Right Track Issue 4


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Right Track Issue 4

  2. 2. RIGHTheadlamp Front Cover Photo: ATOCWelcome to Issue 4 of What is OFG? Right Track is sponsoredRight Track by the Operations Focus Group (OFG), whose meetings are attendedDecember 4 marked the 55th anniversary of it wasn’t for him – he was on the Relief. His by operational heads andthe famous Lewisham accident – a rear- signal was ‘on’, and the trap points protecting specialists from across theend collision, which followed a SPAD and the Main were set for the run-off. They were rail industry. By workingwhose consequences were compounded by just 350 yards away. together, it helps everyonea bridge strike and collapse. Ninety people make improvements towere killed. The ‘paper’ continued to catch up, until both safety by sharing things trains were running side-by-side. Suddenly, and running joint initiativesThe SPAD and collision at Harrow & the driver of the ‘sleeper’ realised his mistake. – including this magazine.Wealdstone (1952) occurred just as AWS trials He slammed on the brakes and the metalwere beginning, but Lewisham gave the project screamed….too late: the engine tore into thefresh urgency and helped it gain momentum. earth and the first six carriages were strewnThe system’s introduction partly explains why across all four lines. Twenty-seven passengersthe passenger fatality rate improved after 1957. were killed and 25 were injured.Indeed, AWS – and its grand-child, TPWS– probably means that neither Harrow nor Echoes of Norton Fitzwarren are still with us, ContentsLewisham could ever happen again. ‘read across’ SPADs occurring somewhere 2-3 // Headlamp on the network every month. The front lineBut of course people will always make has always been the last line of defence. It 4-5 // Trouble with ourmistakes, and it was a mistake that was still is. We owe it to the crews involved in the movementsresponsible for a SPAD that occurred during Lewisham accident – and Harrow, Norton and 6-9 // Changing trainsthe darkness of World War II... every other accident you can name – to show 10-11 // Lowdown that we keep on learning. Thankfully – as our 12-13 // Walk out to winterOn the night of 4 November 1940, a late- ‘Changing Trains’ feature shows (p.6) – despiterunning ‘sleeper’ was powering towards 14-15 // RAIB report brief: many changes to our industry since the 1960s,Penzance. It usually ran on the Main, but was let’s twist again / the driver’s dedication is alive and well.so behind the signaller had routed it to the SPADtalkRelief to give an upcoming newspaper train a Elsewhere in this issue, Nick Edwards Back Page // SPADtalkclear run. looks at the implications of winter running, while infrastructure experts discuss sidingWhen the same thing happens every day, possessions. Chris Gibb, Virgin’s Chiefit’s easy to fall into the trap of familiarity. The Operating Officer, is our lowdown interviewee,‘sleeper’ always ran on the Main; the driver while the derailment at Bordesley Junction isalways looked at the same signal. Tonight the our RAIB report brief.driver looked at that signal and it was ‘off’. ButRight 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 //
  3. 3. Station SafetyJames Street tragedyamplifies risk Dispatching trains, whether on-board like a guard or platform-based like a dispatcher, has always been recognisedawareness as something where the risks need to be controlled carefully. In spite of the tragic circumstances faced at James Street, this and other similar accidents have providedThe tragic death of Georgia Varley at Liverpool’s James an extra reminder of how critical the trainStreet station in 2011 received media attention at the end of dispatch task is to safety, the important role dispatchers play and the challenging2012 when the guard was found guilty of manslaughter. situations they might encounter.At 23:29 on Saturday 22 October 2011, not known how drunk Ms Varley was and Rail companies are now a lot more pro-a drunken teenager got off a train at thought she was moving away from the active in sharing information, ideas andJames Street with a large group of platform edge when he gave the driver the techniques about managing the platform-people. Within 30 seconds she was tip. train interface. There are more tools atdead. industry’s disposal too, including the Rail However, the court ruled that Mr McGee Industry Standard for Passenger TrainThe guard had called to her and gestured was guilty of manslaughter and gross Dispatch (RIS-3703-TOM) and the Stationfor her to move, but his mistake was to negligence, sentencing him to five years Safety Resource Centre on Opswebsend the train out while she was still leaning in prison. In closing, the judge, Mr Justice (www.opsweb.co.uk)on it. She fell down the gap and was killed Holroyde told McGee that he was ‘satisfiedinstantaneously. that you merely hoped and assumed The RAIB report into the James Street she would get out of the way when the accident has been published. We will beIn the resulting court case, the guard, Logo train began to move, and on that wholly covering it in an article in a future issue ofChristopher McGee, told the jury he had inadequate basis you took a terrible risk.’ Right Track. ...making changes during 2013. Strapline Improved Improved Improved RESPONSE SPEED LEARNING AND WEB AND TO CONCERNS FEEDBACK NEWSLETTER But one thing that won’t change… your confidentiality assured. www.ciras.org.uk Freephone 0800 4 101 101 Freepost CIRAS Text 07507 285887 CIRAS ADVERT v5.indd 1 10/01/2013 11:38 // 03
