Retrofitting Power Door Options

Our work on the safety risk benefit of retro-fitting power-door options has saved industry up to £50m in cross-industry implementation costs.

Following the 2015 trap and drag incident at West Wickham which resulted in life-changing injuries for the passenger involved, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch recommended that 'operators and owners of trains with power operated doors should jointly review passenger door operation, and apply any necessary modification so that, if doors are opened by passengers using the door open controls during the door closing cycle, the doors will fully open for a period consistent with safe use by a passenger.'

Following the rolling stock leasing companies’ review of vehicles affected by this hazard, the potential mitigations and their costs, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) commissioned RSSB to evaluate six different door retro-fitting options and determine whether these would be reasonably practicable to implement.

Our Risk and Safety Intelligence Team facilitated a cross-industry workshop to identify the different hazards and potential outcomes of passengers or their belongings becoming trapped in train doors. Following the workshop, we undertook detailed safety risk and cost-benefit analyses in relation to each of the potential hazards and the options for mitigating them.

Our comprehensive analysis showed that it was not possible to make a justifiable cost-benefit case for any of the options and, therefore, that none of the options were consideredreasonably practicable. This meant that, while there may be a business case based on reputational risk, there was no legal requirement on operators and owners of trains with power-operated doors to undertake retro-fitting. RDG briefed industry based on our report of our findings.

These findings alone have saved industry in the region up to £50m in implementation costs.

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Jay Heavisides
Tel: 020 3142 5472
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