Latest Rail News

07.10.16

RAIB: London Midland processes for assessing driver managers ‘inadequate’

A train carrying around 2,000 passengers broke a temporary speed restriction earlier this year because of a miscommunication in an incident that could have been ‘very serious’, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has said.

At 08.28 on 5 January, the 07.39 London Midland train from Bletchley to London Euston travelled at 75mph through a 5mph emergency speed restriction at Queen’s Park in north-west London.

Network Rail had introduced the restriction the previous night after engineers found a crack in the track on a crossing.

In its report into the incident, the RAIB stressed that, because of the number of passengers on the train, the incident “had the potential to be very serious”.

Before the incident, two e-mails were sent and a notice posted to inform drivers about the restriction. However, the train driver did not realise the notices applied to his route because they referred to a ‘crossing’. He misunderstood this as meaning an up and down goods loop, not the up slow line he was travelling on.

A driver manager was travelling with the driver to provide a peer-to-peer assessment, but he did not properly read the e-mails or notice and believed the driver’s explanation of where the restriction applied.

The RAIB report said that London Midland’s processes for maintaining driver managers’ driving and assessing competencies were ‘inadequate’, because they relied on peer-to-peer assessments, where the drivers often knew each other and were less likely to be rigorous.

The report said that London Midland should review and improve its process for routine competence management and assessment of driver managers, ensure that safety critical information is easily and unambiguously communicated to drivers, and introduce an effective means of ensuring that staff can rapidly establish who is driving a train.

In addition, it said the incident provided three learning points for the rail industry as a whole: ensuring that safety critical communications do not use ambiguous words such as ‘crossing’; ensuring that managers with driving competencies fully familiarise themselves with all relevant safety critical information when taking charge of a train; and ensuring that assessors prepare themselves as if they were driving the train and do not confirm any misunderstandings held by the driver.

When contacted by RTM, a London Midland spokesperson said the company wasn’t commenting on the story.

(Image c. Alvey and Towers)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Firearms officers patrol trains for the first time

26/05/2017Firearms officers patrol trains for the first time

For the first time in rail history, specialist firearms officers will patrol trains across the UK network to ensure that the travelling public ar... more >
Carillion plans job losses as NR renewal cutbacks start to bite

26/05/2017Carillion plans job losses as NR renewal cutbacks start to bite

The RMT has this week vowed to fight “vigorously” against planned cuts to renewals work for Network Rail (NR) being carried out by co... more >
New Merseyrail fleet a platform for future innovations

26/05/2017New Merseyrail fleet a platform for future innovations

David Powell, programme director of rolling stock at Merseytravel, talks about the procurement of the new fleet of metro trains for the Merseyrai... more >

editor's comment

08/05/2017All set for Railtex

As the rail industry prepares for the biggest UK rail show of the year, Railtex 2017, we have produced a specially expanded edition of RTM for you.  Our exclusive show guide, which starts on page 67, provides you with everything you need to know about the things to see, hear and do at the three-day show. A look through our preview pages will give you a good idea of which stands to visit, as well as meetings to set up.  Th... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Intertrain: ready for the future

23/02/2017Intertrain: ready for the future

RTM recently attended Intertrain’s ‘Driving for Success’ event in Doncaster, where leaders from major players such as Carillion... more >
Tackling regulation at its routes

24/01/2017Tackling regulation at its routes

John Larkinson, the ORR’s director of railway markets and economics, speaks to RTM about the move to regulating Network Rail at a route lev... more >
Investing in the future of Scottish Rail

15/11/2016Investing in the future of Scottish Rail

Phil Verster, managing director of ScotRail Alliance, speaks to RTM’s Luana Salles about the recently-published ‘Investing in the Fut... more >

last word

Collaborative working is the key to the future of rail infrastructure

Collaborative working is the key to the future of rail infrastructure

David Hawkins, operations director at the Institute for Collaborative Working (ICW), on why ISO 44001 is a new evolution in collaborative working... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Opinion poll: HS3 must take priority over Crossrail 2

19/05/2017Opinion poll: HS3 must take priority over Crossrail 2

Fresh from their victories in the metro mayor elections earlier this month, new leaders of Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region Andy Burn... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Upskilling our workforce: how we need to think

19/05/2017Upskilling our workforce: how we need to think

Simon Rennie (pictured centre), general manager of the National Training Academy for Rail, on the importance of upskilling the current workforce ... more >
Inclusive design of ticket sales counters

17/05/2017Inclusive design of ticket sales counters

Boaz Yariv, senior architect, and Dr Elizabeth de Mello, senior ergonomics specialist at Network Rail, present the main features of the new inclu... more >
Small stations: simple changes for quick wins

17/05/2017Small stations: simple changes for quick wins

Richard Freeston-Clough of London TravelWatch explains how investing in small stations in the capital can deliver many benefits and also have a p... more >
Why are S&C layouts failing?

17/05/2017Why are S&C layouts failing?

Dr Sin Sin Hsu, programme engineering manager IP Track Development at Network Rail, analyses why switch and crossing (S&C) layouts fail prema... more >