Track and signalling

15.03.19

Safety warning issued after runaway road-rail vehicle raises concerns over brake maintenance and ‘inadequate supervision’

The RAIB has issued new safety recommendations after a road rail vehicle (RRV) ran downhill and out of control along a track for 340 metres.

During works at Bradford Interchange station, a mobile elevating working platform ran away whilst it was being placed on the track because its rail wheels were “incorrectly” partially deployed and because the rail wheel braking system had not been correctly maintained.

The vehicle’s machine operator and machine controller were able to run alongside it as it fell away, and managed to warn a member of track maintenance staff who dodged the RRV.

The RAIB’s report said the partial deployment of the wheels was a result of the machine operator failing to follow the standard industry procedure for on and off tracking.

The fitters had also not followed the equipment manufacturer’s instructions, meaning the rail wheel braking system had not been properly maintained and the employer, Readypower, failed to detect both of these issues.

The RAIB reported that an underlying factor was that the industry’s competence management system for machine operators focuses on renewing qualifications instead of demonstrating ongoing competence.

In its recommendations, the RAIB said that Readypower needed to improve the management of competence of its staff.

It said that the quality of the maintenance instructions and training provider to the employer’s fitters needed to improve.

The final recommendation was that the industry’s competence management system for all machine operators who work on Network Rail’s infrastructure needed to improve.

The chief inspector of rail accidents, Simon French, commented: “Getting road-rail plant safely on and off the track ought to be a straightforward business. Unfortunately, over the years RAIB has had to investigate too many incidents in which this operation has gone wrong, and the machine involved has run away downhill, often for quite long distances.

“Too often the people in charge have not known what to do to stop the runaway. In this case, the machine operator’s actions were not in line with what he had been trained to do, and no-one had checked on him.

“Of greater concern, however, is that the machine’s brakes did not hold it stationary on the one in 46 gradient. This was because they were badly maintained, a state of affairs that can be traced back to poor instructions and inadequate supervision of the plant hire company’s maintenance staff.

“The project to convert many road-rail vehicles to direct rail wheel braking also lacked important elements of safety assurance, such as provision for proper information about the machines being converted, and adequate arrangements for training the people who would have to maintain the new braking systems.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Government announces HS2 review, 'go or no-go' decision by year-end

21/08/2019Government announces HS2 review, 'go or no-go' decision by year-end

The government is set to launch a review into the HS2 project, transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced. The review into the high-spee... more >
New train station part of £218m Chelmsford regeneration

20/08/2019New train station part of £218m Chelmsford regeneration

As part of a major £218m regeneration of Chelmsford, a new train station is set to be constructed to improve transport infrastructure in th... more >
Mid-Cheshire Line speed increase after £800k rail upgrade

19/08/2019Mid-Cheshire Line speed increase after £800k rail upgrade

Following the completion of an £800,000 investment into new railway tracks, passenger trains operating on the Mid-Cheshire Line betwee... 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

Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

12/08/2019Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

Anna- Jane Hunter, is a ‘proud northerner’ and is passionate about continuing the investment and success story of rail across the North.  She plays a key role in working with government and northern leaders to enable the network to carry on thriving. We caught up with Anna-Jane, for her expertise and insight into connecti... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

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

interviews

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 >