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RAIB investigating an incident on the RH&DR

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Old 20th October 2019, 15:16
Beeyar Wunby's Avatar
Beeyar Wunby Beeyar Wunby is offline  
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Yo Steve.

1) Yes, that report is the one. If I remember correctly, it was a combination of untrained platform staff being involved in handling the token, and the train crew not physically checking the token when they received it (I think it had a leather cover to protect it and they just didn't bother to open it - the devil is in the detail often in train collisions).

For the RH&DR incident there are similarities

Originally Posted by "RAIB
The incident occurred because:
a. there was no equipment or system in place to prevent a ticket being issued without the tablet being present
b. the signaller at New Romney and the trainee stationmaster at Romney Sands did not come to a clear understanding about what train movements were planned
c. the trainee stationmaster, who was not yet qualified in tablet and ticket working, prepared and issued a ticket without having the tablet in his possession
d. the driver of number 12 accepted the ticket as authority to proceed to New Romney, without having seen the tablet for that section
e. the stationmaster at Romney Sands did not adequately supervise or challenge the actions of the trainee stationmaster
2) Stop/Limit boards. Yes they scare the c**p out of me sometimes.

I know of a stabling yard with 2 access lines with several stop boards. Movement into and out of the yard via the access lines required permission from the Signaller for some boards, and the Shunter for others. The boards didn't say who they belonged to - see photo of a similar board below. Drivers only communicated with the Shunter, who obtained permission from the Signaller for them to pass 'his' boards. One day a Manager went poking around and declared that he'd just observed 3 SPADs.

(To any readers who may not be aware, a STOP board has the same standing as a signal at danger. Therefore if a train passes a board without authority, it is classed as a SPAD).

When it was investigated, it turns out that the Yard Shunter and the Signaller had developed a method of working between them whereby they'd only call each other if a movement which wasn't booked was to take place. When a train that he was expecting arrived, the Shunter would just wave it past the boards without ever calling the Signaller for permission. This had been going on for years, and it even turns out that there was a misunderstanding into which of them 'owned' the board in several places.

It was such a legal mess, that in the end the Yard Shunter got 'retrained', and new boards got put up which clearly said either 'Stop - Obtain Signaller's permission to proceed' or 'Stop - Obtain Shunter's permission'. Drivers are now required to speak directly to the signaller to pass his boards.

Drivers were mildly dazed when all this came to light, because what had been going on for years had become become accepted practice - but it has to be said that since the speed throughout the area is 5mph, there was NEVER any danger of a collision.

But it goes to show how easy it is for irregular operating practices to creep in.

Cheers, BW
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Stop_Board mini.jpg (202.9 KB, 7 views)

It's later than you think...

Last edited by Beeyar Wunby; 21st October 2019 at 09:59.
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Old 21st October 2019, 04:58
aussiesteve's Avatar
aussiesteve aussiesteve is offline
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Ah STOP boards.
Also shunt limit boards, which provide a blocking purpose to prevent shunting towards a signal at which another train could be perched.
We have em everywhere here.
Yes, I guess that some confusion could exist as to just who the train crew must beg permission to pass a stop board.
Generally here to enter a yard , or continue in a yard past STOP boards you were begging the shunters.
To exit a yard, you would be begging the signalman.
Though, in the Good ole Days, the shunter would be the bloke liaising with the signalman to grant permission to depart a yard.
A green handsignal from the shunter which would be acknowledged by a hooter blast.
What you didn't wanna hear were TWO separate whistle blast acknowledgements when rail activity was hectic in a yard.
OI, he was aiming that green handsignal at me NOT you !
Both shunters and signalmen are rare beasties these days outside of the smog hollow metrop.
Today TC would be the bloke to grant permission for passing stop boards, and he can be hundreds of miles away in some gloomy office.
Get caught nudging past a shunt limit board and you would be copping a bung.
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