describe it, yet all this activity, all In a busy rail centre like York, these eventsthis concentration, doesn’t mean Jenna are all about strategizing at speed.spends her shifts in silence. ‘If I can’t move the train that’s passed‘On the Harrogate branch, you could go a the signal at danger,’ Jenna continues,whole session without speaking,’ she says. ‘I’ll divert as many services around it as‘At the IECC, we share a lot of good ideas possible – which means I need to know theand best practice in real time. Learning how track layout very well indeed, otherwise Isomeone else dealt with something helps might find the flank protection for the routeus all to remain on the front foot instead of I’ve set blocks another move I might wish tothe back foot when it happens again.’ Photo: ATOC make later.’‘Mind you, I still like to go out on my “spare” With such a wide area under her control, ‘I also have to ask myself if I’m makingdays to work on the branch again. It helps every day is different for Jenna. ‘We tend to matters worse – the wrong decision couldkeep my knowledge of smaller boxes in have more different types of problem than make twice the number of passengers late,shape. It’s like coming home – I love it,’ she on the branch,’ she says. ‘I had a points which can cause problems for on train staffsmiles. ‘We all respect what each other failure just before you got here and a couple – people expect to be on time and oftendoes – after all, without Jim and the guys, of weeks ago we had two landslides. It take it out on the conductor or cateringthe Harrogate trains would never get as far means we need to keep up to speed with assistant when they’re not. We’re alwaysas our panel!’ a lot of different rules. You have to be aware that our actions can affect many confident that what you’re about to do people in many different ways. Learning to offers the safest, least time-consuming way adapt and prioritise are key skills.’ of solving whatever’s just come your way.’ Human error Grabbing a coffee in the mess room, the ‘One false move and it doesn’t take long subject turns to engineering work. ‘There’s The dangers of making a mistake for trains to back up and delay minutes to pretty much something going on “on the in the hectic IECC environment rack up,’ she adds, echoing Jim’s comment ground” all the time,’ she nods. ‘Take my were highlighted in August, when earlier in the day. points failure this morning. I have to assess a member of the public reported a I ask what it’s like when a SPAD occurs. what happened before I report it, and near miss between a road vehicle ‘The first we know about it is a flashing and then protect the area – the chance of a and a passenger train at a remotely audible alarm on the panel. That puts you run-through or derailment is greater when monitored user-worked crossing. on your toes straight away. You can’t afford a set of points goes down. But when the The crossing had only recently been to panic, though – if you did, you could guys get down there to sort it out, I have placed under the control of an IECC cause all kinds of problems out there. to protect them, as well as keeping the workstation. The signaller thought the traffic moving. If I can get a workaround to new indication on the display meant After the alarms, the driver will call in from minimise delay – even if it’s more work for the protecting signals had been the signal post telephone. me – then I will.’ replaced, so they gave permission for the crossing to be used. In fact, the ‘It’s my job to make sure I get the As she escorts me back to the main gates, indication meant that the signals had information I need from them about what I ask Jenna what she’d like to do next. ‘I’d just been released and that the train happened and why,’ Jenna explains. ‘I like to be a LOM – that’s a great challenge, had not passed clear. also send my opinion on the driver’s fitness but one which lets me use the skills I’ve to continue to Route Control, who will gained here at York and out on the branch.’ My train departs – ‘right time’ again. I think of Jim and Jenna and relax back into my There’s a range of signalling resources on Opsweb, nge of signal ling ing the seat, safe in the knowledge that my journey ’s a ra includ There psweb resour ce including Network Rail’s Professional Signallers’ s on O ignalle rs’ hand book. is good hands. Therl S a ionae’s ra Profess Handbook. Log on at resource nge of sig s on Opsw nalling Professio eb includ nal Signall ing the Thanks to Tim Ballance, Ian Carroll, www.opsweb.co.uk ers’ hand book. Jenna Oldroyd and Jim Boyle. // 07
