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Train front ends can be different colours following RSSB safety rule change

The colour of trains’ front ends will now be set by companies instead of the compulsory yellow, following train safety changes from the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB).

The changes, implemented last week, mean that companies owning and operating trains are responsible for ensuring that they are sufficiently visible and conducting a risk assessment involving all affected parties before new colours are implemented.

The new standard is in line with modern best practice on audibility and visibility, such as improved headlamp technology.

However, trains without a new arrangement of headlamps will still be required to carry the yellow front panels.


Lutz   09/03/2016 at 21:46

Wow; that is the end of an era.

Roger   11/03/2016 at 10:43

HOORAY!! The end of the dreaded yellow warning panel! Now we can join in with the rest of the Europeans who know that if your train has headlamps, the ends can be any colour you like. The Swiss firm Crossrail have their locos in allover BLACK and they don't seem to have people walking in front of their trains because they can't be seen!

Phil   11/03/2016 at 12:30

As a track worker in the UK I consider this is a backward step for workforce safety. I couldn't give a dam what other countries do, or what enthusiasts / marketing types / desk bound risk assessors think - yellow should stay. End of. As for Rogers joy, he needs to pay attention to the section where it says ALL AFFECTED parties need to be consulted which, if the consultation actually means anything should give us trackside workers the power to veto totally unsuitable front end colour schemes like black. I also question what qualifies Roger to make the statements he has done , because if he is not regularly out there working on our national rail infrastructure he has no right to tell the rest of us we are wrong or 'celebrate' the change in such a trumphlist Mannor.

Colin Thompson   11/03/2016 at 12:55

Hello Phil: I don't know who you are or exactly what your role is, but 'HEAR, HEAR'! Your strong views I'd hope will surely be supported in equal measure by at least 90 percent of mainline 'trackside' staff. This issue (minimum area of the yellow End Warning Panel) affected us, of the Trackside Warning Working Group, when three decades ago some pre-privatization operators wanted to reduce the yellow to about 10 percent of its typical area as part of their new liveries, doubtless by employees who'd never set foot on a track. (They almost succeeded.) "Same stuff, different day..."

Gerry   11/03/2016 at 13:33

I agree with Phil and Colin getting rid of the traffic yellow fronts on cabs exteriors are asking for trouble. I have worked on the railway for 45 years and in all my time of developing new innovations including new headlamps (LED and Standard Bulb versions) not one Rosco and/or TOC's have had any problems with the yellow, this is an Ultimate safety feature that must be retained if we are to protect line side workers and the public. This is a British Standard not a Europeon Nurm and should remain as such??

GW   11/03/2016 at 17:16

How long before the first death as a result of this change?

Colin Burnham   11/03/2016 at 17:35

I joined British Railways in 1963 and retired in 2004,my work took me trackside and in all of this time the best safety ideas were the yellow fronts on trains and high viz vest. I cannot believe they are considering doing away with yellow ends,they should be looking at the dangerous amount of safety equipment staff now have to wear and carry trackside,all because Railway Management are afraid to query anything put forward by so called safety experts

David M.   11/03/2016 at 20:32

So much for safety being the No1 priority. The yellow front end does no harm and costs nothing as the front of the train has to be painted some colour. If it is of even marginal use as a fall back in case the light bulb fails, or the driver forgets to turn the light on. Something I have seen several times over the years, the yellow end should stay.

Dom   12/03/2016 at 23:03

yeyy bring back wasp stripes

Dave   12/03/2016 at 23:41

As a driver I agree with keeping yellow ends , and dulling down some of the extremely bright headlights .

Kriston   13/03/2016 at 06:59

I'm wondering if there will be some kind of lock-out/safety device fitted to the train that stops the train from moving off without the lights being on, or applies the brakes if the lights fail? I doubt it. To a look out, the dark coloured front of a fast moving train in the distance with faulty lights, may be almost identical to the rear of a slower freight train travelling away from them. Not such a good idea. Downright dangerous.

