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A Driver's Plea

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by howard, May 2, 2011.

  1. Stu in Torbay

    Stu in Torbay New Member

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    Personally I think everyone going lineside should have a PTS. Never have liked the idea of any old bod simply buying a pass.
     
  2. Ann Clark

    Ann Clark New Member

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    I frequently have to request peopple to remove them selves form the ramp. A balst of steam form the cylinders is not plesant and the notice is there for passenger safety. Ramps lead to the line and on some platforms at various heritage railways it is quite possible for passengers to get track-side by walking down the ramp. The number of times people bring their children down the ramp to a look at the engine beggars belief.
     
  3. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie New Member

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    As I noted with my post earlier, if the 'DO NOT BE A PANSY' sign is at the top of the ramp I won't pass it, but if it is at the bottom I consider the ramp accessible. A little o/t, it never ceases to amaze me how many people endeavour to get off the train at a door on the ramp, or even totally off the platform!
     
  4. martin butler

    martin butler Member

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    re: PTS, anyone with lineside pass should have been given a basic PTS what to do etc lesson, no railway would hand out lineside passes without a set of guide lines .

    However its un practical to insist that everyone lineside who is non operational staff ,ie joe public should have a full blown PTS, i would prefer to see a member of staff, suitably qualified (with valid pts) act as responsible person, and photograthers having to agree to obaying his or her instruction or being asked to leave the railway property and banned for life should they put anyones life in danger it might restrict some people, but it is the only workable way to protect people from themselves, either that or you have a total lineside ban except for those who are suppossed to be there
    Ramps are there for a reason, they normally are not a public right of way so the public, unles they have a valid reason , have no right to be beyond a "do not go past this point" board full stop
     
  5. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie New Member

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    I have a full PTS for my railway and the instruction booklet is not a complicated document. A short booklet, and I then without looking at the booklet had to fill out, if I recall, a two-sided A4 exam. All the answers for it were in the booklet.

    I don't think it would be impracticable to instigate this (or a simplified version, although I really don't think that would be necessary) to anyone desiring a lineside pass - just if they wanted one they would have to go through the process in person rather than by post. Alternatively post a copy of the PTS booklet out with the lineside pass - of course you then run the risk of the receiver not reading it.

    I don't know how lineside passes are issued on my railway or any other, it may be that this is what is already done. I agree that lineside passes should not be available purely through paying a sum - some form of basic training/proof of safety knowledge is imperative.

    I always thought that the GCRs method of insisting on a prominently numbered hi-viz vest an excellent idea, enabling train crews to positively identify anyone behaving like a fool, and allowing steps to be taken to deal with the transgression. Perhaps this is a step other railways might consider taking?
     
  6. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    It would be nice to have a national standard, with applicants taking one exam/talk etc at their local railway (to make sure their safe) which would then enable them to easily obtain line side passes for a variety of railways around the country.

    It always gets me thinking when I see different ways of doing the same things on our railways. Operating practices can be quite different when comparing the two extremes, museums with a 500 yard demo line compared to a premier line with Network Rail connection/interface for example.
     
  7. Avonside1563

    Avonside1563 Member

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    Chris, with the current legislation meaning each railway has to write its own safety management system and operating procedures it may be some time before there is a national standard for heritage railways. Something like this will probably only happen if all the heritage operations (through the HRA maybe?) get together to draft a basic SMS which can then be added to to suite each railway. Having said that I imagine it would be reasonably easy to have a national PTS scheme for heritage operations, it would just need everyone to sign up to it!
     
  8. Biskit

    Biskit New Member

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    Probably should be mentioned (surprised it hasn't been by anyone else) that the first thing one should do on hearing a horn/whistle is ensure they are in a position of safety, before acknowledging the signal. Getting into the habit of automatically raising a hand before properly checking you are safe is not good!
     
  9. Pannier Man

    Pannier Man New Member

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    I'll check in the morning when I get into work, but the Network Rail rule book (now a series of handbooks) used to state you raise your hand in acknowledgement then move to a place of safety. It certainly makes sence. Your place of safety could well be obstructed from the drivers view, and without raising your hand first, how's he to know you're not going to suddenly re-appear having fetched some tool or another? It certainly works for us on our 125 lines, but there again, we have to set up a safe system of work that gives us time to be in a place of safety for at least 10 seconds before the train passes.

    From a preservation point of view, I would hope photographers/visitors would'nt be so close to the track to warrant setting up something similar to the above. To get a full PTS, there is also the cost of paying for a medical as well as the PTS course itself, hence the difficulty in getting support crews for some mainline groups on sheer cost alone. So PTS isn't the way forward for preservation lineside photographers.

    I would expect any preserved railway issuing lineside passes, as a minimum, to insist on an HV top, and not issue the passes until the intended pass holder has had some sort of briefing (with back up literature) that is signed for, saying where they can go, how close, and to acknowledge warnings.
     
