If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Opening droplights - RAIB / ORR responses following an injury from a person leaning out.

Discussion in 'Heritage Rolling Stock' started by Phil-d259, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

    Apr 2, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I have been made aware that the RAIB have now released their report into a fatality on a GWR HST due to a person leaning out of the open droplight and striking it on a tree.


    Some of the conclusions / recommendation apply to both Heritage and mainline operations of stock with opening Windows - and folk should note that regardless of what may or may not have happened in the past, relying on stickers / self policing or tolerating it just so folk can 'enjoy' heritage traction are over!

    The key conclusions / recommendations (my emphasis in bold) are:-

    09 The Network Rail standard for vegetation management seeks to ensure that vegetation is managed so that it is not a risk to trains. It does not seek to prevent injury to persons (staff or passengers) leaning out of windows on moving trains. The RAIB recognises that the risk to those leaning out of trains could be reduced by stricter vegetation management standards. However, given that few mainline passenger trains have droplight windows and that the numbers are still further reducing, the RAIB considers that this would place an unreasonable burden on those maintaining the network.

    110 With respect to heritage railways, the RAIB recognises that they are generally more contained operations covering limited mileages. They also tend to operate a far greater proportion of rolling stock with droplight windows as well as open sided vehicles. Given the differences the RAIB has concluded that such railways could be reasonably expected to manage the risk by stricter control of the vegetation and other infrastructure features.

    111 The ORR has written to the industry stating that it considers that warning signs alone are unlikely to be a sufficient mitigation given the potential consequences of passengers leaning out of the windows of moving trains (paragraphs 40 and 41).

    112 The RAIB has therefore made separate recommendations to mainline passenger train operators and heritage railways

    113 The following recommendations are made:-

    • The intent of this recommendation is to prevent passengers leaning out of opening windows on trains operating on the mainline railway.
    Operators of mainline passenger trains, including charter operators, using stock with opening windows that passengers could lean out of, should review their risk assessments for operating those trains and implement any additional mitigation measures necessary to minimise the likelihood of passengers leaning out of the windows away from stations (paragraph 95b).

    • The intent of this recommendation is to improve heritage railways’ management of the risk associated with passengers leaning out of vehicles.

    Operators of heritage railways, using stock that passengers could lean out of, should review their risk assessments for people leaning out and implement any additional mitigation measures necessary to achieve an acceptable level of safety (paragraph 95b)

    • The intent of this recommendation is to ensure that the advice contained in the relevant Railway Group Standards or Railway Industry Standards in relation to warning signs on rolling stock, accurately reflects the level of risk associated with the hazard to be mitigated.

    RSSB should review its existing guidance to train operators on the design of emergency and safety signs. It should then, as necessary, revise it and prepare new guidance (possibly associated with the Technical Specifications for Interoperability for Persons with Reduced Mobility). Guidance should be prepared in consultation with train operators and should suggest designs of emergency and safety signs that are appropriate and commensurate with the risk to passengers being managed. Specific consideration should be given to the types of warning signs to be displayed on and around external doors with opening windows (paragraphs 46 to 48).
  2. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

    Jan 28, 2009
    Likes Received:
    That sounds perfectly sensible to me. The other thing I’d mention (haven’t read this report so don’t know if they did) is strict adherence to the structure gauge. I’m aware of one heritage organisation which apparently built a footbridge rather too close to the structure gauge; the risks are obvious.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. I. Cooper

    I. Cooper Member

    Feb 5, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I find it interesting that you chose not to highlight in bold section 110. that you quote states in the heritage sector the distances and milages are more limited and thus RAIB feel it IS appropriate for railways to manage risk through control of vegitation and infrastructure, where they conclude such action is unrealistic on the national network. If the heritage movement is to comply with this conclusion and ensure there isn't any infrastructure or vegetation near the moving rolling stock, then there isn't anything for people to come into contact with (or at least the risk is severely limited).
  4. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I thought it was the ORR who set the rules (as the RAIB say they advise) and they already issued some draft proposals after the Balham inquest, which from memory included, but not limited to, vegetation trimming back, moving the rails away from structures, bars on droplight windows and stewards.
    However at the moment I cannot access where I filed the ORR document.
    I am surprised after 41 years in the aviation industry that it is thought a sign of any size is thought to achieve much. Glance around a cabin preflight and see how many people even pay attention to the safety video or crew demo, let alone pick up the safety card. Most just read the paper.
    Yet how many of us, even regular travellers, know how & where to jettison and overwing hatch on an A320 or B737 or to manually activate a door slide from memory?
    Mind you a colleague told me once a Lufthansa flight attendant on a LHR-FRA flight slapped a newspaper out of a passengers hands and said "you will watch this". Have to love those Germans!

Share This Page