Changes to standards are published regularly in March, June, September, and December. The new updates may cover any topics, including those to the Rule Book. Limited change releases may be published at any time.
Limited change releases
Limited change releases are those that have a minor impact. They are usually to correct spelling and punctuation, to remove ambiguity without changing the intention of the text, or to make a minor technical change to a limited number of requirements.
Limited changes can be made and published at any time. The documents will be published with either an amendment or clarification form or where the change is technical in nature with a briefing note and business case.
GMRT2461 issue 3.1 has been published as a limited change release. This provides additional guidance on sanding for traction purposes. It also updates previous references to TSIs as NTSNs. This reflects legislative changes after the UK’s departure from the EU.
Standards Catalogue changes this quarter
Several changes to standards have been published in September 2021. The new updates cover a range of topics, including the operational concept for the GB mainline railway, infrastructure gauging data formatting and changes to the Rule Book.
A new Rail Industry Standard (RIS-7773-INS-issue 1) has been published on requirements for infrastructure gauging data. The standard establishes an industry agreed structure for the commonly used SC0 file format providing industry with a formal reference for its consistent application in the exchange of infrastructure gauging data.
Verification of Conformity of Engineering Change to Rail Vehicles
RIS-2700-RST issue 2 has been issued as a small-scale change only from RIS-2700-RST issue 1. The changes include updating out of date references and terminology which are no longer relevant and aligning content with the regulatory regime following the UK leaving the EU.
Otherwise, the process of Verification of Conformity of Engineering Change to Rail Vehicles that is set out in the standard is not materially changed by the issue of RIS-2700-RST issue 2.
Changes to the Rule Book
A number of changes have been made to the Rule Book and will come into force on 4th December 2021. The majority of changes are relatively minor and a Rule Book Presentation has been produced to explain the changes and the reasons for them.
Speeds of light locomotives and short formations of locomotive-hauled coaching stock
Rule Book module SP section 2.2 sets out speed restrictions that apply to all locomotive-hauled coaching stock. The section is being updated as it refers to marks 1, 2 and 3 coaching stock and is therefore out of date.
Some older types of locomotive do not have enough braking power, and the braking power of a number of coaches is also necessary to operate at normal permissible speeds. More modern locomotives have increased braking power that does not require a reduction in speed. If the train operator has confirmed that the class of locomotive does have sufficient braking power, it can issue the instructions that the speed restrictions do not apply to those train formations.
Multiple-unit trains with isolated brakes
Rule Book module TW1 section 4.4 sets out speed restrictions that must be applied when vehicles within the train have isolated brakes.
Some modern types of multiple unit have a braking system that automatically increasing the braking force on the remaining vehicles to compensate for the vehicles which have isolated brakes. If a train operator can confirm that the multiple units have this type of brake, it can issue instructions that the speed restriction does not have to be applied.
Pushing through trailing points
Rule Book module SS2 section 4.2 was changed in the June 2021 Periodical Operating Notice. The practice of pushing through trailing hand points is a long-standing one, but an increasing number of points now have a locking mechanism which means that damage can be caused. The Rule was changed so that the position of all points, both facing and trailing, must be checked before making a shunting movement.
However, at some locations there are hand points that can be pushed through without damage, and the rule has been changed again to say that it is not necessary to check the position of all the points, if there are local instructions that allow this.
June 2021 Standards Update
There were several changes to standards published in June 2021. The new updates cover a range of topics including guidance on applying national requirements for Persons of Reduced Mobility (PRM), managing transitions between different signalling systems and requirements for multi-mode rolling stock.
Several changes to standards were published in March 2021. These updates cover a range of topics including freight operation, earthworks and structures, vehicle compatibility with underline bridges, AWS and TPWS requirements and integration of human factors principles into safety management systems (SMS).
There are several changes to the Rule Book published in September 2020. They benefit the rail-way industry by providing the opportunity for greater productivity, increased efficiency, and improving safety and performance.