Right Track Issue 1


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Right Track Issue 1

  2. 2. RIGHTheadlamp What is OFG?Welcome to Right Track, Right Track is sponsoredthe rail industry’s new by OFG – but what is OFG? OFG stands for Operations Focus Group, whoseoperational safety magazine. meetings are attended by operational heads and specialists from across the rail industry. By workingRight Track is for: drivers, signallers, shunters, by commenting on why we’ve been doing so together, it helps everyonestation staff, managers, track workers, depot well at reducing SPADs and where the focus make improvements tostaff – anyone and everyone who plays a vital on them came from. Richard Farish also shows safety by sharing thingspart in keeping the railway going. how First Capital Connect drivers keep an eye and running joint initiatives on the situation. – including this magazine.Right Track is about sharing news, safety OFG includes Network Rail,points and good ideas; it’s about being part of Add in our mini-interview with ASLEF health train and freight operators,the whole railway network. It’s also about 20 and safety man Dave Bennett, our worldwide infrastructure maintenancepages long... news update and RAIB report summaries and companies, trades unions, you’ll be wondering how you ever did withoutStation safety has shot up the agenda as a the Office of Rail Regulation us. But the truth is, of course, that we can’tmajor issue, a fact which moved the industry to and London Underground. do without you! Right Track is signalled forform a dedicated action group. This led to the bi-directional running – it’s your magazine – sodevelopment of the Station Safety Improvement we’re just as keen to hear from you as you willProgramme. On page 4, former East Coastman turned programme manager Andy Wallace be from us… Contentstakes us through some of the work that’s If you have a story, a safety idea, a lesson 2-3 // Headlamp / safetybeen going on in this area, while Mike Carr of or initiative, get in touch! Full articles and surveysNetwork Rail shows how slips, trips and falls comments are always welcome, but so are 4-5 // No slip ups onhave been successfully cut down at Euston. leads and ideas, which our team will be only station safety too happy to follow up on your behalf.Elsewhere in this issue, Nick Edwards (DB 6-7 // Mind the gap /Schenker) gives a haulier’s perspective on Why not get on the Right Track, and contact us understandingpossessions, Paul Sutherland (Network Rail) today? duty of caredescribes a new approach to the Sectional 8-9 // Euston we had aAppendix being trialled in Wales and Greg righttrack@rssb.co.uk problemMorse (RSSB) takes a look at a collision in 10-11 // Mobile phonesCanada that raises questions about drugs and marijuanaand mobile phone use. SPAD guru Roger 12-13 // SPADtalkBadger (RSSB) kicks off his SPADtalk column 14-15 // RAIB report brief / The lowdown: Dave Bennett 16-17 // DeliveringRight Track is produced by RSSB through cross-industry cooperation. It is designed for the people on the operational front-line the goods onon the national mainline railway, yards depots and sidings and London Underground. Their companies are represented on the possessionscross-industry Operations Focus Group, managed through RSSB, and Right Track is overseen by a cross-industry editorial group. 18-19 // An alternative RSSB route to success 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 //
  3. 3. Safety surveys Newswire...Need access to up-to-date UK – 5 January: Pans down near Littleport, 2 injuredstabling point safety surveys? Two passengers were injured when part of their train’s pan assembly fell from the roof and smashed saloon windows some two miles south of Littleport.The Mechanical & Electrical Engineering specific requirements, they can be used by RAIB’s preliminary examination foundNetworking Group has produced a other railway companies – providing end that the head of the pantograph lostseries of safety surveys to provide useful users accept that they are responsible for contact with the OHLE when travellinginformation and guidance for those ensuring accuracy and for checking (before at about 80 mph through an areasetting up safe systems of work. use) that the survey meets their company blighted by high winds. requirements.After conducting a site visit, they draw up a USA – 6 January: Rear-endStabling Point Safety Survey, which includes To find the surveys, go to Opsweb - www. collision leads to injuryan accurate description of the location. opsweb.co.uk, click on railway operations/ otm operations/sidings-safety surveys and At 14:25 (local time), two freight trainsThough designed to meet the authors’ away you go! were involved in a rear-end collision near Westville, Indiana. Shortly after, a third freight – travelling on the adjacent line – struck the wreckage and derailed, causing fire and injury. Scant information about the nature of the goods being carried led to the precautionary evacuation of around 50 local homes. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. USA – 9 January: Foreman struck and killed by rail grinder A welding foreman was fatally injured Surveys can include location photographs as well as road and rail access plans. when he was struck by a rail grinder travelling at low speed in Potter County, Amarillo. The man was trying to fix a leak on the grinder when the accident Number crunch occurred. Initial investigations suggest The latest figures show that even though passenger and freight numbers keep miscommunication as a possible cause. going up and up,there’s been a general decreasing trend in the number of safety incidents and level of risk. Germany – 13 January: One killed as push-pull service strikes cattle This means that even though there are record levels of train use, the people who use and work on the railway are actually experiencing less harm, as they have One person and eight cows were been year-on-year for some time. killed when a push-pull passenger train running driving trailer-first struck a Nobody would ever dare become complacent, but it’s heartening to see the herd of cattle and derailed. Three other numbers confirm good safety performance. passengers were injured. The driver Safety performance reports can be found on Opsweb – www.opsweb.co.uk and had seen the cattle, but was unable the RSSB website www.rssb.co.uk to brake in time. The incident has led some to draw parallels with the accident at Polmont, Scotland, in 1984, in which 13 were killed when a push-pull express running driving trailer-first struck a cow Got something to share? at high speed. See the next issue of Right Track for the full story. Right Track would love to hear from you – especially if you have an initiative worth sharing with readers, or if you want to feed back on this issue. Email us on righttrack@rssb.co.uk // 03
