Passing two signals at danger
Rule Book module S5 introduces a new section allowing a signaller to authorise a driver to pass two successive main aspect stop signals at danger reducing the number of safety-critical conversations and allowing trains to pass more quickly through the affected area.
Key benefits include improvements in performance and safety by avoiding the possibility of passing a ‘blank’ signal at danger without authority.
A video explaining the procedure in detail has been produced below.
Giving up a work site around an engineering train
Rule Book module T3 and handbooks HB11 and HB12 now reduce the need for train movements within possessions.
Key benefits include:
- reducing the exposure of trackworkers to risk from train movements within a possession
- productivity gains, as work can continue until the end of the possession—rather than having to stop earlier to move the engineering train out of the worksite.
Crossing the line procedure
There is a new procedure in Rule Book handbooks HB6, HB7, and HB20, and in module TS1. It allows competent persons to cross up to four running lines, or a structure with limited clearance, if there is enough time to cross.
The key benefit is in productivity, as competent persons will save time crossing. They would otherwise have to wait a considerable time before the signaller grants a line blockage.
Changes to Rule Book handbooks HB6, HB7 HB12 and HB19 and to Rule Book modules OTM, S5, T3, TS1, TS11, TW1, TW5 and TW7 introduce rules to improve track worker safety. They remove the need for possession support staff to go trackside to place standard possession protection by allowing a Protection Zone (PZ) to be taken instead.
The key benefits are on productivity, as engineering access will be obtained and given up more quickly. This will also reduce exposure to trackside risk.
Flexible train arrival point (FTAP)Changes to Rule Book handbooks HB11 and HB12 and to Rule Book modules T3 and TW1 introduce rules to allow trains to be located at a FTAP within a possession or protection zone. This gives a productivity benefit by bringing trains closer to the site of work than if at a signal or block marker.
Trains stopped by loss of line light, automatic dropping device or damage to the overhead line equipment
The Rule book module AC has been reviewed to:
- Reduce the impact of incidents and exposure of drivers to electrical and trackside risks.
- Avoid a train stranded in a location difficult to access when at least one pantograph is drawing power.
Key benefits include clearer rules, reduced delays and avoiding stranding a train in an inconvenient location.
The flowchart below summarises the procedures
Travelling in driving cabs and other on-board staff accommodation
A new standard, RIS-3783-TOM, is available for those times when individuals other than the train’s on-board staff need to travel in the driving cab or other on-board staff accommodation of a train. It provides a common framework for the management and issuing of cab passes with some standardisation on the information they contain, and training required for holders of cab passes. Rule Book module G1 and handbook HB1 also include new arrangements for cab pass holders and drivers.
Key benefits include the interface requirements to allow authorised access to trains, while mitigating the risk of distracting drivers or staff undertaking safety-critical tasks.
What to do after a train accident
Rule Book module M1 has been changed to remove any doubt as to what drivers' first action should be after a mishap, which is to inform signallers about accidents as soon as possible, even before establishing which lines are affected.
The key benefit is that lines will be protected and the traction current switched off as soon as possible.
Trains colliding with obstructions
Rule Book module M3 addresses RAIB 'Froxfield' recommendation regarding trains striking obstructions.
The key benefit is in safety as that the train will not move if there the possibility of damage that would affect the safe movement of the train or the train would move subject to restrictions.
Passing a signal at danger
Rule Book module S5 contain updates regarding:
- Ground position-light signals. It clarifies when a driver is authorised to pass a signal at danger. The lack of clarity had the potential for trains to proceed further than intended.
- Passing a signal at danger with authority. It reflects current procedures: if it is safe to do so, the signaller allows a driver to increase the train's speed after passing a signal with authority.
- Intermediate block home signals. The authority for a driver to pass at danger an intermediate block home signal, when unable to contact the signaller, has been withdrawn. With GSM-R radio available through-out the network and being of proven reliability, it is much less likely that the driver would be unable to contact the signaller by any means than in former years.
- Driver passing a signal at danger. It allows a train which has passed a signal at danger to be moved to a more convenient location to clear a junction or station approach and avoid obstructing other trains.
Rule Book module TS1 clarifies the meaning of the signalling regulations so that only the signaller who controls the protecting signal can grant a line blockage. This also applies to any other portion of line, even if it is in the area of another signaller.
The key benefit is a consistent approach applied by signallers.
Personnel working on pointsRule Book module TS1 clarifies the regulation that deals with personnel working on or near points to ensure comprehensive signaller instructions.
Rule Book module TS1 and TW1 now provide consistent rules between drivers and signallers. Drivers should provide signallers as much information as possible about any trespasser to allow signallers to take the appropriate actions.
The key benefit is on performance by ensuring that the response is appropriate to the level of risk associated with the trespass incident.
Changes to TW1 provide greater clarity and consistency regarding instructions for signallers and drivers when reporting possible track defects.
Key benefits include an improved performance by avoiding trains being detained unnecessarily, and swifter diagnosis of track issues as a result of more accurate reporting. The changes allow the response to be proportionate to the probable nature of the defect.
Trains unable to make normal progress
Rule Book module TW1 has a procedure for the driver to tell the signaller that a train has, or may, become stranded. This will initiate actions to minimise the effects on other approaching trains.
The key benefit is on performance, as this type of incident cost the industry significant sums in Schedule 8 payments. Additionally, the quicker application of mitigation measures reduces the risk of train stranding incidents which lead to passengers leaving the train or being detained on it for lengthy periods.
Structures and earthworks rules changes
These changes take immediate effect from 5 September 2020 and will be briefed via the Weekly Operating Notices.
On 12 August 2020 a passenger train was derailed by a landslip near Stonehaven in Scotland. The driver, the conductor and a passenger lost their lives. This has prompted the rail industry to make some urgent changes to the Rule Book. We have taken the opportunity to provide clearer instructions for what to do if there is damage to structures or earthworks, as well as if you see any unusual flows or pools of water that could cause damage.
The new rules are in addition to the existing rules for reporting flooding on the track or track defects.
It’s important to remember that the investigations into the Stonehaven derailment are still at an early stage – these changes aren’t intended to pre-judge the outcome of the investigation. There may be further changes over the coming weeks and months as RAIB learns more about the causes of the accident.
On the Structures and earthworks rules changes page you’ll find resources that explain the Rule Book changes – there are tailored versions for drivers, signallers, controllers and any other rail staff working on the line.
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