  • a reminder thatthe hidden riskon the road sticks Paul Dixon Network Rail Seasons Delivery Specialist, Wessex RouteThe rail industry is taking a closer look. Traction Gel Applicators (TGAs) are trackside devices which lay a small amount of Traction Gel (also known asWe’d probably rather let the train take Prevention of Accidents calculates that ‘U5’ or ‘Alleviate’). Traction Gel is madethe strain than suffer a traffic jam on the ‘after deep sea fishing and coal mining, up of sand in a suspension agent, whichroad. But that’s not just about loyalty driving 25,000 miles a year on business makes it stick to the railhead. It’s a bitto our own industry: the truth is train is the most life-threatening activity we like the fluid laid by railhead treatmenttravel’s also 20 times safer than going undertake - more dangerous than working trains, but has no steel shot in it.by car. in construction’. A TGA is a grey trackside box about theHowever, many of us still drive cars, vans The rail industry as a whole is now taking size of a washing machine. Power usuallyand lorries as part of normal, everyday life, a closer look at the issue, including getting comes from a solar panel, while a serieseither to get to and from work, or as part some reliable data to work out the size and of pipes link the device with the four-foot.of the working day travelling between sites, scale of the problem. There is currently no There are spreaders attached to each railoffices and depots. This could apply to requirement for contractors to record road which place Traction Gel onto the wheel-train drivers, track workers, contractors and safety incidents on the reporting systems contact patch on the railhead, a pumpengineering staff who may need to travel managed by RSSB, and even though helping to force it through.from job to job early in the day or late at there’s an obligation for rail companies tonight, depending on the task in hand. do so, many would admit that a number of The machine is activated by a magnetic incidents go unreported.  wheel sensor attached to a rail ahead ofAll this poses a hazard, the potential size of the TGA location. It is set up to deliver awhich has only been recognised relatively RSSB is also co-ordinating some research certain amount of Traction Gel in relationrecently. Workforce safety has seen and running workshops to establish what to the wheels passing over the sensor. Inpositive trends, but two road traffic collision shared improvements could be made. Next most circumstances, this will be a smallfatalities were recorded for the rail industry steps are to produce an industry survey amount that will only coat the wheel andin 2010/11. during the autumn to gain more detailed railhead. The gel should not be running into information and views from a variety of the four-foot, down the web of the rail or There are likely to be at least 20,000 companies.  road vehicles linked to the rail accumulating at the foot of the rail. industry.  Another project aims to bring together existing research in the road sectorOf course, this isn’t just an issue for and will highlight good practice aboutmotorists working on the railways: road effective ways of identifying fatigue whendriving safety affects almost everyone and driving, how to recognise the warningevery sector: in 2011, 1,901 people were signs and employees’ relevant rights andkilled on the roads - a 3% increase on responsibilities.2010, and the first increase since 2003. Look out for the survey this autumn, A recent study of CIRAS reports and if you have issues you want has also highlighted the concerns to raise about road vehicle safety of staff who drive for work in the in your own role, talk to your rail industry, with journey times and colleagues, line manager, or in fatigue being common themes. confidence to CIRAS. You can also More information can be found in provide feedback on this article to The Reporter issue 42 produced by TGAs are usually sited in braking areas at Right Track: righttrack@rssb.co.uk CIRAS at www.ciras.org.uk locations where stopping or starting has previously been an issue, or at locationsCurrently, five people die on Britain’s that are considered ‘high-risk’. Theyroads every day. The Royal Society for the are used in addition to normal railhead08 //