  4. 4. no slip upson station safetyPhoto: ATOC / Paul BiglandStations are the public face of the railway –but what can we do to address the safety risks?Andy WallaceStation Safety Improvement Programme Manager, RSSBNumbers game At the same time a poignant dramatisation featured in the RED 28 DVD, soon afterStatistics show that the rail industry’s RED 28 covered the risks at the which the industry’s Operations Focussafety record has improved steadily over platform-train interface. Copies Group (OFG) formed a dedicated grouptime. We all know that a triumph can are still available from RSSB – for station safety. This in turn led tocome before a fall, so we try to avoid contact susan.cassidy@rssb.co.uk the development of the Station Safetycomplacency by keeping a close eye on for details. Improvement Programme.the numbers – from as many differentangles as possible. As its programme manager, I visited a number of station operators to find out theStation safety is a classic example, as ‘state of the nation’ in terms of complianceit was a regular RSSB stats report that with recognised standards and procedures.highlighted a rise in risk at the platform-train I also wanted to identify the many goodinterface. practice initiatives that exist within the station operator community. All the 150 million people a year use Liverpool examples I found have been uploaded to Street station in London, with 500,000 the shared Station Safety Resource Area passing through it every day, twice as many on Opsweb, which went live last year. This as Heathrow Airport, and with no separation also holds a wealth of research and other of people arriving and departing. relevant information.04 //
  5. 5. Station safetyWorkshop wonder Michael explained that one of the ideas of slip, trip and fall accidents that occur at FGW fed back to RSSB when the RIS was their managed stations.One of the best ways of getting the frontline being worked on was that more emphasisstaff perspective and promoting and was needed on the dispatch of slam- Claire Willets and Nigel Carlisle thensharing good practice is through face- door stock and that the arrival of the train provided an overview of East Midlandsto-face workshops. RSSB held one on should be considered as part of the overall Trains’ winterisation arrangements,station safety at the end of January, with platform risk control arrangements. explaining the background to thedelegates from 19 different organisations, company’s step-change approach to thisrepresenting mainline train operating Ian gave a practical example of how FGW important risk control. Early indicationscompanies, Network Rail and the Office of assessed risk during the installation of the suggest that these changes have generatedRail Regulation. new passenger deck at the ‘country end’ improvement, although further data analysis of Reading’s busy Platform 7. Hoardings will be needed before any meaningfulThe workshop featured a mixture of have been erected 3.5 metres from the comparison of year-on-year performancepresentations and targeted questions platform edge, extending for approximately could be drawn.to promote topical discussion. Its three 100 metres along the busiest part of themain sessions focused on platform-train platform. Trials found that guards often lost Delegates identified the elderly and infirm,interface risk, slips, trips and falls, and event sight of dispatch colleagues in the throngs and those under the influence of drugsmanagement/crowd control. Discussion of people making their way along the or alcohol as the most likely groups togroups considered the factors that influence hoarded area. A decision was also made experience a slip, trip or fall accident.risk in these areas, such as passenger to supplement yellow dispatch tabards Station design, signage, the provision ofdemographics, passenger behaviour and with full high-visibility orange jackets. Extra information, robust cleaning/maintenanceseasonality. Delegates were also invited dispatchers were provided to increase the regimes and the use of ‘hot spot’ mapsto share their personal experiences in number of staff dispatching slam-door to identify and prioritise high-risk locationsmanaging these factors. The workshop trains. were all cited as good practice initiativesconcluded with a tabletop station hazard- presently used to support the reduction ofspotting exercise, completed in small Outputs from the group discussion in this slip, trip and fall accidents at stations.groups. session suggest that the factors which impact most on safe passenger train Session 3: Event management andSession 1: Dispatching passenger dispatch are: crowd control – Network Railtrains safely – RSSB and First GreatWestern • The adequacy of train dispatch risk In Session 3, Peter Collins and Mike Carr assessments gave an overview of the work associatedAfter the usual donning of name badges with planning for the Olympics and theand other necessary activities, the day • A lack of clarity around individual roles challenges of managing passenger flows inbegan with John Abbott, RSSB’s Director and responsibilities busy Network Rail Managed Stations.of National Programmes, welcoming the • Passenger behaviourdelegates and introducing me. I then Peter explained that the Olympics will placegave an overview of the Station Safety Delegates fed back that these risks can significant increased demand on London’sImprovement Programme from inception to be controlled by involving staff and other transport network – by Day 7 King’s Crossdate. operators in the risk assessment process Station is expected to handle 6,000 extra and enhancing the quality of staff briefing passengers per hour during the morningThe first presentation of the day saw arrangements (for example, by using peak. In order to manage this increasedoperations specialist John Pullinger explain face-to-face briefing sessions to make passenger flow safely, forward planningthe methodology behind the introduction of staff aware of the risks that exist at each is essential. Station operators need toa new Rail Industry Standard for passenger location). Other ideas included better use of develop bespoke Customer Service Planstrain dispatch and platform safety measures signage, announcements and information to support the existing ‘business as usual’(RIS-3703-TOM). He also examined the points to address common behavioural aspect of their operation. These shouldpractical application of the standard within issues. focus on providing information, managinga TOC. Operational learning expert Greg queues and crowds, along with theMorse then took the group through the key Session 2: Managing slips, trips protection of ‘golden assets’ (like signallingfindings from several prominent passenger and falls – Virgin Trains and East equipment) to ensure infrastructureaccidents that have occurred at the Midlands Trains continuity.platform-train interface. Session 2 examined some of the common Mike explained that ‘managed’ stationsMichael Maddox of First Great Western causal factors that result in slips, trips and aren’t really any different from other stations(FGW) presented on the development falls in railway stations and explained how – they just experience crowding more oftenof train dispatch risk assessments and Virgin Trains and East Midlands Trains are as they traditionally handle more customers.method statements within FGW. Ian Gunn tackling the problem. Overcrowding during normal operationthen took the group through a ‘case study’ (such as peak travel times or regular Virgin’s Peter Bowes began by introducingwhich focussed on Reading station, which events) can be predicted and planned for; their Slip, Trip and Fall Toolkit, which hasis undergoing substantial regeneration contributed to a reduction in the numberworks. Continued on Page 6 // 05
  6. 6. Continued from Page 05No slip ups on station safety mind the inner In order to remove the requirement for supervised detrainment, the Bakerlooin doing so, the station ‘system’ relies onpeople, processes and technology working inter-car gap Line decided in late 2011 to retrofit inner inter-car barriers. These are similar to, and offer the same functionality as, those on thetogether. Following an incident at Liverpool new Victoria Line trains – and those on the Street in February 2000, where a mainline railway. The design is undefeatableStation hazard-spotting exercise – passenger was killed while trying by passengers (as it is fixed), not readilyRSSB to alight from an empty train via the removable and very robust (see photo). The interconnecting doors, a Prohibition barriers are positioned on both ends of theThe workshop ended with a tabletop Notice was served on London exterior of each carriage adjacent to the‘Station Hazard Spotting Exercise’. Each Underground (LU). inter-car doors and extend to approximatelygroup was provided with a map and the same height as the door.operational information for a small, medium The Notice identified the risk fromor large station, typical to the GB rail serious personal injury to passengers The fitment of the inner inter-car barriersnetwork. A series of prompts was provided who try to alight from trains through has wider safety benefits, as they willto promote discussion amongst delegates the interconnecting doors and serves also prevent passengers from fallingupon the hazards that exist at each to ensure LU mitigates it by limiting the between carriages should they try tolocation, and the measures used to control risk from over-carrying passengers into use the interconnecting doors under anythe identified risks. sidings or depots by either: circumstances. There have also been other associated benefits, including the reductionOFG’s Station Safety Improvement Sub- 1. Walking along the platform and of trains blocking back at reversing/group will discuss and – where practicable checking each car is empty before terminus stations whilst detrainments take– progress the workshop outputs. A digest closing the passenger doors using place, thereby reducing the potential forhas also been produced to promote the the ‘porter’s buttons’ at the end of SPADs.transferrable lessons that came out of the each one; orsessions. This may be found in the OpswebStation Safety Resource Area. 2. Any other equally effective means by prior agreement with the HMAndy Wallace is RSSB’s Station Safety Inspector of Health & Safety.Programme Manager. He worked for EastCoast before making the move to RSSB. LU has complied with the Notice byandy.wallace@rssb.co.uk physically checking every train prior to it entering a depot or siding to make sure each car is empty. This involves the train being checked by the train Some of the ideas and initiatives operator and up to two members of from the Station Safety Workshop: station staff, as necessary. Yet even ‘It’s important to identify with detrainment staff in position, over- high-risk passenger types and carries still occurred, 52 being recorded behaviours (elderly, children, etc)’ on the Bakerloo Line between January 2008 and January 2011. Whilst none of ‘We need to look at how staff the passengers involved tried to detrain are supported when dealing with via the interconnecting doors, this was alcohol-related issues’ clearly a risk. ‘We should move from general Photo: London Underground instructions for guards to more specific risk-based instructions’ ‘There is a worry that multi- Be safe – log on to functional staff might lose focus opsweb.co.uk on safety critical work (eg, dispatchers being trained in First Aid)’ ‘We should engage with local The station safety resource centre is schools to help educate young now available to access on Opsweb people on safe behaviours’ ‘There should be driver Log on at www.opsweb.co.uk awareness briefings on train dispatch risk’ Opsweb is the website of the Operations Focus Group (OFG) a cross-industry programme facilitated by RSSB Opsweb is the website of the Operations Focus Group (OFG) a cross-industry programme facilitated by RSSB06 //
