Light rail and trams


Urgent safety advice calls for louder horns on Edinburgh trams after pedestrian’s death

The RAIB has issued urgent safety advice calling for louder warning horns to be fitted on Edinburgh’s trams following the death of a pedestrian.

Carlos Correa Palacio was struck and fatally injured by a tram travelling from Edinburgh city centre to the city’s airport, colliding with the pedestrian at 50km/h.

An RAIB investigation said the pedestrian did not respond to repeated warnings from the tram’s bell as he crossed over two tram tracks between Stenhouse Drive and Saughton Mains Street, and tram was unable to stop in time despite the emergency break being activated.

Palacio suffered serious injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident on 11 September – the first fatal incident involving a Scottish tram since 1959.

Since the incident, the RAIB conducted acoustic tests on the warning horns on Edinburgh’s trams and said the horns were eight decibels short of meeting guidelines and were not loud enough to alert the public.

Investigators determined that the horn did not generate more noise than the tram’s bell and issued the ‘urgent safety advice’ to Edinburgh Trams Limited advising it “to increase the sound pressure level of the warning horn fitted to its trams.”

In the incident, the tram driver noticed Palacio approaching the crossing and sounded repeated warnings using the tram’s bell as well as applying the service brake.

When Palacio continued onto the crossing, the driver operated the warning horn which also automatically operated the emergency break – but the tram was concluded to be too close to make a full stop.

The RAIB wants the trams to be fitted with increased sound pressure, but said in the meantime Edinburgh Trams Limited should “consider measures to mitigate risks at locations where audible warnings may be required.”

“In particular, consideration should be given to the appropriateness of the current warning horn or bell as a method of warning to pedestrians using footpath crossings over off-street track sections with high line speeds,” the report noted.

Edinburgh Trams said it was now modifying the trams’ warning horns, and testing was now underway across the fleet.

The company said that when the passenger services commenced in 2014 it was satisfied that sufficient testing of the audible warning horn had been undertaken, but that it was committed to work with the RAIB and to provide a safe tramway.

Earlier this week, a business case for extending Edinburgh’s tram network to Newhaven and Leith was put forward to councillors ahead of a decision next month.

The £207m project has been criticised by some as wasteful and “likely to bankrupt the city” but the city council say it will help unlock a large area of the city.

Image credit - MarioGuti


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

23/05/2019Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

Scrapping HS2 would be a “disaster” and would undermine Britain’s “national prosperity for decades to come,” more t... more >
Network Rail unveils new regional managing directors

23/05/2019Network Rail unveils new regional managing directors

Network Rail has announced five new regional managing directors as part of its “evolution” towards a more passenger-focused approach.... more >
£800m worth of rail haulage contracts awarded by Network Rail

22/05/2019£800m worth of rail haulage contracts awarded by Network Rail

Network Rail has awarded contracts for rail haulage and the operations of its engineering trains and seasonal treatment services for Control Peri... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

23/05/2019Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

The Midlands 30-year plan will deliver many economic benefits and will need a wide and diverse supply chain to deliver some of the key projects. We caught up with long running sponsors of TransCityRail, Bridgeway Consulting Limited, specialists in Site & Ground investigations, Geomatics and Infrastructure, to discuss why networking events ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

13/05/2019The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch and chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), gives her view on the state of the UK’s ... more >
NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

13/05/2019NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) chief executive Neil Robertson returns to write for RTM, this time, to assess the digital skills shor... more >
Delivering cost-effective electrification

13/05/2019Delivering cost-effective electrification

David Clarke, technical director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), sets out the findings of a new report on how rail electrification can... more >
5G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

13/05/20195G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

Simon Holmes, group head of digital (engineering) at FirstGroup, introduces us to the 5G solution being delivered for the rail sector.  ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News


Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >