Railway safety and crime

01.05.19

RAIB releases safety report after dog killed in train dispatch accident

The RAIB has made safety recommendations to a train operator and the Rail Delivery Group after a train dispatch accident resulted in the death of a dog.

A passenger and her dog were exiting a train at Elstree and Borehamwood station in September last year when the dog’s lead became trapped in the closed doors of the departing train, “dragging the dog off the platform and leading to its death.”

The RAIB said the passenger was uninjured but was “very distressed,” and said the accident happened because the train driver failed to notice the passenger in close proximity to the train both before he decided to close the train doors and before he decided it was safe to depart from the station.

This is despite an on-train CCTV system being provided which allows the driver to monitor the side of the train and the adjacent platform edge during the train dispatch process.

The design of the door obstacle-detection system could not detect the dog’s lead because it was too thin, meaning the train was able to depart with the lead trapped in the closed door.

The RAIB has told Govia Thameslink Railway, the operator of the train, to develop suitable guidance for drivers on the time needed to safely observe the platform-train interface before and after closing the train doors.

It also wants the TOC to enhance its driver management processes by routinely monitoring the safety of train dispatch.

The final recommendation was made to the Rail Delivery Group, in consultation with the RSSB and train operators, and relates to investigating technologies to better assist train dispatch staff to detect people or items which may become trapped in train doors.

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