  4. 4. Entering into a siding under Photo: Network Rail possession If a movement is to leave your possession directly into an adjacent siding under possession, the PICOP must first agree with the signaller and the PICOS how this is to be done. If a movement is to leave a work site directly into an adjacent siding under possession, the ES must first agree with the PICOP and the PICOS how this is to be done. Unlike entering an adjacent siding, the understanding possession driver does not need direct authority movements from the signaller, when entering a siding under possession. Remember, although the authority lies with the PICOP, he/she can delegate a competent person.M&EE Operations Subgroup takes a look at the problemsthat have arisen when moving OTMs from a SidingPossession into a T3 possession. Key message When it’s published that the OTMIn recent months, we’ve experienced will be moving between a sidingssituations where an on-track machine All movements within sidings under possession and an adjacent running(OTM) moving from the siding to a possession are made under the line possession, the driver must:T3 possession has resulted in the authority of the PICOS. • On arrival at the siding establishsiding exit signal being passed at who the PICOS is and only movedanger without proper authority. On The PICOP and PICOS can be the OTM through the siding wheninvestigation, it was found that there the same person but this may not instructed to do so by the PICOS;was some confusion about the rules always be the case, and the worksassociated with these moves. in each area could be completely • Establish that the siding leads unrelated to each other. directly to the possession orTo aid understanding, the M&EE has put worksite; andtogether the following brief. The main points Entering a T3 from a Siding • Confirm with the PICOS that theto remember are, while the PICOP and the Possession (HB13) movement has the authority ofsignaller agree the T3 possession limits the PICOP or ES, before movingduring the possession set-up process, To clarify, the driver can only make a out of the siding towards thesiding possessions come under the movement past the exit signal of a ‘siding possession / worksite.jurisdiction of Handbook 13: Duties of the under possession’ to an immediatelyperson in charge of the siding possession adjacent ‘running line under possession(PICOS). (T3)’ on the authority of the PICOP, whoIn fact, possessions of running lines (T3), must get agreement with the PICOS andas published in the WON, do not include signaller how this is to be done. When the movement is entering directly into the If in doubt...any sidings, and where it states all lines,this does not include sidings either. worksite, the PICOP must make sure the • Treat the siding as not under ES or a competent person acting on their possession and assume thatSidings possessions and T3 possessions, behalf is present to give instructions to the you are entering the T3 atwhen published in the WON, remain two driver. In lay terms, no movement should an ‘intermediate point,’ thenseparate items, controlled by two separate contact the signaller to getdisciplines, the PICOS and PICOP. The take place until the PICOP and signaller authority to pass the sidingPICOS only controls the movement within have fully agreed what is to take place. exit signal.the siding and has no authority when it The PICOS should also be involved in all communications. • When leaving a possessioncomes to exiting the siding. to enter a siding, contact the signaller before making the move.04 //
  5. 5. Possessions Newswire...hints from the RSSB operations team UK: Miniature railway in ‘hydrogen loco’ first A 10¼ inch gauge locomotive poweredRSSB manages the Rule Book on behalf by hydrogen has been successfully tested at the Stapleford Miniatureof the rail industry through its standards Entering a T3 possession from a Railway in Leicestershire. Built byteams. This includes bringing the whole siding not under possession engineering students at the Universityindustry together to keep issues and rules of Birmingham, it combines a hydrogenunder review to ensure they help rail staff The OTM driver may move within the fuel cell and lead acid batteries likeshare the same understanding, keep the sidings in accordance with the normal those used in cars.trains running and maintain the right level arrangements in force at that location. UK: Nice one, Jen!of safety. The team behind it offers its The driver may only pass the exit Jennifer Oldroyd – the York IECCsupporting advice on this potentially tricky signal of the sidings on the authority signaller, who featured in Right Trackpart of the rules: 3 – has been successful in her bid to of the signaller, who will have obtained permission from the PICOP. become a Local Operations Manager. Hearty congratulations from the Right The PICOP or a competent person Entering a T3 possession from a Track team! acting on the PICOP’s behalf must siding possession be present to give the necessary UK: Harrow – 60 years on The OTM driver may only make a instructions on the further movement 8 October 2012 marked the 60th movement within the sidings when of the OTM within the possession to anniversary of the Harrow & Wealdstone authorised to do so by the PICOS. the driver. accident, in which an express passed The PICOS has no authority to allow a signal at danger and collided with a When the movement is entering commuter service; a third train struck a movement to exit the sidings but directly into a worksite the PICOP the wreckage soon after. There were must agree with the PICOP, or the ES, 112 fatalities. The accident sped the must make sure the ES, or a if the movement will be directly into a development and introduction of AWS. competent person acting on the ES’s worksite, how this is to be done. behalf is present at the sidings exit US: Two maintenance workers The driver may only pass the exit to give the necessary instructions to electrocuted in MEWP signal of the sidings on the authority the driver on the further movement of On 9 September, a mobile elevating of the PICOP, who must be present, the OTM within the possession to the work platform came into contact with or make sure a competent person driver after the signaller’s authority to overhead power lines during property acting on their