  10. Biskit

    Biskit New Member

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    Interesting (not saying you're incorrect)... what I was taught (on a preserved railway but by someone who also works for NR) was that on hearing a train approaching (ie. whistle/horn/choo choo from round the corner) you first stop whatever you're doing, then look to see where the train is coming from and move to a position of safety, then acknowledge by raising hand. I was told it is acceptable to acknowledge while still 'on your way' to the place of safety, as long as you are sure you will get there in plenty of time. I'd have thought if you're very close to the line and a train came, but you suddenly found you couldn't move out of the way (eg. shoe lace snagged on something) you'd want the driver to make immediate attempts to stop! If you'd already acknowledged by that point, the driver might think you're okay until it is too late.
     
  11. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    I have been promulgating such a policy for 10 years but the heritage lines seem to consider my idea "unworkable" - why ?

    My idea is that a linesider photographer who has a lineside permit obtains it from a heritage line after undergoing suitable examination whether by written test or self-assessment against an approved Rule Book; the heritage line then becomes the main sponsor of lineside access authority. The pass is only issued to members of the heritage railway and an approprate additional fee is charged specifically for the lineside permit.

    The photographer is then entitled to lineside access of the sponsoring line but when visiting other heritage lines must sign-in at the line on arrival when, on payment of a nominal fee, he will be issued with a sheet of instructions related to the host railway ( including locations where access is restricted / banned, rules specific to the host line etc ) which will then be his specific authority to be on the lineside in support of his lineside permit from his sponsoring heritage line.

    Should the photographer commit an offence by breaching the rules the permit will be given a number of points depending on the severity of the breach and once the points total reaches a certain level the permit will be withdrawn for a pre-determined period. Should the offence be committed at a line being visited the host line will then advise the sponsoring line of the breach and the penalty points to be levied.

    This is simply an outline with detail to be completed of breaches and penalty points to be set up but in princple the sponsoring line would receive income from its local photographers whilst gaining income as a host line from visitors with permits issued elsewhere.

    As noted I have discussed this with many who seem to think it a good idea in principle but declaim the extra work that monotoring will impose on the lines' administration; why ?

    Membership secretaries need only note against membership records those issued with lineside permits and the points tally (remembering to include NULL as a valid value) whilst the signature of visiting photographers need be kept with the accounts. I see no need for further admin but others may wish to have more information and this could be part of the negotiation to create a NATIONAL lineside access system, albeit with registers kept locally by individual heritage lines.

    The important point seems to be that heritage lines have to acknowledge that their operations are becoming more involved and a paper trail will be needed for many elements of their activities; in this context does a system for handling national lineside access really require that much extra effort ?
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    I doubt that any railway would, or could, subscribe to such a scheme. The Bluebell (say) may consider the NYMR (say) does not have a suitable standard of assessment and the NYMR (say) may not consider the Bluebell (say) likewise. You could argue a similar scheme for drivers, firemen, guards, signalmen and all the rest. Each railway needs to be in control of its authorisations and will apply different standards and conditions. It certainly happens with locos. AFAIK, it's the same when you go on the big railway. One TOC will not accept a PTS from another TOC. The NYMR certainly doesn't accept PTS's from other TOC's or infrastructure operators for use on the EVL.

    It's a similar situation with 60163 and WCRC in some ways.
     
  13. *8A*

    *8A* New Member

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    .....I always thought that the GCRs method of insisting on a prominently numbered hi-viz vest an excellent idea, enabling train crews to positively identify anyone behaving like a fool, and allowing steps to be taken to deal with the transgression. Perhaps this is a step other railways might consider taking?

    and also help to identify those who do not actually have a pass. I think the WSR are considering something similar with the pass holder having to obtain the hi-vis from the railway rather than supplying their own. They are concerned about the number of people who just don a h-vis and jump/climb through a fence, usually remote from a station, and who think their hi-vis entitles them to be there - a situation I have witnessed many times at the WSR.
     
  14. 73129

    73129 Member

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    Working today at my local railway I noticed a person NOT wearing a hi viz clothing after asking him why he was trespass and told him to leave railway property he refused to leave until he had a photograph of the service train. Apart from frog marching this free loader off railway property what can you realistically do to remove a trespasser? There is no point in phoning the police because by the time they arrive this person would of already moved on.
     
  15. 73129

    73129 Member

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    I can’t see Fred Kerr's idea working on a national basis because I can’t see any railway opening them self’s up to any legal action taken against them if a photographer has an accident.
     
  16. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    That should be no problem as (a) signing for the original photo permit gives indemity to the issuing heritage line whilst (b) signing for the line's document of local rules gives indemnity to that heritage line. It may be unseemly but I think it is about time photographers acknowledged their responsibility and signing these indemnities goes some way to show it.

    In terms of one railway thinking that another's rules are superior / inferior then perhaps the HRA needs to grasp the nettle and set a standard Rule Book which will be the basis of all heritage line Rule Books whilst the heritage line documents which visiting photographers will sign for will identify the specific differences required by local conditions and which photographers will need to take note of. Once they sign for that document they effectively agree to an indemnity against the railway and accept the restrictions applied by that line.
     
  17. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that judges don't respect indemnities by the person who has been injured. Because the law treats adults as children who can't be held to account for their own safety, we get this 'elfansafety' obsession and you can't blame railways for not wanting to risk being sued. There are plenty of ambulance chasing lawyers ready to encourage 'victims' to try their luck in the courts, and insurers usually roll over.

    The law is an ass, and often a rather nasty kicking ass.
     

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