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RSSB issues guidance to reduce broken-down train disruptions

New industry guidance has been issued by the RSSB to reduce the amount of disruption that is caused by broken-down trains on the UK rail network, a move the body claims could lead to savings of up to £2.5m a year for the sector.

In a report released this week, the organisation recommended that rolling stock owners should make sure that trains traveling slower than 250km/h used couplers that are compatible with the Scharfenberg Type 12 and the compatible Voith 136.

This is because the best method of moving a broken-down train being to attach a separate locomotive that can haul it.

But, the RSSB say that there is only a 50% chance of the nearest train having the correct part to haul the train away, with this figure dropping down to 20% in some parts of the country.

RSSB state that enabling broken-down trains to move quickly by the nearest locomotive, regardless of operator, would allow the rolling stock to be moved out of the way more quickly and reduce costs to companies as well as lessen disruption to passengers.

The report stated: “The incompatibility of mechanical and electrical coupling between trains operating on the same route has increased significantly since privatisation in 1994.

“The research project was commissioned on behalf of the Vehicle/Vehicle System Interface Committee (V/V SIC) to investigate the benefit of standardising mechanical coupling arrangements on all passenger stock. 

“This standard once accepted through the normal British Standard Institution process would allow, assist and encourage all stakeholders to comply with the standardisation requirements.

“The V/V SIC advised the project that the best route to implementation would be to work, with its support, through the Rail Delivery Group.”

Top Image: Johnny Green PA Images

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Jimbo   27/04/2017 at 16:17

So having compatible couplings makes it easier to recover failed units, so they are going to mandate that in the future. Okay thats good, but it has taken 20 years to realise that ? Modern rolling stock is already governed by a huge set of standards, so why has it taken so long to specify this bit ?

Noam Bleicher   28/04/2017 at 08:41

So a balkanised, uncoordinated, piecemeal approach to national train procurement has led to a bugger's muddle of incompatible systems? Really? Who'd have thought it?

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