behalf is present to proceed has been obtained. maintenance work at the Bella Lago give the necessary instructions to the building in Fort Myers Beach. Two construction workers were killed. driver. Australia: Lorry driver seriously When the movement is entering Entering a siding under injured after level-crossing directly from the sidings into a possession from an adjacent T3 collision worksite the PICOP must make sure possession On 14 September, an HGV got stuck at the ES, or a competent person acting a level crossing in Banyo, Queensland, on the ES’s behalf is present at the If a movement is to leave a T3 and was struck by a passenger sidings exit to give the necessary possession directly into an adjacent train. The vehicle was ripped in two, instructions to the driver. siding under possession, the PICOP its driver sustaining severe injuries. must first agree with the signaller and An investigation has been launched It is not necessary for the driver to the PICOS how this is to be done. into why a radio message about the obtain authority from the signaller. stranded lorry from Banyo station to If a movement is to leave a work site Queensland Rail’s main control room did directly into an adjacent siding under not reach the train driver in time. possession, the ES must first agree Canada: Track worker struck by with the PICOP and the PICOS how train, severely injured this is to be done. Early on 14 September, a track The driver must get authority to leave worker was struck by an engineering train a few hundred metres north of the T3 possession and enter the Yorkdale station, Toronto. He was killed sidings possession from the PICOP instantaneously. Another track worker or a competent person acting on the suffered minor head injuries. The train PICOP’s behalf. driver was taken to a local hospital with shock. An investigation has been Unlike entering an adjacent siding launched. which is not under possession, the driver does not need the direct authority from the signaller. // 05
  6. 6. changingtrainsGreg Morse takes a tilting trip to Birmingham, Photo: Network Railcourtesy Virgin Trains.‘Do you know,’ says Bob Dunn, The Lickey is – like Shap or Dainton BankInstructor Driver for Virgin, ‘we had an – a gradient of legend, with which locoold boy learning these things when they crews have fought for generations. In thefirst came in and he was taking longer mid-70s, two extra Class 37s would be onto get to grips with the in-cab computer. standby, waiting to push (‘bank’) trains to“What you have to remember,” he said, the top, before returning to their own refuge“is that when I started I was shovelling siding. ‘Some of the drivers got to knowcoal into a firebox”.’ Bob and I stop for us, and would give you a cab ride if theya moment to consider the Pendolino could see your interest. It was a differentwe’re about to board. ‘One career-span,’ world! However, they eventually helped meBob continues. ‘One career-span and it to get an interview and I soon found myselfsaw all those changes.’ As it turned out, Steam left BR in 1968 working with them out of Bromsgrove, andchange was to be our theme today. then Saltley Depot.’A trip in time In this job, you’re self-assessing ‘Saltley had a real sense of pride.’ Bob constantly, planning ahead and goes on. ‘We saw the job through toSteam left British Rail in 1968, though most watching your gauges all the time.’ the end. That filtered through to fitters,trains out of Euston had upgraded to dieseland electric traction some years before. Bob Dunn, Instructor Driver,Nevertheless, 125-mph travel was still just Virgin Trainsan idea in someone’s office as 100-mpha/c electric locomotives took over Top Link ‘I was an enthusiast – a train spotter, if youduties on the WCML. Back then, a change like. We weren’t ridiculed like today; it wasto diesel was required at Crewe, the wires just a normal hobby like football or cricket,’not reaching Glasgow Central until 1974. Bob grins. ‘Anyway, I used to positionThat was a year before Bob joined the myself at the foot of the Lickey, nearrailway. Bromsgrove.’ Two Class 37 locos help a train up ‘the Lickey’06 //
  7. 7. Driving Bob Dunn at the controls of the Pendolino at Euston.everyone. We’ve lost a bit of that now; we track defects, in an experiment devised totend to be interested in just our own little bit In 2011-2, train drivers chauffeured bypass some of the bureaucracy that canof railway.’ passengers on about 1.5 billion get in the way. This puts the driver at the journeys and moved around 100 heart of the operation, as drivers are oftenDrivers weren’t paid much in those days – million tonnes of freight. the first to find a fault or see the potentialBob’s first pay packet for a 40-hour week for one to develop. ‘To date,’ explains Bob,was £15.70. As he says, ‘to do the job with ‘this has meant defects being fixed faster,that money and some of the conditions we Right Away NR being able to work repairs into theirhad to put up with, you had to love it. But planning schedules earlier than they couldlove it we did, and it quickly became a way Back to the cab, and departure time is under the old regime. This can extend theof life’. soon upon us. When not instructing, Bob life of an asset and improve performance, takes his normal place in the driver links, so everyone’s a winner.’ and so drives on a regular basis. After running through his set-up procedure – The ‘T’ board passed, our speed soon making sure the AWS, TPWS and TASS picks up as the Pendolino shows us what it (Tilt Authorisation & Speed Supervision) are can do. ‘The 390s really put in a blistering functioning correctly and that the on-board performance,’ Bob smiles. ‘And while I miss computer’s fired up – we hear the hussle the old Class 87s – it’d be hard to find a alarms sound as the Train Manager closes driver of my generation who didn’t – the the doors. cab environment is luxurious in comparison. I also go home much cleaner than I used to The ‘RA’ indicator illuminates alongside – something my wife appreciates!’ the green, Bob puts the control handle into position and the 11-car train – 1G15, We power through Willesden and byThe more I talk to Bob, the clearer it the 10:43 Euston–Birmingham New Wembley have reached 125 mph. It allbecomes that this is one of the essential Street – snakes out of Platform 5, over the seems so effortless. I mention this to Bobelements of driving that hasn’t changed pointwork and onto the main line, climbing and he points out that many would saysince the mid-70s, or 60s, 50s… Another Camden Bank as though it were as flat as that of the driver: ‘If you watch a driver,is revealed by the acknowledgement that Norfolk. you might think “they’re not doing muchhe gives – and receives from – every driver sitting there – anyone could do that”. Butwhose train we pass on our way to the We crawl through a lengthy 30mph TSR, in fact the driver’s continuously absorbingMidlands. ‘We’re all part of a family,’ Bob imposed while Network Rail sorts out an enormous amount of visual information.explains, ‘whichever company we work for drainage problems. Virgin has forged This must be assessed, prioritised and– we’re all rail staff; we’re all drivers.’ closer links with NR for the reporting of acted on accordingly.’ // 07
  8. 8. ‘A green light is never just a green The reduction in traction types over thelight,’ he goes on. ‘You mentally note it, years hasn’t helped, as many drivers often As well as being an instructor,acknowledge it and act on it. If the next find themselves now working the same type Bob also writes the drivers’signal’s a double yellow, you start to brake of train all the time. ‘In the early 80s,’ Bob fault manuals for Class 57s, A/C– yes, because it’s a double yellow, but agrees, ‘I was passed to drive 14 different electrics and the 390s in languageyou’ll also ask yourself where the red is, are classes of loco and countless types of unit. that relates to the task as it’syou in a long section or a short section? That variety helped keep the driving task performed on the front line.Perhaps you are catching up a slower train fresher for longer. It’s the same with today’sand speed needs to be regulated. All of this roster: as a passenger driver, I could tellaffects how the train is controlled.’ you what I’ll be doing next Christmas; I ‘Another thing I like to do is report things couldn’t have done that in the old days, that aren’t as they should be – track faults, when the link structure was much more apt speed restrictions, that kind of thing. It really Historically, train driving was to change.’ helps raise awareness. The only trouble seen as a matter of technical with that, is not to do it too often, as you competence, but nowadays We discuss how drivers can combat risk becoming a pain in the neck,’ Bob it’s becoming more important this – especially when you couple traction laughs. to understand the way drivers familiarity with express passenger work, manage the way they work, how I watch Bob as he talks to me, checking where there are fewer stops to think they take in information and cope his speed, resetting the AWS and the about than on suburban turns. Though with it. These ‘non-technical skills’ DSD. It’s a total multi-tasking environment. not mandatory, Virgin favours the ‘running are crucial to people in safety I put this to him. ‘To be honest,’ he says, commentary’ – a driver actually telling him/ critical environments. ‘we tend to do it that way anyway. That’s herself what the next signal aspect is, that they are stopping at the next station etc. where the training comes in and why anyBob tells me that driving a Pendolino is so However, the company is well aware that potential new drivers go through a thoroughuser-friendly, there’s a danger it’s helped different methods will suit different drivers. assessment process to test their ability tomake the driving task more repetitive. Bob, for instance, likes to keep an eye multi-task. At the same time, we must never‘When the 390s were at the design stage,’ on the railway about him. ‘You have to allow ourselves to become complacent, ashe explains, ‘drivers were taken to see keep focussed,’ he says. ‘So I ask myself that’s when accidents can happen.’a wooden mock-up of the cab. We had what’s happening on the adjacent line. Isthe chance to have real input, which was everything ok, or is there something a bitexcellent. The trouble is that it’s almost too unusual? These things help keep you alert,comfortable. And it’s certainly not a labour- but if an approaching train has a driverintensive train to drive.’ waving his hands wildly, you could also be the first to report a problem to Control.’08 //
  9. 9. Driving We get a double yellow, a single yellow and finally a red on the approach to Birmingham International. Bob slows the train right down, Virgin’s professional driving policy being to approach red signals at no more than 20 mph (though this drops to 10 in low adhesion conditions). Bob’s never had a cat A SPAD, but he’s experienced cat Bs and Cs, which can be more unnerving: ‘You never know why that signal reverted,’ Royal Train Winners he says. ‘It could be a car on the line, a During the summer, Commander trespasser – anything. It’s best not to make Patrick Lacey, Head of Royal Travel,(Birmingham) assumptions.’ presented a number of rail staff withInternational perspective the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for After a short stop, we head into New their services to the Royal Train.Our first station stop comes at 11:13. As Street, where our train terminates. As wewe pull in to Milton Keynes, I notice a sign walk back down the platform, I ask Bob The full roll call is:reminding drivers that the platform’s on the if he has any Golden Rules. ‘If you’re on From Network Rail:right. ‘Some people might see that and say locomotives,’ he says, ‘I advise trainees to Bob Dewhurst“are drivers stupid or something”,’ laughs keep their engine room lights on – if you Graham SerrellBob. ‘But we used to pull in to the platform need to leave your seat quickly, you don’t Craig Stanbridgeopposite, releasing the doors on the left want it to be dark when you go in there to Derek Whittle– and you get used to that – it becomes sort it out. Another one is never put yourpart of your route knowledge. So that sign From DB Schenker: bag between you and the exit – that’sis a very effective way of reminding us of Nick Edwards obvious.’the change, and of helping to reduce the Wayne Millard, (Engineer at Bescot)chance of opening the off side doors.’ Peter Richardson and John Best, (Engineers at Wolverton)Getting the ‘Right Away’ again, we’re soonup to linespeed as we continue our journey Drivers:north. The momentum is such that we’re Bob Fraser (Acton)able to coast from Rugby to our next stop Joe Paxton (Bescot)at Coventry. Bob turns to me for a moment. Frank Sutton (Bescot)‘You are very much alone in the cab of a Mike Smurthwaite (Bristol)Pendolino,’ he says. ‘When you get out Steve Bates (Bristol)at journey’s end, it’s nice to walk up the Willie Ward (Carlisle)platform and chat to or acknowledge the Colin Park (Carlisle)Train Manager, or platform staff. We’re all Chris Kneale (Crewe)part of the same family. Although I must Joe Wray (Doncaster) ‘But the best piece of advice is this: Never Colin Newcombe (Doncaster)say that doesn’t bother a driver too much assume – you might think you know what’s Eddie Evans (Eastleigh)– we tend to be comfortable in our own coming, but every trip is different – never Wayne Thompson (Eastleigh)company. If you weren’t, you couldn’t do get blasé about the same old signals being Andy Denton (Healey Mills)the job.’ the same old aspects each day. You just Andy Flett (Hither Green)‘It can be harder for those who come to never know.’ Rod Gray (Ipswich)driving from other grades, or industries, Phil George (Margam) Thanks to Bob Dunn, Instructor Driver,where they might be more used to talking Campbell Pow (Mossend) Virgin Trains and Gregg Davies, Driverto a lot of people a lot of the time.’ Dale Cowan (Mossend) Manager, Virgin Trains. Darren Hughes (Newport)‘Virgin’s Millennium recruitment programme Lawrence Pierce (St Blazey)was aimed at people from outside Darrin Hart (St Blazey)industries. Many of us thought it’d Dave Harrison (Tyne Yard)never work – they were driving Top Link Peter Stobbart (Tyne Yard)expresses 12 months after joining, when Nick Roberts (Warrington)we’d taken years to work up the grades. Lee Carley (Warrington)But it did work, largely thanks to Virgin’s Ian Funai (Westbury)rigorous selection process. Virgin’s also Graham Jenkins (Wembley)very good at inviting comment from – and Steve Baxter (Wembley)listening to – the shop floor, which is veryimportant.’ Right Track sends its hearty congratulations to all. // 09
  10. 10. The lowdown Front-line staff are obviously very important to Chris. He began on the Central Division of BR’s Southern Region in 1981, a time of peak-capped Railmen, slam-door rolling stock – and strict Regional boundaries. ‘People talk about the barriers to communication that have sprung up since privatisation,’ he grins, ‘but I promise you they were there in BR days – as I found when trying to plan trains that spanned two or more Divisions on the Southern, let The lowdown: alone from the Southern to the Western or Chris Gibb London Midland.’ I suggest that this sort of structure tends to feed rivalries. ‘Yes,’ Chris agrees, ‘but this isn’t always a bad thing – take the rivalry between the West and East Coast Main Lines, for example. That’s been there since the Great Race to the North of the Victorian era. But it’s driven faster trains, better safety and higher standards ofRight Track’s Greg Morse talks to customer service.’Chris Gibb, Chief Operating Officer We can always improve, but society should acknowledge thatof Virgin Trains, who explains why the railway operates at a higher standard of safety than the roads.we’re all in this together Chris Gibb The talk of rivalry leads us to one of theChris Gibb is a man with a keen sense of down the years. ‘Whenever I’m out with a railway’s main rivals – the motor car. ‘Carhistory. ‘In order to run a safe railway,’ he driver,’ he says, ‘I’ll think to myself “that’s drivers interest me,’ says Chris. ‘In society,says, ‘we need to learn from – and preserve Harrow, Quintinshill,” or whatever. Most of car drivers believe that they’re in control– the lessons of the past.’ my knowledge has – quite naturally – come of all the risks. That means that when they from books, but those of us who’ve lived have an accident, it’s just an accident.We’re sitting in a piece of history ourselves, through a Clapham or Ladbroke Grove But on the railway, someone’s always tothis December morning: Hardwick know how important it is that we never blame.’House, one of the old British Rail offices have another.’put up when Euston was rebuilt in the ‘We wouldn’t dream of running trains at 8060s. Now used by Virgin Trains, Chris We discuss how a big accident gives not mph in the fog with no signals, our drivershas commandeered a room, having no just the industry, but also the individual, nattering on mobile phones. But that’s whatpermanent London office. Not that he’s great focus. ‘It’s worth remembering,’ happens on the roads.’ Virgin has a zero Chris explains, ‘that safety isn’t all about tolerance on mobiles in the cab, yet car managers, processes and paper. James drivers also listen to music all the time when We must keep reviewing risk and Street has surely reminded us that safety is they’re on the road. We don’t allow that in mitigation measures. We must just as much about the front line. The fact the cab either, but should we? Would it aid keep doing what we do safely and that most recent high-profile accidents have concentration, or be a distraction? Or are well. been SPADs has created a false belief that we so safe on the railway because we don’t Chris Gibb front-line safety means drivers, but it isn’t allow it?’ just drivers, is it? The railway is a system, in which everyone has their part to play.’ Chris explains that training and recruitmentcomplaining: ‘When I worked for Cross are key. ‘We never leave it to the driverCountry, I was spending three nights away ‘Look,’ he goes on, ‘it’s easy for on the railway,’ he says. ‘Recruitment infrom home,’ he explains. ‘Now I’m with management to get distracted by other the railway industry is different now. In BRWest Coast, it’s dropped to two!’ things and not stand on the platform days, Traction Trainees would be asked – in watching how trains are dispatched. It’s essence – to prove that they could get upPast and present about give-and-take: managers need to in the mornings and to provide evidence listen – the front line have valuable inside that they’d be able to cope with the task inChris has an extensive knowledge and knowledge; but the front line also need to hand. I used to ask interviewees whetherunderstanding of most of the accidents that tell managers if something seems wrong they liked football. If they were passionatehave occurred on the West Coast Main Line about what they’re being asked to do.’10 //
  11. 11. Newswire...about Rangers or something, I’d let them they were in fact up to ten minutes late. Pakistan: Train collision kills 3,talk on for a bit and probably show them Baker called for operators to return to a injures 50the door if they said “I never miss a match” culture of ‘right time means right time’. On 17 September, a passenger– if we had a depot full of Rangers fans, train passed a signal at danger andthen it’d be very hard to find crews for our ‘The trouble is,’ says Chris, ‘that this might struck the rear of another near BinSaturday afternoon trains!’ create a dangerous distraction, in that we Qasim, Karachi. A driver, guard and a might start to go for “right time, no matter passenger were killed; 50 more were‘Nowadays, it’s all about psychometric what”. Will conductors think they should injured.testing, the ability to do a repetitive job cut corners, for example? The flexibility US: Passenger films CTA trainwithout falling asleep, and the ability to of the current arrangements means that driver textingfollow rules. We like people with opinions, the safety of those with impaired mobility A passenger on a Chicago CTA Bluebut we must have people who can follow isn’t compromised. Any over-emphasis on Line service filmed a driver texting whilstthe rules day in, day out, and always get it punctuality could undo a lot of excellent operating his train during a morningright.’ work that’s been done to make the commute. The unidentified passenger platform-train interface safer.’ passed his video to the local media,Chris explains that the Pendolino has a who contacted CTA to investigate. CTAhigh degree of ‘redundancy’, meaning an Before I leave, I ask Chris about the future. says it has a ‘zero-tolerance policy’ onon-board computer system will shut down He doesn’t hesitate: ‘Our biggest challenge mobile phone use on the job, adding that seven operators were disciplineddefective equipment in order to let the is to keep looking for safety improvements for violating that rule in 2011.train keep going. ‘Driving can be boring,’ and not resting on our laurels and thinkinghe says. ‘But the moment something “we’re safe enough”.’ Japan: 28 hurt in landslidegoes wrong, drivers have to consider derailmentseveral options for what to do about it. On 25 September, heavy rains caused We should be proud of our safetyThe computer will give one answer, or a mudslide over the line in the Yokosuka record, but remember that we’re area of Kanagawa. A passenger train,the driver can “phone a friend” (as we call only ever one step away from a travelling at 75 km/h, ran into debrisit), which means contacting an engineer major media storm. between Oppama and Keikyu Taura.who’s computer is linked to the on-board The collision caused a derailment whichequipment.’ Chris Gibb injured 28 people, including the driver, who had seen the mudslide some 10‘There’s also added pressure in that Virgin metres before impact, but was unableuses regular OTMR downloads, so if a ‘The British Olympic Cycling Team was to stop the train in time.driver’s doing something wrong, we’ll know so good partly because its Director of India: One killed, four injured asabout it quickly – there’s no way he or she Performance believed in the power of freight trains collidecan “square it with the Bobby” like years incremental improvements. They employed On 3 October, a freight train struck theago.’ someone to keep making small changes, rear of a stationary consist at Dagauri, but when you add those changes all up, on the Bilaspur-Raipur section of India’sAgainst the clock you find you’ve moved a long way, that South East Central Railway. A member you’ve become a winner. That’s what we of the S&T department was killed andEarlier in the week, Transport Minister need in the rail industry.’ the driver and co-driver of the movingNorman Baker had been quoted as saying train were injured, along with twothat TOCs were being ‘totally dishonest’ others. Four wagons were derailed.with passengers on punctuality by Slovakia: 23 hurt in passenger‘pretending’ that trains were on time when train collision At 15:24 (local time) on 26 October, a passenger train struck the rear of a stationary service in Bratislava. Twenty-three were injured. Preliminary investigations suggest that the driver of the incoming train passed a signal at danger. Be safe – log on to opsweb.co.uk Australia: Train derails after striking lorry on crossing; 1 killed At 11:42 (local time) on 3 November, a lorry drove through the barriers at a Have you seen the new section on level crossing in Dandenong and was managing fatigue? struck by an oncoming passenger train. The force of the collision tore open the leading carriage and derailed the Log on at www.opsweb.co.uk following four of the six-car formation. One passenger was killed and 12 were Opsweb is the website of the Operations Focus Group injured. The train driver was trapped in (OFG) a cross-industry programme facilitated by RSSB the cab for an hour and was later taken Opsweb is the website of the Operations Focus Group (OFG) a cross-industry programme facilitated by RSSB to hospital in a coma. // 11
