The RED series of videos is designed to maintain awareness about operational safety issues and reduce operational risk. Each programme conveys safety messages about the operational railway and emphasises on key learning points. The programmes are used in safety briefings and training sessions across the industry.
Please note, programmes may contain strong language and scenes that viewers may find upsetting. A full list of the topics covered here.
RED 56 - Close Calls and Near Misses
This RED looks at the importance of challenging safety information. A group of track workers have a safety briefing, but some of them aren’t sure about the information. The confusion about different warning systems leads to a very near miss.
A driver who has experienced a SPAD tries to deal with the aftermath. He contacts the signaller and control, and understands he has authority to continue—but from the wrong person. This RED looks at SPADs
This RED looks at possessions. A group of track workers is spread over two locations. After a hard night’s work, they pack up and leave. The first train of the morning finds that they left something behind.
This RED looks at the human factors of fatigue and distractions. A driver has been working all week. It’s his wife’s birthday dinner that evening. When he is asked to do a run, his mind is not completely focused on the task at hand.
This RED looks at adhesion. A driver reports low adhesion to the signaller, who asks the mobile operations manager to attend. The next driver also experiences adhesion issues and is not able to stop at the signal protecting the mobile operations manager.
Our railways are the safest form of land transport in the UK, because we learn lessons from incidents. This RED looks back at some of the events that have shaped our safety rules, culture and understanding.
This RED looks at safety critical communications (SCC). A driver is experiencing technical issues. He asks the signaller for permission to leave the cab. The conversation does not follow SCC protocol, leading to a misunderstanding—and a very close call.
This special edition of RED looks at the role of technology on our railways. We look at how it affects roles and improves safety. However we recognise that technology has its drawback, and can bring risks.
This RED looks at fatigue and error. A driver on his first night shift after paternity leave is clearly tired. He is eager to get home, but he is held at a signal. Eventually the position light clears—but not for the right platform.
RED 45 - Trap and Drag at the Platform / Train Interface
This RED looks at distraction and the risks at the platform train interface. A driver on his last shift before retirement is distracted, and misjudges a station stop. He can’t see the bank of monitors clearly but as the traction interlock light is on, he assumes it’s safe to move.
This RED looks at the importance of following procedure. A driver notices a cow walking in the cess and informs the signaller. We see how poor communications and a failure to follow correct emergency procedures allow the situation to escalate into a serious incident.
This RED looks at how we can influence passenger behaviour. It is based on incidents at Kentish Town (2011) and Hither Green (2013). Passengers become increasingly anxious as smoke fills their carriage and proceed to detrain onto the running line.
This RED looks at the importance of challenging safety information. A group of track workers travel to their site using a different gate. The controller of site safety, at another location, phones the signaller to arrange the line blockage but doesn’t know their location.
This RED looks at semaphore signals. Inspired by a real event, this RED follows two track workers in a semaphore signalled area. They narrowly avoid being killed when a train passes a signal at danger.
This RED looks at remaining composed under pressure. The barriers at a level crossing start to lower, trapping a truck as a train approaches. Two P-way staff alert the signaller and an oncoming train, preventing a serious incident.
This RED looks at passenger behaviour and the platform train interface. A group of girls see their friend onto a late train after a night out. They are under the influence of alcohol, impairing their judgement and making them vulnerable – and leading to tragic consequences.
This RED has two dramatisations which look at overfamiliarity. In the first, a driver used to the route doesn’t notice that the starting signal is at danger. In the second, a signaller managing bi-directional working wrong routes the last train of his shift.
This RED looks at road risk and fatigue. A rail worker is struggling to cope with shift work and a baby and becomes fatigued. At the end of a long shift he doesn’t take advantage of overnight accommodation but chooses to drive home.
A train is signalled from the siding onto the main line, but the points are not set correctly for the route. As the signaller tries to get in touch with the driver, another service is approaching from the opposite direction.
This RED looks at how one problem can affect the wider network. A train comes to a halt across a junction, with the driver unable to release the brakes. The passengers on other trains delayed by this incident become irritated, and eventually some detrain and walk to the nearest station.
This RED has two dramatisations. The first follows the action of a train crew following a bogie derailment. The second considers the safety critical communications between a permanent way manager and local signallers.
Resetting and continuing after SPAD can have consequences beyond the effects on the train directly involved, placing other services at risk and causing stress for signallers. This RED, based on an incident at Beckenham Junction on 30 September 2010, looks at how one problem can affect the wider network.
