Latest Rail News


RAIB to launch class investigation following front-line worker incidents


Image credit - viole

The RAIB has announced it will launch a class investigation into a number of life-threatening incidents in which safety systems on the railway were entirely dependent on the decisions of front-line track workers.

The class investigation will look into factors affecting safety-critical human performance in signalling operations on the rail network.

This directly follows numerous incidents in which “the decisions of front-line workers have been pivotal to the outcome” and the safety of the rail system “has been entirely dependent on those decisions.”

The RAIB said the incidents it had investigated involved the decisions of signallers, for example in arranging line blockages, or responding to users at user worked crossings.

It said it is aware of several more similar incidents which didn’t warrant a full investigation but did highlight the vulnerable nature of such decision making.

The RAIB stated that in light of these incidents, it had decided to undertake a class investigation into the factors affecting those decisions.

The purpose will be to identify the factors affecting safety-critical decisions and determine what actions might be appropriate to address them.

The investigation branch said that it is fundamental to the investigation to recognise that these decisions are never taken in isolation but are influenced by a variety of factors associated with the person, the task, the equipment or the organisation.

The RAIB’s statement added: “As well as aiming to improve safety, this investigation will also inform the RAIB’s own work when dealing with such incidents in future.”

The RAIB has led investigations into a higher than average number of track-worker incidents in the past few months with several near miss incidents and one fatality.




There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



Rail industry Focus

  • 11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

    How the rail industry delivers the next generation of complex infrastructure will rely heavily on the people tasked with leading the projects, and the technology they use to do it. Faithful+Gould...
  • 11/09/2019Putting passengers first

    How does the rail industry design the railways for the next 40 years, and when it does, how do we make sure it’s all done with the passenger in mind? Jane Fisher joined three members of the Arup team...
View all News


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 >

'the sleepers' blog

Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

17/09/2019Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

Continuing our mission to connect buyers with suppliers, This year TransCityRail North is adding a new element to the event. We are introducing an incomparable opportunity for you to meet with over 11 procurement directors from Network Rail... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


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 >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >