Signals passed at danger: reducing railway risk

Featured story
This podcast looks at what the rail industry is doing to reduce signals passed at danger, and so the likelihood of a potentially fatal train accident.

My guests in this issue are Trevor Parkin, Head of Operations Standards at East Midlands Railway, and Chris Harrison, Principal Risk Analyst at RSSB.  We talk about signals passed at danger (SPAD) and their potential consequences.  And about what, since the Ladbroke Grove accident in 1999, the rail industry has been doing to reduce the likelihood of SPADs.

Listen to the podcast.

Topics in this episode include:

  • Trevor Parkin introductory biography [1:25]
  • Chris Harrison introductory biography [2:10]
  • SPADs in the 1990s and the changes made since (TP) [2:35]
  • The Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) explained (TP) [3:53]
  • Optimising the safety benefit of TPWS (CH) [6:07]
  • The Red Aspect Approaches to Signals (RAATS) Tool (TP, CH) [7:59]
  • Work to reduce SPAD numbers and the SPAD Strategy (TP) [12:32]
  • The SPAD Risk Subgroup, its aims (TP, CH) [14:50]
  • Industry challenges for the RAATS Tool (CH) [18:05]
  • Getting train operators to use RAATS [22:03]

Resources mentioned in this episode include:

Other related resources include:

To contact us, or to give us any feedback about this podcast, please email  For enquiries about any of our resources or services please contact our enquiry desk through our customer service portal.




Haven’t found what you’re looking for?
Get in touch with our Lead Content Manager for further information.
Ant Davey
Tel: 020 3142 5407
Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.