  • The lowdown The activities of RMT-accredited health and safety reps are therefore an integral part of the effort the industry puts in to building a safer railway – something to which the RMT is committed. How long have you worked for the railway? Thirty-seven years ago I applied for a summer job on the permanent way at Doncaster. As soon as I entered the room for my colour vision test, which was part of the medical, I knew I was destined nevertreatment, which may take the form of Rail to work on the railway! The many rail unionHead Treatment Trains (RHTTs) or Multi- The lowdown: representatives I’ve come across in the 13 years that I’ve worked for the rail unions PaulPurpose Vehicles (MPVs). have given me a thorough grounding inThe placing of TGAs at locations is usually railway operations without letting me takedecided by Network Rail in consultation charge of anything that might affect the Clyndeswith the TOCs and FOCs. This is done safety of the railways!whilst comparing the locations againstprevious reported incidents and risk-ranked You must’ve seen a few changes sinceconflict points like the approaches to then:stations and the protecting signals for level Name: Paul Clyndes For me, the key message to get acrosscrossings and junctions. TGAs may also to employers is that union-organisedbe located at the bottom of inclines where Position: Health and Safety Officer, workplaces are safer than those without atrains might have trouble getting traction. RMT trade union presence. If your organisation’sThe distance that the TGA is positioned Describe a typical day for you: safer the overall costs of your operationfrom the signal or station may vary from will be lower. Thankfully, some employerslocation to location, depending on various One of the best things about my job is are beginning to understand the benefits oflocal factors, such as line speed and train that there’s no such thing as a typical having collaborative working relationshipstype. day. My most important role is providing with the trades unions, but a wider support and information to our health understanding of this would lead to greater and safety reps, who do the real work change, better safety and lower operating Traction Gel Applicators are, by of protecting RMT members in their costs across the board. their nature, quite simple devices. day-to-day work. I do a whole range of However, there are numerous issues activities for the Union and its members, Where do you see the railway in five that can affect their normal running, ranging from everyday administrative years’ time? which – in the autumn – can be tasks to meetings with Government serious. Some key checks can Nationalised! Ministers and railway colleagues in make sure that these machines are the European Union. I report directly In ten? kept running reliably throughout the to the Union’s General Secretary and season: Senior Assistant General Secretary Still nationalised! • Is the hopper at least 50% full of and therefore represent one of the best ways for workers’ views on health and Finally, describe your most memorable traction gel? safety to be heard. railway experience: • Are the batteries charged and / Eighteen months ago, I was fortunate You’re a key member of the or charging via the solar panel? enough to be part of a European Trade industry’s Operations Focus Group. What does that involve? Union delegation to visit the Zaragoza • Is the spreader applying a small control centre for the Madrid–Barcelona line amount of gel directly to the I see the main role of OFG as looking at and then to have a cab ride back to Madrid: railhead? the risks to railway workers, passengers 650km of track and 160 trains every day! and others and then devising ways It’s a total contrast with the lack of vision re • Is gel leaking from the spreader to control those risks at a strategic the benefits of investment in high speed rail or the hoses? level. We need to understand the risks that seems to blight the UK! involved for each particular group and establish the controls necessary toThe photos of TGAs in this article appear bykind permission of Railmet, www.railmet.eu reduce them. What the RMT brings to the table is the views of railway workers. // 09
  • RAIB report brief:trapped and draggedAn incident at King’s Cross in October 2010 provided moreopportunities to tackle the platform-train interface dilemma.Imagine the terror of being caught in or five who don’t intend to travel. Another up, forcing the woman to start runningthe doors of a moving train, a train passenger runs onto the platform behind alongside. The dispatcher can now seewhich shows no signs of stopping. her. The dispatcher sees the runner and is what’s happening but has no way ofImagine running alongside, running out satisfied that everyone wanting to join the stopping the train. The passenger finallyof platform, as you desperately try to train knows the doors are soon to close. pulls her fingers free when the train hasremove your hand from the door seals’ travelled a seemingly endless 20 metres.vice-like grip. The dispatcher operates the ‘CD’ control; the driver responds by working the ‘door She’s given first aid by staff and catchesIn May, the Rail Accident Investigation close’ controls in the cab. The hussle another train, although she later goes toBranch (RAIB) published its report into alarms sound and the doors start to slide. hospital for treatment to her fingers.a similar incident that occurred at King’sCross in October 2010. Our passenger – a regular King’s Cross commuter – hears the alarm, but thinks it’s RED 28 covered the risks at theWhat happened? coming from a train in the next platform platform-train interface. Copies (which normally leaves a minute before the are still available from RSSB –It is 17:50, and a dispatcher is walking Royston). It isn’t. It’s her own train. In haste, contact susan.cassidy@rssb.co.ukalong Platform 9. The waiting First Capital she tries to enter the nearest set of doors, for details.Connect (FCC) service to Royston is due but she isn’t quick enough. Her fingers getout in three minutes. He reaches the half- trapped. She thinks the doors’ll open againway point and looks back along the train. – like lift doors do – but they don’t…Passengers are hurrying with bags andcases, just like they do every day. About 20 The dispatcher sees that the doors areseconds before departure time, while some shut. He also sees the passenger, but onlyare still hurrying to board, the dispatcher her head and shoulders – there are tooblows his whistle to warn that the doors are many people about. He thinks she’s in aabout to shut. safe position, and operates the ‘RA’.Around ten seconds later, a woman passes The driver notches up and the train startsthe rear of the train and heads for the to move. On board, worried passengersleading end. She follows a group of four pull the passcom, but the train speeds10 //
  • Platform-train interface Newswire... US: Freight derails, bridge collapses killing couple On 4 July 2012, a freight derailed and struck a bridge in Glenview, Illinois. Falling debris killed a couple who were driving beneath at the moment of impact. Initial investigations suggest that extreme heat had buckled the rails out of gauge. UK: Olympics: how was it for you? With transport largely heralded as a huge success, what was it like for the people on the ground? Rail staff like Network Rail travel ambassador Geeta Devgun have provided their insights onPhoto: Eversholt Rail blogs on Opsweb. See www.opsweb. co.uk for details.What did RAIB find? doors had started to close. Beneath this US: Freight train derails, was her belief that they would reopen if sheRAIB’s investigation confirmed that the leads to explosion became trapped between them.root cause of the incident was that the Early on 11 July 2012, a train carryingpassenger tried to board the train after the However, RAIB also found that the ethanol derailed in Columbus, Ohio, dispatcher did not carry out a full safety causing an explosion which injured two check before giving the ‘right away’. onlookers. The National Transportation Class 365 door seals Safety Board is investigating. RAIB also observed that, in slightly different UK: Train strikes cow near As it’s possible that the passenger circumstances, the driver’s decision to Letterson Junction, derails could have freed her fingers sooner override the passcom could have led to if alternative door edge seals At about 18:45 on 12 July 2012, a a more serious outcome. The accident two-car passenger service struck cattle had been fitted on the Class 365 therefore reinforces the need for drivers to that had got onto the line near Letterson involved, RAIB has recommended stop trains immediately if the passenger Junction. There were no reported that the design of door edge seals alarm is operated when any part of the train injuries to passengers or crew. RAIB is on Class 365s be reviewed and, is within a station. investigating. For more information on if appropriate, modified when the the train-cattle issue see pages 14 and seals are renewed as part of a mid- What’s been done? 15. life refurbishment in 2013. UK: Level crossing collision FCC intends to run another poster Class 365 door seals were also a campaign covering the risks from kills car driver factor in an accident at Huntingdon passengers trying to board trains after At 13:27 on 12 July, a passenger train on 15 February 2006. In this case, a the doors have started to close. It also struck a car at Pleasants R/G UWC. member of the public was standing proposes wider use of public address There were no reported injuries to the on the edge of the platform to wave 60 passengers and two staff on board, systems to educate passengers about the although a BTP officer confirmed that a passenger off when he became correct use of train doors. the driver of the car had been killed. trapped in the door by the edge of his coat. It has reminded existing dispatch staff