Latest Rail News

14.07.20

ORR publishes rail safety report

The rail regulator’s Annual Report of Health and Safety Performance on Britain’s Railways shows that despite safety across Britain’s railways has developed over the last 12 months, exceptional seasonal weather conditions continue to unfavourably affect safety performance.

The report has also found that more action needs to be taken to tackle the impacts of climate change on the railway which has seen risks increase over the last year.

The number of earthwork failures and trains striking objects, such as trees, increased almost four fold compared to last year.

Infrastructure is impacted by examples of climate changes such as hot dry summers followed by high rainfall, which can cause earthwork to collapse, while movement in clay embankments can adversely affect the precision layout of the tracks.

 Although Network Rail has put forward plans to address climate change and increase resilience to extreme weather, ORR reports today that these plans are not keeping up with the frequency and severity of weather events.

ORR have said Network Rail must focus more on improving identification of impending failure by means of remote monitoring and on refining the measures it has to respond to forecasts of extreme conditions.

The report also found that progress has been made around level crossing safety, with a repeat of last year’s lowest-ever number of two level crossing fatalities and praised Network Rail’s long-term plan for efficient improvement to level crossings.

Ian Prosser CBE, HM Chief Inspector of Railways, said: “There’s no doubt our railway remains one of the safest in Europe. There have been improvements in health and safety to the operation of Britain’s railways and this bears testimony to the great efforts made across the industry over the past decade.

“However, the last year saw significant increases in flooding, earthwork failures and trains striking trees on the line, which had a big impact on the number of delays on the network.

“It is so important that the sector employs best practice if we are to meet all the pressures on the network in the future and to make sure the railway plays its full role on climate change and reducing carbon emissions.”

Images: ORR

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

Most Read

'the sleepers' blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
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 projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >