Railway safety and crime


Industry-wide update on platform safety

New guidance on platform safety standards have been released by the RSSB.

Industry-wide measures have been updated and collectively agreements have been reached on platform safety in order to stop passengers getting hurt.

The RSSB issued its ‘Rail Industry Standard: Passenger Train Dispatch and Platform Safety Measures (RIS-3703-TOM)’ today in the hopes of ensuring good practice continues in the industry.

“The railway is fundamentally very safe for passengers, and rail companies are well-practised in managing the risks at the platform-train interface, said Tom Lee, the organisation’s director of standards.

“However, it would be prudent for members to check that their approaches and processes are up-to-date, and check that their safety management system and operational practice out in the field reflect the good practice contained in the standard, where these are relevant to their particular company.”

Last month, the rail safety group launched the Android version of its safety rule book app. The application – also available on Apple iOS – lets people access the information on their mobiles both online and offline.

The launch follows the RSSB’s Annual Safety Performance Report, released in September, which shows a pleasing trend of increased safety levels across the industry.

The organisation’s director of system safety and health, George Bearfield, will also be writing for the upcoming edition of RTM (October/November) about how the industry needs to preserve its sound risk-based approach to safety as we consider a more automated future. To receive a copy, subscribe for free here.

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


Sonning Cutting   18/10/2017 at 17:47

The article did not say whether the Rail Unions were involved in the consultation. I think this is important as RMT in particular has so much to say about safety.

Andrew Gwilt   19/10/2017 at 01:18

Why not install step free ramps on the platforms at most stations so that disabled passengers can get on the train and off the train without having to rely on using ramps when asking for staff to let those disabled passengers off the train onto the platforms.

David   19/10/2017 at 12:54

That's very difficult to achieve when different types of train stop at the same platform Andrew.

Mark Hare   20/10/2017 at 15:22

Great idea Andrew - provide another trip hazard on all station platforms. That should lead to a big increase in platform-train interface incidents!

AJG89   21/10/2017 at 12:05

Mark your clearly a moron so go die in a hole. Stupid troll.

Jerry Alderson   22/10/2017 at 20:51

"RMT in particular has so much to say about safety" - that remark may made a few chuckle. There's a a lot said about the doors - because it relates to staff, frankly - but very little about anything else. Station design should aim for use of stairs should be minimised. I suggest that far more injuries are caused by stair usage than by drivers controlling doors. The new £20M Northampton station is a joke when it comes to stairs. London-bound trains stop on a platform at ground level. Because of fears of revenue loss (such a serious fear that they leave the barriers open much of the time!!!) passengers are forced to go up stairs, along a walkway, through (often pen) barriers, then down stairs to the ground and end up practically where they started. Crazy - both in terms of time taken and risk - just so that they only need one set of barriers and one set of staff. Why doesn't the ORR get involved in that kind of nonsense rather than make Network Rail spend hundreds of millions of pounds raising bridges so that the wires will be higher than necessary to meet a non-applicable safety standard, given that no-one has ever been electrocuted at a station because of the current 'dangerous' standard.

Mark Hare   23/10/2017 at 11:02

Very good Andrew, very intelligent and insightful. Well done. There is nothing wrong with the current system of portable ramps for disabled passengers, as long as everyone does their job properly. This includes the passengers, who are required to inform staff where they are disembarking to enable assistance to be provided, as well as the driver and/or guard on the train to be informed also.

Jim   23/10/2017 at 18:55

Andrew - your comments have now reached the stage of telling people to go and ‘die in a hole’ What a delightful individual you really are.

Andrew Gwilt   25/10/2017 at 03:38

Clear off Jim.

Steve   29/10/2017 at 12:10

Amazed at level of sarcasm and hostility here - worse than on twitter. And this discussion is about railway safety. Andrew, LU has adopted the raised platform approach with dedicated locations. They have advantage of the same type of trains and the same stopping points. They won't work at curved platforms though - like Clapham Junction because the horizontal gap is too big. Mark, the ramps are sloped at the sides as well, but you are right that people can stumble if you are looking at phone, etc and don't notice slope. But it is not a trip hazard as a step or raised edge would be. Jerry, absolutely right about stairs. Where people have luggage, push chairs, etc, stairs (and escalators) are a nightmare. You also need to have lifts installed. Haven't been to the station but will look out for it. Mark the ramps are a great, cost effective way of providing access for people who are mobility impaired. But they do rely on station staff / guards, who the rail industry is desperately trying to cut. So, watch this space.

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

HS2 progress report released

24/01/2020HS2 progress report released

Today (Jan 24) the latest update on the rail project High Speed Two was released by the National Audit Service. The report says The Departme... more >
Transform a Pacer competition winners announced

23/01/2020Transform a Pacer competition winners announced

Aired on television last night (Jan 22) the lucky winners of the Transform a Pacer competition were announced. The competition means that after 3... more >
Innovation and Safety - David Clarke, RIA

23/01/2020Innovation and Safety - David Clarke, RIA

Source: RTM Dec 19/Jan 20 David Clarke, Technical Director, Railway Industry Association talks us through the ways innovation can be used to... 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

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to innovate and maximise efficiency in all aspects of its work. Data is just one such way of achievi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


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 >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News


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 wo... more >