  12. 12. walk out towinterDB Schenker’s Nick Edwards talks about how we should Caldercruix on the Airdrie-Bathgate line in December 2010. Photo: Network Railprepare for the effects of the colder season.If, on the morning of 5 January 2010, you Days earlier, only the quick reaction of a What became evident was that the blankethad stood on the footbridge at the small signaller prevented a serious incident further arrangements in existing rules did notHighland station of Carrbridge looking South at Carstairs when another freight ran adequately address severe winter weathersouth, you would have seen an almost away due to severe weather conditions. conditions for all types of train and stock.perfect Christmas card vista of virginsnow between the platforms, weighing Even by Scottish standards, the winter of During the early part of 2010, there werethe boughs of the trees, buildings and 2009/2010 came early and was particularly numerous incidents caused by harshstructures wearing a jaunty cap of bad. Further south, nearly all parts of the weather conditions. Some were predictable,fresh show and the railway stretching UK saw substantial falls of snow and day others less so - like a train narrowly avoidingaway Aviemore. All that was missing after day of freezing temperatures. One passing a signal at danger. When the trainwas a robin hippety-hopping along the satellite photo showed the whole country was examined it was found that severalplatform fence. under a blanket of white. Prior to this, brake release cords had accumulated large winters had been benign for well over a chunks of ice/snow and this weight wasTurn 180 degrees and an altogether decade. What was to follow the incidents of having the effect of releasing the brakes.different prospect faced you. Down late 2009 and early 2010 was a root-and-between the trees, several metres below branch review of how trains operate in thethe Up platform, was a Class 66 followed snow.by a disarray of vehicles, their curtain-sided swap bodies tossed around like In the immediate aftermath of the incidents,toys. Between the two platforms, vehicles numerous operating digests were issued tolay at right-angles to the track and further address what was becoming a very difficultswap bodies are strewn across the railway. period for operators.Amidst this lay the remains of a signal Pre-empting recommendations from anyflattened during the derailment. Further of the three independent investigationsnorth, the rest of the train remained on the the Rail Freight Operators Group (RFOG)track and upright. This was the result of a also set up a small sub-group to producefreight derailing after going out of control a Code of Practice for operating in winterdescending the legendary Slochd Summit. conditions. In addition, RFOG made a proposal to review the Rule Book Photo: Network Rail requirements.12 //
  13. 13. Winter Conditions Newswire... Egypt: 50 killed as train strikes school bus; crossing keeper arrested for ‘sleeping on job’ On 17 November a school bus carrying around 60 pre-school children was struck on a level crossing near Manfalut, some 230 miles south of Cairo. At least 50 children and the bus driver were killed and more than a dozen were injured. It has been reported that the crossing keeper was arrested for sleeping on duty. The Egyptian transport minister and the head of the railway authority have resigned. UK: Rail worker killed in road traffic accident On the afternoon of 18 November, a Network Rail employee on duty was killed when his car left the southboundThe derailed train at Carrbridge as depicted in RAIB’s report (Photo: Copyright RAIB) carriageway of the A12 at Capel St Mary, struck a tree and overturned.The length of the cord was within industry The need for vigilance during train This is the first workforce fatality to havespecifications/parameters and the depth of preparation was also emphasised: trains occurred since July 2011. The RED 35 DVD will include more information onsnow did not exceed the then Rule Book were not permitted to start their journey rail-related road vehicle safety.requirements. unless the vehicles were free from contamination. UK: King’s Cross anniversaryThe results of the investigations, rule markedreviews and the production of the Code of Although it might seem to go without On 18 November, a service was held atPractice were in place before the winter of saying, any task is made more difficult the Blessed Sacrament church to mark2010/2011. when snow and ice are present. Staff the 25th anniversary of the King’s Cross consistently reported unsafe conditions and Tube tragedy, in which 31 people were2010 ended as it had begun: heavy snow carried out tasks at a slower but safer pace. killed and over 100 were injured whendisrupted rail and road systems from late Staff prepared for winter earlier making sure a wooden escalator caught fire. It isNovember. Staff had been briefed on the essential supplies required to treat surfaces thought that a discarded match beganchanges to rules and to the best practice the blaze. and rail vehicles were in place during thecontained in the Code of Practice and autumn. Italy: Six killed as train strikes vanwhilst road transport continued to be at crossingdisrupted, rail services continued, albeit We’ve already seen very wintry conditions At 17:15 (local time) on 25 November,subject to expected and understandable and substantial snow at the start of 2013, six people were killed when a traindelay, without incident. It appeared that