  7. 7. Duty of careunderstandingduty of careA TOC perspective on dealingwith PTI riskSteve PughHead of Operational Safety, Northern RailThere are over 2,500 stations on the At the Court of Appeal, the train companymainline network, from which more involved was found to be liable for thethan a billion journeys begin and end negligence of its guard, as the passenger’seach year – a number that looks set to ‘foolhardy behaviour’ had started while therise. Stations are the public face of the guard was still on the platform.railway – from the ticket office, to the Photo: ATOC / Paul Biglandretail outlets, from the concourse to the The Court concluded that, as the guardplatform. was aware of the person’s behaviour, the …they’ll have carried out their ‘duty of guard should not have closed the doors care’.Most people arrive at a station, buy a and given the ‘right away’.ticket, maybe have a coffee, and get on a At Northern, we ask that our dispatch stafftrain with no trouble at all. But when the In summary, ‘a duty of care’ was still owed. make sure that when they’re dispatching anumbers of passengers are this big, it’s It’s also worth noting that the same would train, that they look at the whole scene, inobvious that we’re going to have accidents apply where platform staff are provided for terms of the personal safety of those on thefrom time to time. dispatch purposes; they too need to bear platform and on the train. We ask that they in mind the behaviour of the public and its only dispatch the train when they’re sure it’sSlips, trips and falls on stairs, concourses potential consequences when carrying out safe to do so.or platforms are the most likely accident their safety critical duties.types, and you can read what Network What’s being done?Rail is doing at Euston to combat them on Everyone owes a duty to everyone else topage 8. However, incidents at the platform- take reasonable care so as not to cause The answer is plenty, and Andy Wallace’strain interface (PTI) are a growing area of them foreseeable injury. feature on page 4 deals with much ofconcern. the thinking that’s emerged in the last 18 What does ‘duty of care’ mean? months or so on this subject. Many trainIt’s a sobering thought that while no companies are doing other things, like The ‘Legal Dictionary’ says that ‘dutypassengers have died as a result of a SPAD improving platform markings, making mods of care’ is a requirement that a personsince Ladbroke Grove, in the ten years up to train doors and reviewing door closing act toward others and the public withto 2009, 36 people died at the PTI, and we times. the watchfulness, attention, caution andknow of many more cases since.. prudence that a reasonable person would Our efforts as an industry have significantlyA question of duty in the circumstances. Putting that into the reduced the SPAD problem (see SPADtalk, context of dispatching a train, it means that, page 19); if we can work together andIn July 2009, an important High Court providing a member of staff has… apply the same resolve to the PTI issue, weappeal judgement was made about the could see similar results over the next few‘duty of care’ owed to passengers when • Carried out the correct dispatch years.boarding and alighting trains and when procedure in a safe way,standing close to the platform edge. • Made sure they’ve been mindful of vulnerable groups, andThe pivotal case involved a passenger who Steve Pugh is Northern Rail’s Head ofwas under the influence of alcohol, and who • Halted the dispatch procedure if they’ve Operational Safety. This article has beenfell between the train and platform while seen anything that jeopardises safety adapted from one that appeared in thebanging on the windows during departure. and not re-commenced until it’s safe to Winter 2012 issue of CABS – Northern’sThe person survived, but suffered serious do so, own safety magazine, which is available oninjuries. Opsweb. // 07
  8. 8. eustonwe had a problemTackling slips and trips at a major London rail hubMike CarrNational Operations Safety Manager, Network RailWith an annual footfall of over 70 million, investigation process. This sharpened the to consider location, time of day, floorLondon Euston is the fourth busiest senses of all and helped ensure that future surface, gender, age, weather, lighting, andstation in the country. As you might investigations identified the basic causes so on.expect, we experience many passenger and any lack of management steer thataccidents on the concourse, around might lay behind them. The escalator analysis highlighted thatthe forecourt…and on our 18 platforms. one particular escalator (from the taxi setIn 2010, slip, trip and fall accidents We also found that near misses were down area) was causing 90% of escalatorhere were averaging 12 a month. With occurring across the station with no accidents and that most of these wereinvestigations failing to identify root common way for any staff (be they train related to the carrying of luggage.causes, local managers knew where the operator, Network Rail, retail, or contract) to report them. A dedicated local 24- The results for concourse/platformsaccidents were happening, but couldn’t hour ‘hotline’ was launched by Steve showed accidents occurring at all timessay exactly why. Clearly, a new approach Lewis, station manager, along with an of the day, in all weathers, involving bothwas needed. accompanying awareness campaign, to genders and all age groups. The onlyThree steps to success encourage people to report near misses commonality that could be observed was and hazards whenever they occur. people were mostly losing grip.Data gathering Data analysis In order to understand how safe the floorWe found that our investigations into slip, surfaces were, the Network Rail purchasedtrip and fall accidents were not thorough When we looked at where accidents a commercially available measuring deviceand stopped at the immediate cause. were happening, we found a natural called ‘SlipAlert’.To help our team, we arranged detailed split between concourse/platforms andaccident investigation/root cause analysis escalators. To help clarify the situation, wetraining for everyone involved in the conducted two separate analysis streams08 //
  9. 9. Slips, trips and falls The next phase of testing involved working out the most effective chemical concentration level. These tests were conducted on all different surface types. The results were recorded and analysed. Having determined the concentrations and the area of each surface type, BonaSystems worked with our cleaning contractor, Rentokil Initial, to agree a Visual of the ‘SlipAlert’ device method of working that would see all station surfaces treated across 14 nights.We conducted tests on all the surface Further analysis showed that the remainingtypes we have at Euston. The results were accidents were occurring outside peakconcerning, to say the least. In most hours and involved leisure travellers. A trialcases, the risk from slipping on a dry floor was then launched that saw the escalatorwas moderate-to-low. However, as soon as switched off outside of the morning andthe surface became wet the risk increased evening peaks, thus forcing people to useto moderate-to-high in all cases. the lift or negotiate a fixed staircase.Taking action The result was that no accidents occurred in the area at all (either on the escalatorEscalators or the stairs). The action has remained inWhen we monitored human behaviour place for 7 months and, to date, accident In conclusionaround the escalator, we quickly found that levels have remained at zero.people were getting out of taxis with large By taking a structured approach to theamounts of luggage, walking straight past Concourse/platforms problem, Euston has been able to gatherthe lifts and struggling up the escalator. In Having identified the hazardous data, analyse it and take targeted actionsthe majority of cases, when people were characteristics of the floor surfaces at that have already seen a 60% reduction inasked about using the lifts, they were Euston, we contacted BonaSystems, accidents (see graph below).unaware of their existence, despite having who specialise in the enhancement of slipwalked past them. resistance factors. As the work programme continues, we expect the figures to fall further. Our expertsClearly, the lifts needed advertising and so Bonasystems completed a series of will go on monitoring and analysing thesignage was changed and increased. To pendulum tests to confirm the SlipAlert situation.compliment this, a motion sensor voice results and help them understand the fullmodule was installed that announced the extent of the problem. This helped them Mike Carr is Network Rail’s Nationallocation of the lifts and asked people not to identify which chemical solution could be Operations Safety Manager.take luggage on the escalator. This led to a used to bring the slip resistance level backreduction in accidents. to its original value. No. of slips, trips and falls The graph shows results from July to November 2011 against 2010. // 09
  10. 10. mobile phonesand marijuanaThe rail industry understands the risks presentedby drugs and mobile phone use – but accidentscan still occur, as seen recently in CanadaGreg MorseOperational Feedback Specialist, RSSBDrug taking has long been known as an Collision at KCenemy of safety critical work. The mobilephone issue is a younger problem, but At around 14:10 (local time) on 3 Marchit’s one that our industry has tried hard 2010, an eastbound freight passed ato tackle in the aftermath of the SPAD signal at danger and struck the middle ofand subsequent collision at Chatsworth, a westbound consist that was crossingCalifornia, in September 2008. This to an adjacent line at KC Junction, Britishdoesn’t mean that incidents never occur, Columbia.but they do remain rare in Britain. An Three locomotives and 26 wagons wereaccident in Canada last March was to derailed by the impact, which causedprove even rarer… considerable damage to rolling stock and goods. The driver and conductor of the eastbound train also sustained minor injuries.10 //
  11. 11. Risk from distraction the train, negotiated level crossings, analysed hot box detector broadcasts, and Between June 1998 and July 2009, distraction through mobile responded to signals. The drugs problem phone use was identified as a At least, they did until they came up against – GB factor in at least 37 SPADs (from the one protecting a switching move… On 8 January 1991, a passenger a total of 4,602) on Network Rail train collided heavily with the managed infrastructure. Evidence from the mobile phone itself and a hydraulic buffer stops at Cannon nearby communications mast showed that Street, killing 2 and injuring over the driver had used his phone twice just 500. Officially, the collision was before the collision. due to the inability of the driverLoaded train to operate the train brake Aftermath successfully. The investigatorThe Transportation Safety Board of Canada The TSBC’s report – coupled with CP’s was ‘unable to reach any firm(TSBC) and the operator – Canadian Pacific own investigation – led the freight operator conclusion as to the reasons’ for(CP) – both launched investigations. to dismiss the driver and guard. The the driver’s actions, nor whetherOne of the major contributors to why the driver later pleaded guilty to a charge of his ‘use of cannabis as theeastbound train passed the signal at danger ‘Dangerous Operation of a Vehicle’. He cause.’ Nevertheless the reportwas that the crew had been taking drugs was fined $500 and ordered to pay a victim recommended that legislation bewhilst on duty. surcharge of 15%. He also apologised to introduced to make it an offence the people of Golden for the inconvenience for railway employees with safetyAlthough no traces of drugs or alcohol responsibilities to be impaired by his actions caused them.were found on the guard, the driver was the consumption of alcohol orworried that traces of marijuana might be A CP spokesman said that the accident drugs (hitherto, only alcohol haddetected in his urine. His fears led him to was caused by crew errors and served been covered). This came intodrink almost 10 litres of water, in an attempt as ‘a clear reminder’ why the safety of its force under the Transport andto flush any traces of the drug from his employees, passengers and neighbours Works Act 1992.system. This caused hyponetremia (water ‘must be an ongoing commitment.’intoxication), which in turn led him to loseconsciousness. ‘A detailed safety investigation was completed by our company,’ he went According to local rules, the use ofAfter a night in hospital, the driver was on, ‘which reinforced that CP should communication devices must be restrictedformally tested for drugs and alcohol. The continue with a number of Crew Resource to matters pertaining to railway operations,results suggested – but could not confirm Management