that, India: Sleeper catches fire, before allowing trains to depart, they must killing 47, injuring 25 He ran, being pulled along the visually check that all closed doors are platform, before falling down the At 04:00 (local time) on 30 July 2012, free from obstruction. FCC’s trainers have a fire broke out in a sleeping car on gap between it and the train. He confirmed that this message is included in the Tamil Nadu Express as it passed sustained serious injuries to his left the training being given to new dispatchers. Nellore. Forty-seven people were killed arm and hand. as they slept; a further 25 were seriously FCC is reviewing dispatch arrangements injured. A member of station staff raised RAIB noted that a combination of and expects this review to consider whether the alarm and the train was halted. The the design of the Class 365 door burning vehicle was detached from the the RED 28 DVD should be shown to seal and the closing forces of the rest of the train to prevent the blaze dispatchers (see box). door itself allowed the coat fabric to from spreading. Initial investigations be trapped such that it could not be It has also reminded drivers that trains suggest a short circuit to be the cause. removed. must always be stopped immediately if Both the Huntingdon and King’s the passcom is operated while the train Cross reports are available on the is leaving a station. It intends to give this RAIB website: www.raib.gov.uk requirement greater prominence in driver training. // 11
  • one trolley,no signalA runaway trolley incident prompted changes to track Photo: RAIBworker safety culture.Track worker safety has improved with controller, although he didn’t make sure thatincreasing mechanisation and better its brake had been tested. He pushed the Tebayhazard awareness. Yet the Permanent trolley around 950 metres to the site of theWay can never be risk free, and vigilance track fault on the adjacent Up Main line. On 15 February 2004, a trolley withis crucial, as one COSS found when a defective brakes ran away from ahand trolley ran away near Haslemere in After the repair work had been completed, worksite near Tebay in Cumbria.Surrey. the team put their tools back on the trolley, It ran for over three miles before which the COSS then started to push back striking and killing four track workersWhat happened? towards the access point. According to and injuring five others. witnesses, he then let go of the trolley to rollEarly on 10 September 2011, a four-man up his sleeves. But the trolley continued toteam was down to repair a track fault on roll too. rail joints on the Down Main a little waythe Portsmouth line near Haslemere. The ahead. Like the engineering supervisor, theyCOSS and a colleague had applied short- Someone shouted a warning. The COSS were unaware that a trolley was headingcircuiting straps to the London ends of the turned round. towards them. Thankfully, they’d returnedsite after receiving a conductor rail permit When he turned back, the trolley had rolled to Witley station and were clear of the linefrom the engineering supervisor. They then away… before it reached the site. But it could sodrove to the Damson Cottage access point. easily have been another ‘Tebay’…When they got there, the two other Running on On the phonemembers of the team had already arrived, The COSS ran as far as Damson Cottage.having carried a trolley up to track level, When the COSS called the engineering When the others caught up, one said thatreassembled it, placed it on the Down Main supervisor to report the runaway, the ES the gradient flattened out at the next accessand partially loaded it with tools. was on his personal mobile, so he passed point, known as ‘Dog Kennel’, some 500 yards further on. The COSS resumed his his work phone to a colleague. The COSSWhen the COSS arrived, he gave a safety pursuit. was able to say that his trolley had runbriefing to the whole team. He and his away, but communication was lost beforecolleagues then carried the remaining tools Meanwhile, a two-man team had been he could pass on the details.up the steps and finished loading the trolley. carrying out grinding repairs to two weldedThe COSS assumed the role of trolley12 //