the and although we can never be sure if we’ll struck a van at a private crossingharsh lessons from the previous winter had see more of the same this year or the next, in Rossanoy. The van, carrying fruitbeen learnt. So what exactly were those we can’t be complacent. The four key harvesters back from an orchard site,lessons? messages are: was dragged 600 metres before it came to rest. There were no injuries to those on board the train. It is understood that ‘…the need to carry • Prepare early for winter; the accident occurred while the van driver was waiting for the barriers to be out running brake tests • Take time when carrying opened manually. became entrenched…’ out tasks and report unsafe conditions; UK: Collision at Beech Hill AHB kills child • Follow the rules that are in place At 12:34 on 4 December, a single-carWell, the need to carry out running brake to facilitate safe working in passenger service struck a road vehicletests became entrenched. Several trains winter; at Beech Hill AHB. The train was notwere stopped after drivers reported poor derailed by the impact, but the roadbraking during running brake tests. When • Be aware of, and follow, any vehicle was knocked clear of the line.the train was inspected, build-ups of snow company instructions regarding Its driver escaped significant injury, butand ice between the brake blocks and train working in winter. the only other occupant, a four-year- old child, later died of her injuries inwheels were found. This had to be removed hospital.before the trains could go forward safely. // 13
  14. 14. RAIB report brief:let’s twist again Photo: DB SchenkerFreight train derailment at Bordesley The derailed wheels ran in the four-foot The trouble was they carried out work in theJunction: 26 August 2011 of the Down Camp Hill, striking and wrong place. The track twists at Bordesley damaging two sets of points before a Junction were also identified as repeat trackThings always go better when people crossover guided them back towards the geometry faults, but no action was taken towork together. Just look at the Olympics Up Camp Hill. They re-railed again, but the investigate why they kept happening.– millions of people all getting to where driver realised that the train was slowingthey need to, thanks to rail staff doing and noticed that the brake pressure was In short, the track twist and the worntheir bit together. Unfortunately, things ebbing. He tried to release the brakes, but wagon suspension combined to create thethat cause accidents can also ‘do their the pressure fell again, so he brought the accident.bit’ and together – and when they do, an train to a stand.incident usually follows, as the derailment What’s been done?at Bordesley Junction on 26 August 2011 At the same time, another freight was RAIB made four recommendations,demonstrated… approaching on the adjacent line. Its driver covering improving the way problems saw the signal change from green to red inWhat happened? with a whole wagon fleet are handled front of him. There were also clouds of dust when parts of that fleet are owned by coming from the rear of the oncoming train.The story began just after 11pm the night several companies, reviewing how PHA He reached for the brake handle…before, when an empty aggregates train left suspensions are maintained, modifying theBanbury for the Lafarge depot in Barrow- The two trains stopped alongside each suspensions to reduce the number andon-Soar. other and both drivers escaped injury. duration of lock ups, and changing the way staff controlling on-track machines areAfter being looped at Small Heath for about What did RAIB find? briefed.half an hour, the train got the road andmoved out onto the Down Main. The signal RAIB’s investigation found that the 28th On 23 September 2011, Network Railahead was red, so the driver applied the wagon of the train derailed when its leading measured a track twist at the point ofbrakes and brought it to a stand. As the right-hand wheel flange climbed onto derailment. Repairs undertaken on 29wheels stopped rolling, the signal changed the rail just before the junction. This was September reduced the twist significantly.to a proceed aspect, so he applied traction because the dynamic load on this wheelbefore letting the ‘66’ coast as it moved was reduced by a combination of factors Network Rail has also said it will beonto a falling gradient near Bordesley related to the wagon’s suspension and the reminding staff about repeat track geometryJunction. The train began to slow as it track geometry. faults, carrying out repairs in the rightpassed over the pointwork and by the time place, observing the track under traffic andthe 28th wagon was about 5 metres off, its Behind this were problems with the measuring voids, the correct planning ofspeed had fallen to 11 mph. maintenance process for wagon tamping work and contingency planning suspension systems, which find and put in the event of the partial completion of aFlange climb right worn suspension components on the tamping shift. wagon. Furthermore, no changes wereAs the wagon approached the junction, made to its suspension following testing in Furthermore, rolling stock maintainerthe flange of its front right-hand wheel 2009, which showed that the suspension Wabtec has begun a programme of work toclimbed onto the railhead, rode the top of on PHAs was prone to locking up. Indeed, modify the suspensions on Lafarge’s fleetrail for 3.6 metres and derailed to the right no one really took this matter in hand. of PHAs. Lafarge expects this work to beon plain line. The rear wheelset – and all of completed within 18 months.the wheels of the next three PHAs – were RAIB also found that track twists in thepulled off as they reached the crossing. The vicinity of derailment had been presentdriver felt a snatch, but this wasn’t unusual for a long time, Network Rail staff havingwhen coasting at this point. attended to them six times during 2011.14 //