initiatives to reduce in-cab and mobile phones must not be used when– that he had been exposed to marijuana distraction, enhance communication and normal railway radio communications areprior to the accident. focus attention on critical tasks to maintain available. situational awareness and safe trainBut it wasn’t just the drugs: both crew had Continued on Page 18 operations’.made extensive use of their mobiles in thethree hours leading up to the accident.While talking and texting, they worked The mobile question – GB On 12 September 2008, a commuter service passed a protecting signal at danger and collided head-on with a freight train in Chatsworth, California, at a closing speed of around 85mph. Twenty-five people lost their lives, including the commuter driver himself. On the day of the accident, he had sent and received several text messages while on duty, the last of which came just 22 seconds before the collision. He had received warnings about improper mobile phone use while in the cab on two previous occasions. As a result of the accident, the US Federal Rail Agency banned the use of electronic devices in cabs. In the UK, much work was done, including the development of a new Railway Industry Standard and a train driver education programme on mobile phone risk. For further details, see RSSB’s Operational Feedback Update, which may be located by logging in to Opsweb and searching on Chatsworth. // 11
  12. 12. Continued from Page 11Mobile phones and marijuana Opsweb features examples of posters developed by First GreatHowever, in response to the KC Junction Western and ASLEF, which haveaccident – and ten further collisions – CP been designed to encouragehas revised the rules, which now say drivers to think and stop. This onethat employees are prohibited from using deals with the mobile phone issuepersonal electronic devices, and that they very effectively.must be turned off (with any ear piecesremoved) and stored out of sight in alocation not on their person.Regarding the drug situation, the CPspokesman added that the company looking again‘meets or exceeds all regulations in place toensure safe train operations, [including] pre-employment screening and post-incidentdrug testing’. However, ‘at present, underCanadian law, no companies (including CP)can administer random drug testing.’ at SPADs Richard FarishThe TSBC’s full report may be found by Operations Standards Manager,accessing its website, www.tsb.gc.ca, andsearching for report R10V0038. First Capital Connect Do you double check signal aspects? At First Capital Connect, we’ve started to What can I do with identify a recurring feature during some my phone? of our SPAD investigations. Drivers do check the signal aspect initially and, for Apart from the whatever reason, convince themselves that it is showing a proceed aspect. This obvious, you could can be caused by a number of factors, try… such as the signal normally displaying a proceed aspect. • Letting friends and family know you can’t use your mobile while In response, we’ve developed new posters working – make arrangements (shown here) to help remind drivers of the to contact them at a safe and need to double check the signal aspect – to convenient time. be sure that they’re seeing what’s actually • Setting up a voicemail there in front of them. message. That way, people can contact you and you can Our train drivers are proud of their high retrieve their messages once level of professionalism and competence, you’re off duty. and mistakes are very rare. This poster campaign is more of a subtle reminder to • Switching your phone off and help draw attention to the risks from not keeping it out of reach. Leaving double checking signal aspects. it on vibrate is a sure way to Operatio ns Standard s make it hard to ignore when it does go off! These posters are available to download Of course, it’s not just mobiles from Opsweb (www.opsweb.co.uk) for – MP3 players, iPods and anyone who wants to use them for their games consoles offer the same own operation or route. distraction dangers. But don’t complain too loudly about their For further information contact me on existence – you’ll sound old Richard.Farish@firstgroup.com. fashioned! Operations Standards12 //
  13. 13. SPADsSPADtalk Roger Badger with But when you think that… Jargon-beater… …Risk is basically a number obtained from multiplying the number of times something In 2011, there were 281 category happens by a value given to the • Only one SPAD occurs for around every A SPADs across the GB rail likely consequences. 50,000 red signals approached; network – an improvement of almost 8% on 2010. • The vast majority of train journeys are therefore SPAD-free; and also hastened the introduction of TPWS, which was brought forward by a year, • Only a small minority of drivers are ever fitment being largely complete by the endHigh-profile accidents like Southall (1997) involved in a category A SPAD… of 2003.and Ladbroke Grove (1999) have ensured …it’s clear that the professionalism of thethat ‘SPAD’ is now firmly in the dictionary. Count on it driver has been key to this improvementIn the aftermath of these incidents, our too! The graph at the bottom of the page showsindustry took a closer look at the causes that the numbers of SPADs have fallen eachof SPADs, the precursors to SPADs and A journey through time year since 1999, but have now levelledthe risks that surround them. Groups were A SPAD was at the root of Britain’s second out to a rate of approximately 300. Moreset up nationally and locally to monitor the worst accident: Harrow & Wealdstone recently, a relatively benign autumn, as wellsituation and implement various initiatives to (1952), when 112 people lost their lives in as a decrease in SPADs over the winter, hasbring the risk down. When this work began, a three-train collision. First, a sleeper train contributed to this trend.we were seeing over 500 SPADs a year. Wenow see fewer than 300. The many driving passed a signal at danger and struck a According to RSSB’s latest figures, SPADspolicies and practices brought in by the stationary commuter service. The situation now make up a very small portion (0.6%) ofoperating companies have played a crucial was worsened when an express ploughed all railway risk. In fact, the risk from SPADspart in this, combining with the massive into the wreckage. has