  • track worker safety Newswire...Around 20 minutes later, he texted the ES’s First ScotRail driverscompany phone to report that he’d found Bad reception stay ‘Switched On’the trolley, some 3 miles from where he’d An idea from a Helensburgh train driver RAIB noted that the poor Networklet go of it. The ES called back and told has led to First ScotRail’s ‘Switched Rail mobile phone reception in andhim to push it to Witley station, where his On’ campaign. The initiative has been around the worksite area meantcolleagues would be waiting. The trolley promoting self-awareness among that the ES was unable to establish drivers since March and roll-out acrosswas unloaded at Witley and removed from details of the incident after it had the whole of First group is planned nextthe line just before 4 am. occurred. year. It is designed to get the messageRAIB investigation out about positive safety discussion Network Rail has since installed and and sharing good practice strategiesThe incident was investigated by RAIB. commissioned a number of strategic drivers apply daily to prevent an incidentUnsurprisingly, it found the immediate lineside telephones in the areas happening to them. See www.opsweb. of poor reception for its company co.uk uk for more details.cause of the incident to be that the COSSlet go of the trolley’s brake handle and mobile phones in the Witley area. Poland: Nine killed indidn’t intervene fast enough when it started collision with minibusto run away. On 30 July 2012, nine people were consequences of forcing the brake handle killed when a passenger serviceHowever, RAIB also looked beneath in the wrong direction. struck a minibus at a level crossing inthe surface and suggested that the fact Bratoszewice. The were no reportedNetwork Rail doesn’t explicitly require a Furthermore, the trolley maintainer – Torrent injuries on board the train.hand trolley controller to test the automatic Trackside – did not withdraw the trolleys or repair the bent brake linkage, either UK: Apprentices getbrake mechanism as part of the pre-use because they didn’t realise that the linkage green light in Yorkbrake check was possibly a cause of thisrunaway. was bent, or because they didn’t think it Vital Skills Training has teamed up mattered. with York College to launch a newHowever, there are several problems programme at the Yorkshire Railsurrounding the brakes themselves. For What’s been done? Academy to teach100 rail engineering apprentices. The programme willexample, the trolley manufacturer – Wolfe Since the incident, Network Rail has support learners working on rail projectsDesigns – did not identify the risks that withdrawn all ‘trakrat’ trolleys from use across Yorkshire and the East ofwould arise if the brake linkage got bent. on its infrastructure. It has also issued England. The 17-24 year olds will learnNeither did Network Rail’s process for a new company standard to clarify the theory in the classroom, putting it intointroducing new products identify the practice on the line before working on responsibilities that surround the successful the network. introduction of new products. China: Four construction Torrent Trackside has taken steps to workers killed by toxic fumes Profile of a trolley improve the competence of its maintenance The trolley involved in the accident On 3 August, four rail workers died staff. It has also created the roles of plant in a confined space accident in the was a Wolfe Designs ‘trakrat’ standards advisor and workshop supervisor Chongqing municipality following the LT1000P (see below). Network Rail (for each depot), with the aim of making build-up of toxic fumes while they were had taken delivery of 13 LT1000Ps sure that all fitters are properly supported working on an underground section of in August 2009, following product and appropriately supervised. the new Chongqing-Chengdu high- acceptance of the ‘trakrat’ family speed line. during 2008. Network Rail is using the incident as an India: Rail site worker opportunity to promote change in its safety The trolleys in the ‘trakrat’ range crushed in crane accident culture. The Woking Maintenance delivery are equipped with disc brakes. unit, as well as those directly involved in On 9 August, a construction worker was However, their brake linkage is the incident, have shared their experiences killed at a Metro Rail site in Chennai, susceptible to damage if the brake when a 25-tonne reinforcement cage fell within the company through a campaign handle is forced in the wrong after the crane boom failed, dragging of articles in the internal press, on the the victim down into an excavation. direction. company’s intranet and through safety briefings. UK: Anglers struck near Cruach Snow Shed As a learning point from this incident, RAIB On 14 August, a Glasgow service struck has also identified that companies should two people near Cruach Snow Shed, have effective processes for making sure between Corrour and Rannoch. On man their staff are made aware of changes in the (in his fifties) was slightly injured; the Rule Book which are relevant to the work other (in his eighties) sustained severe they perform. leg injuries. It later transpired that they had trespassed onto the railway in order to access a local lake for fishing. // 13
