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Train dispatch and the platform-train interface

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​There are over 2,500 stations on the mainline network, through which more than a billion journeys begin and end every year.

No passengers have died as a result of a Signal passed at Danger (SPAD) since the Ladbroke Grove accident in 1999, but between April 2003 and April 2013 there have been 30 passenger fatalities at the interface between the platform and the train at stations.

This makes the platform-train interface (PTI) and train dispatch a hot topic for industry.

The business of running trains means staff need to be able to manage the impact of large groups of people moving on and about the rail network. The onus is very much on individual behaviour in the station environment and the potential hazards they face, which can be exacerbated by their own behaviour, such as rushing, or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The GB Platform Train Interface (PTI) Strategy

We have developed a cross-industry strategy to make the gap between the platform and the train safer, and to ensure that growing numbers of passengers can continue to enjoy safe and efficient train services in the future. The PTI Strategy represents a great example of cross-industry collaboration. We have a roadmap to improve safety, reduce PTI incidents, and improve performance across the immediate (2015), short (rest of CP5), medium (CP6 and CP7) and long term (CP8 and beyond).

We adopted a whole-system, risk-based approach to create a comprehensive strategy, which included workstreams in human factors, operations, engineering, and data analysis. Critically, it has been driven and sponsored by rail companies working together – both train operators and Network Rail as the infrastructure manager.

The PTI strategy overview provides a high level summary of the PTI strategy.

Industry’s decisions about relevant operational standards and rules:

  • Rail Industry Standard for Passe​nger Train Dispatch and Platform Safety (reference RIS-3703-TOM)
  • Changes in the Rule Book in June 2013 governing the dispatch of trains now require guards to stay at the door controls until the train has completely left the station. This change is to allow the guard to quickly respond to visual or audible signals of alarm that come from the platform, whether from dispatch staff or the general public on the platform. Also, dispatch staff must position themselves on the platform so that the whole length of the train can be seen.  See the Rule Book in the Standards Catalogue for more information.

Data and learning from operational experience

Good practice and other resources

Related publications and articles

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