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Author Topic: Network Rail is failing.  (Read 2948 times)
broadgage
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« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2023, 05:54:37 »

This particular incident reinforces my long held view that ALL new electric trains should have a diesel engine or a battery, sufficient to move the train for at least an hour at much reduced speed when the wires come down, or able to power basic on board services for several hours if it can not be moved.
And that all new trains should have toilets.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2023, 07:05:56 »

Andrew Haines has issued a statement on LinkedIn.

A start. But mainly for the benefit of industry colleagues. Something much more public is needed from him.

Exactly. "Issuing a statement on LinkedIn" is roughly equivalent to sending an email to your colleagues/network.

He should be speaking to the public, this weekend, apologising for/ explaining the events of the last few days in the wider context of what he proposes to do about the shambolic state of the infrastructure in the area.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2023, 07:42:51 by TaplowGreen » Logged
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« Reply #32 on: December 09, 2023, 07:29:53 »

It was not a "cheap" BR (British Rail(ways)) solution, the design and use of headspan was driven by the usual pressures from Government to reduce costs.

That still sounds like a ‘cheap’ solution to me.  It’s very telling that a high percentage of OHLE problems on the GWML (Great Western Main Line) occur in the first 12 miles out of Paddington done in the 1990s.

Though, as mentioned, it wasn’t really the fault of the OHLE in this instance from what I’ve been told.
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« Reply #33 on: December 09, 2023, 08:06:40 »

We have to presume there will be other incidents as well as OHL (Over-Head Line) issues in the future and there will be a continuing need to evacuate trains on running lines. For me the major question coming from this incident is why does it still take a ridiculous amount of time to "free" the passengers. I would like to have an accurate and true diary of management action starting from the time the OHL problem was reported.
I ask this as someone who has "moons ago" been the manager on site evacuating trains on the South Western Division (time clue there) of the Southern Region. On one occasion I had to attend a review at divisional headquarters called solely to discover why it took 75 mins to evacuate a train near Shalford Junction.
With respect, I do not want to hear answers which major on health and safety, these restraints have always existed (more so on the third rail region!) Perhaps the sharing of the "emergency control management" structure might reveal the something.

I have been a member of a number of Rail Industry working groups where emergency evacuation of trains was to the topic.
  • The train is considered a place of safety, but it does lack welfare
    To get passengers from a train with its floor 2 plus meters above the ground is very high risk to the passenger
    The track is a hostile environment, uneven surface, trip hazards, passengers footwear has to be considered
    The passengers need to be taken to somewhere, just abandoning them in the middle of nowhere is not an option even somewhere like Ladbrook Grove, laying on 50 busses to move a 1000 passengers would be a difficult to arrange at short notice.
There is much more that is looked at, last weeks incident will triggered Network Rail's "Gold Command" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold%E2%80%93silver%E2%80%93bronze_command_structure ) these are made up from all parts of the industry

There is a lot more I'm sure could have been done in this particular incident, which I am certain Andrew Haines will be looking at 

Andrew Haines has issued a statement on LinkedIn.

A start. But mainly for the benefit of industry colleagues. Something much more public is needed from him.

Exactly. "Issuing a statement on LinkedIn" is roughly equivalent to sending an email to your colleagues/network.

He should be speaking to the public, this weekend, apologising for/ explaining the events of the last few days in the wider context of what he proposes to do about the shambolic state of the infrastructure in the area.

From what I know of Andrew Haines he will want to appear on the media, but he will want facts first, what went wrong, what was the decision process, what he plans to do.

Then of course the media will want to interview him, Sunday may be the day he appears on the TV and news papers


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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #34 on: December 09, 2023, 08:27:00 »

We have to presume there will be other incidents as well as OHL (Over-Head Line) issues in the future and there will be a continuing need to evacuate trains on running lines. For me the major question coming from this incident is why does it still take a ridiculous amount of time to "free" the passengers. I would like to have an accurate and true diary of management action starting from the time the OHL problem was reported.
I ask this as someone who has "moons ago" been the manager on site evacuating trains on the South Western Division (time clue there) of the Southern Region. On one occasion I had to attend a review at divisional headquarters called solely to discover why it took 75 mins to evacuate a train near Shalford Junction.
With respect, I do not want to hear answers which major on health and safety, these restraints have always existed (more so on the third rail region!) Perhaps the sharing of the "emergency control management" structure might reveal the something.