  • day of thecattle A stretch of railway in the foothills of the San Joaquin Valley in California, USA, where cattle ranching is common.Recent and historic accidents are a reminder of bothcrucial improvements to train crashworthiness andthe importance of reporting animals on or near theline that could pose a problem.Greg MorseOperational Feedback Specialist, RSSBAround 850 cases of large animals on 30 July 1984: a summer afternoon stopped sooner, put down detonators,the line are reported each year in Britain. shattered used track circuit clips and phoned theBar the Polmont accident of 1984, none signaller. But it was ok, there was nohave led to a passenger fatality in a train It’s shortly after 17:45 and an Edinburgh danger…accident. Sadly, not everyone is so lucky, express has slowed to 30 mph, thanksas a recent incident in Germany has to restrictive aspects just beyond Falkirk. At about 17:55, another driver slowsshown Routine stuff – frustrating, yes – but his train for a double yellow. What he routine…until, that is, the driver catches a sees on the line ahead, he can hardlyOn 13 January 2012, a Hamburg-bound glimpse of a cow from the corner of his eye. believe – a cloud of dust and what he’dpush-pull service, working driving trailer- The beast has got itself up the bank, and is describe to the accident investigator asfirst, struck a herd of cattle and derailed. doing what cows do best – chewing grass. a coach ‘somersaulting into the air with a twisting movement’. His emergencyOne passenger was killed, and the driver When the train stops at Polmont a couple brake application undoubtedly preventedand one further passenger were injured. of minutes later, the driver tells his assistant a secondary collision, undoubtedly saved to inform the station staff. As the assistant lives. But thirteen had already been lost.For DB, the accident raised questions crosses the platform, a train thunders byabout the resistance of the driving trailer on the adjacent line. If the cow had actuallyto collisions and the fencing of main lines. been on the track, or if there’d been aFor us, the obvious question is ‘have we whole herd on the bank, the driver would’velearned from Polmont?’14 //
  • Animals on the lineWhat happened? capability, meaning that they provide more complete protection along the length of theAfter the Linlithgow stop, the 17:30 train. Indeed, the superior crashworthinessEdinburgh–Glasgow reached 85 mph as of the Pendolino was confirmed by theit passed Polmont Signal Box and began high-speed derailment at Grayrigg into take the gentle curve into the cutting February 2007. Here, the train left the rails,beyond. The driver, controlling the train with the leading vehicle heading down anfrom the DBSO, could see a cow on the embankment before turning end-for-end.line ahead. He rammed on the emergency Yet the train itself did not disintegrate andbrake, but it was too late… its carriages generally stayed intact. One passenger died, and 26 passengers, theThe DBSO hit the cow and dragged its driver and another crew member werecarcass along before the leading left-hand seriously injured. But these figures wouldwheel flange lifted, causing it to ride the surely have been much higher had an oldertop of the rail. When the right-hand wheel train been involved.lost purchase, the coach clattered alongthe sleepers before it struck the cess rail,turned on its side and veered up the bank.The power of the forward momentum,coupled with that of the Class 47 pushingfrom the rear, caused the DBSO to slide,twist and collide with the side of the thirdcoach, which had run past it. The second Associated Newspapers / Rex Featurescoach was pushed up the opposite sideof the cutting, its tail having been struck, the way damage was reported, addingcausing it to divide from the train and turn that ‘where push-pull operation is to beend for end. Aside from the fatalities, 14 introduced, improvements to fencingpassengers and three crew were seriously must be considered as part of the routeinjured – including the driver. development’. He also recommended the Another key recommendation Rule Book be changed to make sure large from the Polmont accident was The first six months of 2012 saw animals within the boundary fence were the need for driver-to-shore radio roughly the same number of treated ‘as an immediate danger to trains’. communication, which had only incidents of large animals getting Focus then fell on the DBSO. been thought necessary for trains on the line as the first six months of travelling at 100 mph and over. King noted that, while ‘push-pull’ operation 2011 (400, against 361). This led to the introduction of Cab