decreased over the past few years andsuccess of TPWS. is now around a third of its level five years In more recent times, SPADs at Purley (1989), Bellgrove (1989), Newton (1991), ago. Cowden (1994), Watford (1996) and We work with a range of signalling But the potential for a category A SPAD to Southall (1997) have all resulted in train technology – from nineteenth- result in a serious incident remains, and as collisions and fatalities. The landmark century semaphores and 1930s Ladbroke Grove showed us, it only takes incident was Ladbroke Grove, which colour light signals to 1960s one SPAD. Take care to avoid becoming occurred on 5 October 1999, when a multi-aspect colour lights and the next SPAD statistic. Or worse. commuter service passed SN109 signal on 1980s radio electric token block the approaches to Paddington and collided Roger Badger joined BR as a signaller equipment. head-on with an HST at a closing speed of in 1982. His career progressed through At the newest end of the signalling about 130mph. Thirty-one people lost their various signalling, supervisory and spectrum is the European Rail lives. managerial positions, before he was Traffic Management System appointed to the post of Regional Signalling (ERTMS), which has been in The resulting public inquiry made Inspector, Eastern Region. He is now operation on the Cambrian Line recommendations in signalling design, train a Senior Safety Analyst with RSSB, in Wales since October 2010. Off crashworthiness, staff training and the need specialising in SPADs and TPWS. Network Rail infrastructure and on for an independent investigation body. It to High Speed 1, there’s another in-cab signalling system for drivers to deal with. This makes six different systems that all interface and work together on the network, but which nevertheless present challenges to the maintenance and improvement of the good progress that has been made in SPAD risk management. // 13
  14. 14. console flashed a warning, suggesting a bogie fault. The driver interrogated the on-board train management system (TMS) Desborough and found a hot axle box to be the most On Saturday 10 June 2006, an likely cause. He knew that Meridians had exterior door on a St Pancras– been suffering from false hot box warnings Sheffield service came open while of late, but more warnings were followed by the train was moving just north of more warnings and a passcom activation Kettering, causing the train’s brake from a worried passenger. to apply automatically. However, the driver initially overrode this, The driver knew he had to stop the train, as indications in the cab of the but hoped to get through the approaching ‘Meridian’ unit were ambiguous, cutting at East Langton. But as the and he wasn’t sure what had oscillation grew worse, stopping within itRAIB happened.Photo: Peter R Foster IDMA / Shutterstock.com became inevitable. When the driver realised the RAIB’s investigation confirmed that one axle situation, he made a controlled had broken as the train was travelling at 94 brake and brought the train to mph. This caused it to derail and ‘ride the a stand at Desborough summit. sleepers’. It had run for almost two miles The door was then closed and in this state before coming to a stand. Itreport brief secured. had remained coupled, upright and in line throughout. There were no injuries among There were no injuries or material the 190 passengers and 5 crew, although damage as a result of the incident. there was damage to the track and the However, the fact that the doorHigh-speed passenger train derailment train, including a loss of diesel fuel. was open while the train wasat East Langton, 20 February 2010 moving presented a real and What did RAIB say? unprotected risk to those onIn January, the Rail Accident InvestigationBranch (RAIB) published its report into the board. RAIB reported that the derailment washigh-speed derailment near East Langton triggered by the complete fracture ofthat occurred on 20 February 2010. the powered trailing axle of the bogie in question (see right). after the incident at Desborough in JuneWhat happened? 2006 ‘did not adequately cover handling The fracture occurred underneath the safety critical alarms and out-of-courseThe Saturday afternoon journey had been gear-side output bearing of the final drive situations.’uneventful. A prompt departure from and was caused by this bearing stiffeningSt Pancras had let the seven-car East up so that it couldn’t rotate properly. ThisMidlands Trains service keep good time – generated a lot of frictional heat betweenso much so that Market Harborough was the axle and bearing, which resulted inpassed three minutes early. After clearing the axle being locally heated to a highthe local speed limit, the driver accelerated temperature and weakened to the pointthe unit to 85 mph and, on reaching the that it could no longer carry its normalnext speed board at Great Langton curve, loading.accelerated further, intending to bring thetrain up to 100 mph. Key evidence about the condition of the bearing and its fit onto the axle wasAt around ten-to-four, the second (powered) destroyed in the accident. RAIB interpretedwheelset of the fourth vehicle began to the available evidence and concludedbehave abnormally, leaving irregular marks that the most likely cause was a loose fit RAIB made four recommendations, twoon the rail head. The driver felt a slight between the gear-side output bearing and of which relate to the need to review‘snatch’, which he associated at the time the axle. the design and overhaul procedureswith temporary engine fuel starvation.Believing all to be well, he continued to for final drive gearboxes on Meridians, The Branch noted that the effect of theaccelerate. including a consideration how overheating interference fit of the gear wheel on the output bearings are detected. Another ‘gear end’ output bearing was not identifiedHowever, the carriages behind him recommendation relates to the oil sampling during the design stage. The fact that therehad started to sway violently, causing regime used for the Meridian fleet, while the were no records of previous failures ofmagazines, papers and bags to fly from fourth deals with the provision of practical, this type also meant that – to some extentluggage racks, and composure to fly from simulation-based alarm handling training for – they were ‘off the radar’. In addition,passengers, who became increasingly drivers and train crew. the refresher training on alarm handlingalarmed at the rough ride. The operating provided to drivers and on-board train crew14 //