A driver normally routed into Platform 2 is routed into Platform 1, and calls the signaller from the wrong phone. The driver involved in this incident got in touch with RED so others could learn from his mistake.
This RED looks at passenger behaviour at the platform train interface. A dispatcher supervising the departure of a passenger service has many demands on his attention. Consequently, he fails to see that a young woman, saying goodbye to her boyfriend near the front of the train, is standing much too close to the doors.
This RED, based on an incident at Newhaven Harbour in September 2009, looks at fatigue. An exhausted signaller with demands on his attention causes two passenger services travelling in opposite directions to come face-to-face.
This RED looks at the importance of reporting issues. A two-car Class 156 experiences violent side-to-side motion, but the driver doesn’t report it until he is in the Carlisle mess room. The driver of the following train sees the buckled line but isn’t able to stop in time.
This RED looks at SPADs in possessions. A signaller gives a tamper permission to enter a possession, passing a signal at danger. The person in charge of possession meets and directs the tamper to the work site. The tamper passes the next three signals at danger.
This RED looks at the importance of following safety procedures. Two fitters are sent to assist a failed train but don’t speak to the signaller to arrange protection. When they arrive, they and the driver attempt to assess the damage from the six foot and again, do not arrange protection.
This RED looks at distraction and technology. A driver passes a signal at danger by 90 yards. The investigation into the incident examines the driver’s telephone bill, which showed that he had been involved in several telephone calls and text messages during his duty.
This RED looks at level crossings. One of the barriers at a level crossing fails to rise confusing motorists as to when it is safe to cross . Poor communications between the signaller and the mobile operations manager lead to a misunderstanding and a fast train nearly collides with road traffic on the crossing.
This RED looks at hand signalling. A signaller asks for assistance to inform drivers of the emergency speed restriction at a signal protecting a defect. However, one driver is incorrectly advised to pass the signal at danger.
This RED looks at SPADs, and the mechanisms in place to prevent them. A driver slows his train, but still passes a signal at danger. The Train Protection Warning System brings the train to a halt. It comes to a stand 8 feet short of the conflict point.
This RED, based on an incident at Cheltenham Spa in November 2006, looks at workload and distraction. A signaller has had a difficult shift. He authorises a train to pass a signal at danger but doesn’t set the points.
This RED, based on an incident at Old Oak Common in January 2005, looks at the risks in yards and depots. A driver and shunter are remarshalling coaches for a charter train. The shunter becomes trapped between two of the coaches.
This RED looks at maintaining concentration. A signaller reports a track circuit failure to control. He gives the driver of the next train authority to pass the signal at danger but doesn’t realise that the train is standing at the signal in rear.
This RED looks at safety critical communications. A driver stops at a station not normally on his route after his train develops a fault. Poor communication with the signaller leads to a misunderstanding about whether there is a block or not.
This RED looks at concentration and mental wellbeing. A driver is having problems in his personal life, including bereavement. The stress has an impact on his ability to perform professionally. He is involved in several operational incidents, leading to a SPAD.
This RED, based on an incident at Lichfield Trent Valley in October 2004, looks at safety critical communications. A driver stops at a signal at danger. After poor safety critical communications with the signaller, the driver believes he has authority to pass the signal at danger.
This RED, based on an incident at Clapham depot in April 2004, looks at empty coach services and light locomotive operations. A train moves from the depot to enter service at Waterloo. Just past the depot limits, the train passes a signal at danger.
This RED, based on an incident at Blackfriars in May 2004, looks at concentration and attention. As the train leaves the station, the driver hears a car backfiring. He takes his eyes off the signal to look for the car, and brakes too late.
This RED looks at driving yellow plant in possessions. Two tampers return to the depot after works. The second machine follows the first under yellow aspects. Signal K446 is at red. The driver passes it, unaware that he has had a SPAD.
In this RED, we explore how important human factors are in making the right decisions. Bridge-building exercises between drivers and signallers improve safety critical communications and help them understand each other.
This RED looks at a series of SPADs, including at level crossings and in areas of low adhesion. It considers the approaches the industry is taking to tackling SPADs, as well as what we can do individually, including reducing the use of mobile phones.
This RED looks at distractions and maintaining focus. A driver is working his normal shifts, but his father’s ill health plays on his mind. One evening he reads a signal on an adjacent line in error; when he notices the signal for his line is lit it’s too late.
Signallers have a responsibility to prevent SPADs. If there is a SPAD, they need to mitigate any events it could lead to. This RED explores Category A SPADs and the question of responsibilities between the driver and the signaller.