was safe (and had been in operation at Secure Radio (CSR) from 1986. However, there have been almost 90mph on the Southern since the 60s), twice as many cases of these it could be made safer, particularly in CSR is being superseded by animals being struck by trains (87, view of the fact that the DBSOs in use GSM-R, whose rollout is due for against 45). on the Scottish Region were light of axle. completion in 2014. Modifications were made to the vehicles It is too early to say if this is a – including fitting obstacle deflectors and significant trend. DBSOs continued in service in Scotland headlights. Weighting at the front end was until displaced by second generation diesel also improved – a lesson that was carried multiple units in the late 1980s. They were forward to the later Mk III and Mk IV drivingWhy and what then? cascaded to the Great Eastern Main Line, van trailers (DVTs), which are still in use where they worked until withdrawal in 2006.Major King of Her Majesty’s Railway today. Five were bought by Network Rail for useInspectorate (HMRI) presented his report The HMRI also banned the carriage of with its measurement trains.into Polmont during February 1985. passengers in driving trailers at speeds From our 21st-century perspective, weKing concluded that there was a chance above 100 mph – which is why the Mark can say we have learned the lessons fromelement in the derailment itself, as a specific III and IV DVTs are designated parcel Polmont – our trains are safer, our radiopart of the cow had to have been struck at vehicles. Yet this idea was challenged after systems better and our rules tighter. But,a specific moment, on a specific trajectory, privatisation by designs like the Voyagers as the collision near Letterson Junction onto lift the wheel with sufficient force to and Pendolinos, which both include 12 July reminded us, fences can still bederail the train. But the cow had accessed passenger accommodation in the leading breached, cows can still get on the line andthe line via a vandalised fence near a level vehicles. However, these trains have still get struck by trains.crossing, so King recommended a review weighted nose ends, a stronger bodyshell,of the way fences were inspected, and rigid couplers and improved bogie retention Don’t let errant beasts be someone else’s burden – report them when you see them. // 15
  • SPADtalkStarting on yellowRush hour on the morning of 15 February 2010, after which they fell away – and2010, and a long-distance service sets off continue to do so.from Halle, on the outskirts of Brussels.The driver notches up expecting a clearrun, but forgets that the signal before the Most SOYSPADs in Britain occurstation stop had been yellow. The next when traffic is at its height, climbingone is just 335 metres ahead. It is red. The during the morning peak and againtrain passes it at 60 km/h and continues in the evening.to accelerate.Suddenly, the driver sees a commuter Yet it would be wrong to assume that they Trains without DRAs have to rely ontrain crossing his path. He sounds the aren’t ever going to be a problem – as the the driver’s own in-built systems! Somehorn several times and applies the Belgian collision has shown, it only takes drivers, for example, like to talk toemergency brake. He’s too late: nineteen one SOYSPAD to make a collision. themselves. This isn’t as daft as it sounds,people are killed and 79 are injured in the as telling yourself that the next signal iscollision. Remember not to forget red reinforces it in your mind and can helpAmong other things, the resulting Many modern trains have a ‘driver stop you SPADding.investigation suggested that the station reminder appliance’ (DRA), which is a Greater Anglia has developed a similarstop caused the driver to forget that he’d manual means of bringing the next (red) technique, called ‘Press and Call’, whichpassed a cautionary aspect, and that the signal into the cab. If used correctly, involves a driver calling out the signalnext signal would therefore be red. it can be an excellent way of avoiding aspect after cancelling an AWS warning. SOYSPADs where a train pulls up at aSPADs like this, which occur when a driver See Opsweb for details of this and many station without a platform starter, havingstarts off a yellow signal, are known as other ways to beat SPADs. passed a yellow in rear.SOYSPADs. In Britain, they seemed tofollow the total SPAD count until August SPADcount There were 23 Cat A SPADs in July 2012, which is the third lowest July on record. There were 135 Cat As between 1 January 2012 and 31 July – 16 fewer than the same period in 2011. RIGHT Right Track is available to download from Opsweb - righttrack@rssb.co.uk www.opsweb.co.uk