Aldo   13/03/2016 at 08:07

Class 377 have an alarm in the cab if a driver either forgets to switch the lights on or if a light fails, I would imagine other new stock has something similar, One of the problems with headlights is there are normally two on most units, Off side for daylight and near side between dusk and dawn, but in my experience lots of drivers would start a trip in sunlight and forget to change the lights over as it got darker, which could be very unsafe for drivers on the opposite line, and even in adverse daylight could be a nuisance, I had nothing against yellow fronted units, we had no lights on SR stock except for a back-lit route indicator until 1990 so it made sense to have a high vis front, which in the summer would be almost obscured by insects and during winter by de-icing fluid so I don't really think it is essential these days

Nigel   13/03/2016 at 14:10

i prefer the warning yellow on uk trains what if the new lighting fails etc

JL   13/03/2016 at 15:16

The new thinking of the brand conscious TOC. No regard for safety. Trains are that quiet and fast these days anyone on the track needs as much chance to see them coming as they can get. ASLEF will hopefully put an end to this idea. NRAP should also have some say, but judging on the incompatible fleets they allow on the network, don't hold out much hope of that

Colin Hanslip   13/03/2016 at 17:59

Oh dear, this does not seem a sensible move to me. I was taught that yellow was the last colour you would lost sight of in poor lighting conditions, so why would you want anything else at the front of a heavy, hard to stop, potential killing machine? If one life has been saved as a result of the yellow paint that for me is enough to keep it right where it belongs

Bert   13/03/2016 at 23:04

If you cannot see the headlight, then you've got no business being loose on the track - quite simple. YOU are responsible for your own safety.

Roger Capel, Sheffield   14/03/2016 at 09:01

Despite being old enough to remember that yellow ends came in long enough ago for the cynics to ask when we might see an 8F or other steam traction with a yellow smokebox door (we never did), I too have worked trackside & I think that the yellow warning panel has worked well. My only question is whether the UK's other railway has actually done better. The late Ulster Transport Authority's chevronned ends were certainly eye catching, but the first time I saw successor NIR's 111 Class GM locos with a front warning panel which was actually FLUORESCENT I thought it was the safest yet, & still do. Surprised that the mainland took no notice.

Roger Jimlad   14/03/2016 at 14:36

If yellow on the front of trains is so essential to safety, why is virtually no other railway system in the world using it? It seems to me that an active warning system (headlamps) would be far preferable to a passive one (yellow paint). Why is it that as in so many other areas, something that other countries do as a matter of course (no yellow panels) without difficulty ceases to function when it's advocated for the UK?

Richard   14/03/2016 at 14:42

This is a step backwards for safety. If a yellow front saves one life, then it's done its job. Comparisons with Europe are meaningless, we have the safest railway in Europe by a large margin, and this is a step backwards. i am not interested in what less safe railways do. People who say things like 'the Underground doesn't have yellow ends' should be challenged with "so, how many live possessions does the Underground have?".

Chris   05/04/2016 at 18:06

In the event of an item of rolling stock failing and becoming electrically dead a brightly painted end, either yellow or luminous, provides a degree of protection from not being seen (particularly in the dark or poor visibility) and subsequently being hit from either end by other trains - notably in the case of a failure by whatever is sent out to rescue it. Topically it may also serve as a reminder to stop short when trains are 'called on' into occupied platforms.

Laurence   06/04/2016 at 12:51

if they do away with the yellow front ends so the workers can't see the trains then why not let the track workers wear there normal clothes so the drivers would have to concentrate more to be able to see them blending in with the background. totally stupid idea.

Jak Jaye   08/04/2016 at 13:47

Simple it it isnt broken why fix it?

Rob   23/04/2016 at 06:56

This is a backward step I've worked trackside for 27 years (not in one shift though) other European countries have copied this idea Belguim Holland for instance and further afield Australia Nw Zealand and even India on the commuter network this idea to implement shouldn't be at the hands of office workers or train drivers to agree to its us the track workers that should have the last say

Adam Bryant   11/06/2016 at 10:11

I like the yellow warning panels. F*** what some guy sat behind a desk all day says.

Ed   14/04/2017 at 00:23

I Agree the Yellow End Should Remain also a Trains Warning Horns are there for that to warn us the Public & Also the Trackside Workers! If they are taking away the Yellow then Horns SHOULD be blown at Whistle Posts/Boards 24 hours a day especially as the Speex on Newer units is slowly creeping up towards 110 mph! So then take away the Yellow front end, whats next removing the Horns because "Headlight Technology is so advanced now!" Its a Ridiculous idea it really i'm just glad i don't travel that much now and i certainly will NOT be travelling on anything that doesn't have a Friendly Yellow Face! Thank You!

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