I have been a member of a number of Rail Industry working groups where emergency evacuation of trains was to the topic.
  • The train is considered a place of safety, but it does lack welfare
    To get passengers from a train with its floor 2 plus meters above the ground is very high risk to the passenger
    The track is a hostile environment, uneven surface, trip hazards, passengers footwear has to be considered
    The passengers need to be taken to somewhere, just abandoning them in the middle of nowhere is not an option even somewhere like Ladbrook Grove, laying on 50 busses to move a 1000 passengers would be a difficult to arrange at short notice.
There is much more that is looked at, last weeks incident will triggered Network Rail's "Gold Command" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold%E2%80%93silver%E2%80%93bronze_command_structure ) these are made up from all parts of the industry

There is a lot more I'm sure could have been done in this particular incident, which I am certain Andrew Haines will be looking at 

Andrew Haines has issued a statement on LinkedIn.

A start. But mainly for the benefit of industry colleagues. Something much more public is needed from him.

Exactly. "Issuing a statement on LinkedIn" is roughly equivalent to sending an email to your colleagues/network.

He should be speaking to the public, this weekend, apologising for/ explaining the events of the last few days in the wider context of what he proposes to do about the shambolic state of the infrastructure in the area.

From what I know of Andrew Haines he will want to appear on the media, but he will want facts first, what went wrong, what was the decision process, what he plans to do.

Then of course the media will want to interview him, Sunday may be the day he appears on the TV and news papers




This statement from him quoted on the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) this morning;

"We failed as a system. Too many individual actors seeing risk from their own perspective meant it was harder than it should have been to get things done whilst maintaining safety. Multiple self-evacuations, because of the pace at which we were able to move or even access trains, cannot be regarded as good safety practice.

Lastly, we have gone backwards on customer service. Tools to look after passengers that I would have used as a station manager in 1987 – before I’d even seen a mobile phone – were not available and we were hardly great at it then. We can do better than we did last night when we take customers’ legitimate concerns seriously.”





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« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2023, 08:51:08 »

In terms of evacuations and stranded trains, the safest place to be is on the train.  The only exception to that IMHO (in my humble opinion) is extreme heat or cold on board.

Next safest thing is a controlled evacuation.  Leave it too long and then the least safest thing, an uncontrolled evacuation, is going to happen - especially if the train has no toilets and/or has lost all power.

Ideally you want systems in place to try and ensure you maintain the safest option, but passengers don’t bypass the middle option and head straight to the least safest option.

Even if passenger behaviour is largely predictable, it’s a very difficult balance to get right.  Especially if several trains are involved and/or those trains are very full.  Even the controlled evacuation option can vary massively in terms of its implementation, depending on where the train is.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2023, 09:09:02 »

In terms of evacuations and stranded trains, the safest place to be is on the train.  The only exception to that IMHO (in my humble opinion) is extreme heat or cold on board.

Next safest thing is a controlled evacuation.  Leave it too long and then the least safest thing, an uncontrolled evacuation, is going to happen - especially if the train has no toilets and/or has lost all power.

Ideally you want systems in place to try and ensure you maintain the safest option, but passengers don’t bypass the middle option and head straight to the least safest option.

Even if passenger behaviour is largely predictable, it’s a very difficult balance to get right.  Especially if several trains are involved and/or those trains are very full.  Even the controlled evacuation option can vary massively in terms of its implementation, depending on where the train is.

And 4 hours on a train in pitch darkness, cold, with no communications, no water, no toilet facilities is far too long. There are no ifs buts or maybes about that.

I wonder how many lessons have been learned from the comparable incident in Lewisham almost 6 years ago. The RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch) recommendations following that are interesting and were comprehensive but few, if any seem to have been reflected in the way this one was managed.
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« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2023, 09:35:40 »

And 4 hours on a train in pitch darkness, cold, with no communications, no water, no toilet facilities is far too long. There are no ifs buts or maybes about that.

No.

Quote
I wonder how many lessons have been learned from the comparable incident in Lewisham almost 6 years ago. The RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch) recommendations following that are interesting and were comprehensive but few, if any seem to have been reflected in the way this one was managed.

I guess that’s a question for TfL» (Transport for London - about), who so far AFAIK (as far as I know) have said nothing other than to apologise, but blame someone else.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2023, 10:03:00 »

And 4 hours on a train in pitch darkness, cold, with no communications, no water, no toilet facilities is far too long. There are no ifs buts or maybes about that.

No.

Quote
I wonder how many lessons have been learned from the comparable incident in Lewisham almost 6 years ago. The RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch) recommendations following that are interesting and were comprehensive but few, if any seem to have been reflected in the way this one was managed.