  15. 15. The lowdownWhat did the TOC do? How long have you worked for the railway?One of the things East Midlands Trains(EMT) did after the accident was take I have worked for ASLEF for 20 years.another look at the operating instructions it However, my father worked for Britishgives to drivers about what to do when the Rail (BR) at Woking Electric Control, as aTMS returns an alarm and displays a red telephone operator. My grandfather and‘bogie fault’ lamp. The original instruction, great-grandfather worked at the Midlandto stop the train at the first suitable location, City Depot, just down the road from thedid not prevent drivers from proceeding ASLEF Head Office. One was a carter, andto the suitable location at high speed. one a checker.Consequently, EMT clarified the instructionas follows: I also grew up in the ‘Southern Railwaymen’s Home for Children and Old‘In the event of a bogie fault light People’, from 1965 to 1974. So all in allilluminating, an audible level 3 alarm willactivate. On receiving this warning, the The lowdown: I have a continuous family history on the railways since the 1870s! Davedriver must bring the train to a standimmediately. If the location at which You must’ve seen a few changes sincethe train would come to a stand is not then: Bennettconsidered to be safe and suitable (as The main change has been privatisation.defined within the Rule Book), then the The Government subsidy is now three timesdriver must reduce speed to no more than more than it was under British Rail. What10 mph in order to bring the train to a halt would have the railway been like if BR hadat the first safe and suitable location that been given that kind of investment?does meet this criteria.’ Name: Dave Bennett Where do you see the railway in five Position: ASLEF Health and safety years’ time? advisor East Langton also formed the main Still expanding, with more trains, more Describe a typical day for you: incident reconstruction in RED 32, passengers and, I trust, more freight. which also featured interviews with That is a difficult question! It can vary: In ten? the driver himself, the customer sometimes I respond to enquiries from host, the train manager and the ASLEF Reps – by telephone, email or Again, still expanding. It’s going to be head of operations strategy and ‘snail mail’; sometimes I write reports for interesting to see what part new technology implementation at EMT. the ASLEF Executive Committee. I also is going to play in the future, such as attend meetings on behalf of ASLEF ERTMS, or even ‘driverless trains’. What and organise training sessions – from I can predict, though, is that an ASLEF booking the venue, to arranging release, member will still be on the front end! and writing and delivering the training. Finally, describe your most memorable You’re a key member of the railway experience: industry’s Operations Focus Group. What does that involve? The Ladbroke Grove rail crash of 5 October 1999, and the subsequent inquiries (at My main task is to make sure that the which I gave evidence). view of ASLEF and our Train Driver Reps and members is always taken into Until that day, I worked on both industrial consideration during discussions. relations and health and safety matters forArticle prepared by Greg Morse ASLEF. Since that day, I have concentrated on health and safety alone. Ladbroke Grove On 5 October 1999, a Paddington–Bedwyn passenger service passed SN109 signal at danger and collided with an incoming high-speed service. Thirty-one people were killed and over 400 were injured. A public inquiry, led by Lord Cullen, highlighted issues with signal sighting, driver training, vehicle crashworthiness, the use of automatic train protection systems and recommended the establishment of an independent Rail Accident Investigation Branch. // 15
  16. 16. delivering the goods onpossessionsPhoto: DB SchenkerA FOC perspective on keeping both the freightmoving and everyone safeNick EdwardsProfessional Head of Drivers, DB SchenkerEngineering possessions are an integral controlled by signals, but also by radios and signal at danger - only the signaller can dopart of our industry in the 21st century hand signals. People have to be closer to this.and, as we move towards the ‘seven trains and road vehicles in order to carry outday’ railway, the safe and punctual the majority of tasks on site. In some complex areas (or other locationsdelivery of possessions becomes even where authorised), what is known asmore important. Over time, various initiatives and rules ‘substandard protection’ can be placed. changes have taken place to help eliminate This is where the 400 metres between thePossessions usually go unnoticed by the the problems that can be encountered signal and the PLBs cannot be achieved.general public, unless they are travelling at during engineering work. However, This type of protection is identified inweekends and find their train replaced by incidents are still occurring all-too- Section B of the Weekly Operating Noticea coach – never welcomed as warmly as frequently. (WON) with a hash symbol (#). In somea rail-borne vehicle. They also notice when cases, the PLBs may be just a few metresthings go wrong and they are late for work One of the main reasons for incidents is from the signal and the hand signalleras a result! the driver not getting permission to pass may be using the signal post telephone the protecting signal before proceeding to contact the signaller. In all cases, theThe principles of a safe railway – that trains to the possession limit boards (PLB). The driver must contact the signaller to obtainare kept apart by signals and that people proximity of the PLBs to the signal and the permission to pass the signal at danger.and trains are kept apart from each other – presence of a hand signaller can result inare turned around within possessions. the driver being misled by instructions from Trains passing through possessions that hand signaller. And of course, the hand towards the PLBs often encounter differentIn a possession, trains are not solely signaller cannot give permission to pass the types of level crossings. Before starting16 //