Podcast 39 Learning from Corporate Memory - Right Track is 10

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Learning from… previous experience is vital. But as repeated rail accidents have shown, our corporate memory is far from perfect. We don’t always remember and act on lessons learned. Indeed, many of those who might use that vital information don’t always get it. And that’s just one of the reasons Right Track magazine was created. For many front line operational staff messages just weren’t getting through.

So Right Track took on the challenge of communicating safety learning to those who might need it most. It was designed to look more like a rock music magazine than a corporate newsletter. And it was delivered to the parts that some others couldn’t reach. Right into the mess rooms and canteens at yards, depots, and stations.

Leading the way on…

SPADs are one of the more obvious topics covered. But Right Track started to lead the way on road driving risk—which accounted for 10 of the 20 workforce fatalities between 2009 and 2019. Throughout the years, Right Track has included articles on workforce health and wellbeing, and on the effects of fatigue. Issue 25 is a particular example.

Throughout its life, Right Track has delivered its safety message in simple easy to read language. Its editors use story telling where they can, bringing situations to life. Picking out the important lessons from RAIB reports has been a regular feature. Digging through the detail to find the nuggets that help deliver a better, safer railway.

Reaching a wider audience

When Right Track was first published—a run of 22,000 copies—print was seen as the only way to get messages reliably to the front line audience it was intended for. It proved so popular that at one point demand rose to 28,000. But a lot changes in ten years. And as we know, technology changes even faster than that.

The global pandemic saw a huge reduction in printed materials work across the world, as distributing paper copies became particularly difficult. People got used to receiving information online, to using phones, tablets and laptops to access information. And Right Track has gone the same way. Our print run has reduced, and many have got used to downloading the PDF version and reading that. But we know it’s not perhaps the most engaging way to read. The commemorative edition of Right Track, which marks 10 years providing people on the operational front line with safety learning and initiatives from across the industry, will be in stations and online soon.

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