I guess that’s a question for TfL» (Transport for London - about), who so far AFAIK (as far as I know) have said nothing other than to apologise, but blame someone else.

Given that thousands of passengers were stranded on GWR (Great Western Railway) trains, HEX trains and Elizabeth Line trains, I'd say it's a question for all concerned.

Perhaps something Haines will address in the context of his comment "Too many individual actors seeing risk from their own perspective" and ensure that in future there is one, coordinated approach to this type of incident with clear lines of ownership, authority and accountability.
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« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2023, 10:34:05 »

True.  But I don’t think any GWR (Great Western Railway) trains were left without power and toilets, which makes a big difference.
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« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2023, 13:25:44 »

And 4 hours on a train in pitch darkness, cold, with no communications, no water, no toilet facilities is far too long. There are no ifs buts or maybes about that.

No.

Quote
I wonder how many lessons have been learned from the comparable incident in Lewisham almost 6 years ago. The RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch) recommendations following that are interesting and were comprehensive but few, if any seem to have been reflected in the way this one was managed.

I guess that’s a question for TfL» (Transport for London - about), who so far AFAIK (as far as I know) have said nothing other than to apologise, but blame someone else.

Given that thousands of passengers were stranded on GWR (Great Western Railway) trains, HEX trains and Elizabeth Line trains, I'd say it's a question for all concerned.

Perhaps something Haines will address in the context of his comment "Too many individual actors seeing risk from their own perspective" and ensure that in future there is one, coordinated approach to this type of incident with clear lines of ownership, authority and accountability.

Andrew Haines comment about to many "actors" and the lack of coordination is consistent with his Great British Railways message and his frustration with Government dragging their heals ii passing the require legislation.

The railways in the UK (United Kingdom) are fragmented, it takes a lot of work to coordinate response to an incident especially where there are multiple TOC (Train Operating Company)'s.

The Network Rail teams available to respond, MOMs (Mobile Operations Manager) (Mobile Operations Managers) and Maintenance, are thin on the ground, and the TOC's are the same situation.
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« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2023, 21:19:03 »

Andrew Haines reminds me of another railway manager who was present on a failed train: the somewhat famous Gerry Fiennes, on a failed Hastings DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) unit outside London Bridge. His second autobiography describes how he entertained his fellow passengers with an account of what happens (or should not happen) when the railway encounters a failure.

The punchline is that his train was rescued, and in motion again, after seventeen minutes.

Of course, the circumstances were different; for a start this was a single train, not seven.

But I think that no amount of reorganisation at the top is going to compensate for the fact that the railway has undergone a creeping, long-term metamorphosis into something that is less robust, less versatile when challenged; more burdened by layers of complexity...with some strange attitudes on risk and service to passengers.

It seems to be a feature of railways that, both among staff and customers, one gets people who live and breathe railways; people who have long term commitment. I feel for those staff who are struggling at the current time with a system so flawed.




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eightonedee
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« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2023, 23:21:48 »

Quote
But I think that no amount of reorganisation at the top is going to compensate for the fact that the railway has undergone a creeping, long-term metamorphosis into something that is less robust, less versatile when challenged; more burdened by layers of complexity...with some strange attitudes on risk and service to passengers.

Not just the railway, Trowres. This applies to the banking system and almost anything else we encounter where once a person and their skills and discretion were valued and important. A lot of the appliances and machines we buy are the same. There's a huge societal problem with IT upon which we rely but when it doesn't work the old fashioned manual work-arounds are not there. The availability of "manual" back-ups to these systems is discouraged by cost control. And while Health and Safety (and other regulations) are generally well-intentioned, and founded on experience of things that went badly wrong before, they can sometimes (often?) be an obstacle to the swift resolution of problems.

Two matters strike me - the lack of any available rescue locomotives and staff to help resolve this incident, and the appalling regulatory regime that results in TfL» (Transport for London - about) being able to run 9 coach trains from Abbey Wood to Maidenhead and Reading with no toilets, yet GWR (Great Western Railway) cannot run a 2 coach train with toilets (but ones not suitable for the disabled) over short branches in the Thames Valley, Greater Bristol area or the Cornwall and Devon branches.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #43 on: December 12, 2023, 18:27:01 »

The first casualty?

Michelle Handforth resigns

https://my.newzapp.co.uk/t/view/1649491895/115581571
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #44 on: December 12, 2023, 19:31:48 »

Looks like that is for internal consumption TG I trust you have permission given to share?
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