ITV Trouble on the tracks

dggar

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On the show tonight (19th march)
there was an incident where a XC train had passed a Red signal and caused damage to a set of points.
It was later stated the driver had been given an incorrect instruction by a dispatcher to pass the signal.

Is it correct that a dispatcher can give an instruction to a driver to pass a signal at danger?
 
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PudseyBearHST

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No, it would be the signaller. Under certain circumstances, could also be a handsignaller, pilotman or shunter who are acting on the signaller’s instructions anyway. Dispatcher cannot give authority to pass a signal at danger so a phone call to the signaller must be made. Unless of course you’re American where a signaller is called a dispatcher.

I’ve not seen the programme. If it is what it sounds like, it’s not the first time dispatchers have told drivers wrong information. Unfortunately, it’s the driver whose going to get the blame not the dispatcher.
 

Saperstein

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I haven’t seen the broadcast but sounds like a misunderstanding?

This sort of thing always reminds me of the incident at Kempston Hardwick and the level crossing attendant with no flags.

The driver always regretted not using the SPT.

BTW what does the suffix P mean after the unit number as in 150131 P?

 
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superjohn

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I believe the P means Parcels. It indicates that the lockable parcels compartment with long bench seats under the windows is at that end of the train. These were introduced on many multiple units in the eighties to allow Red Star parcels to be securely conveyed on driver only operated trains. It would have been long out of use for that purpose by the time that video was made but the compartment may have been useful for other things (bikes, wheelchairs etc).

All cars of a class 150 are powered so it wouldn’t mean that.
 

broadgage

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I watched the programme and feel that the wording was a little misleading.
What I think was intended was "the dispatcher told the driver to proceed, without having observed that the signal was showing a proceed aspect"
Rather than that "the dispatcher gave the driver authority to pass a signal known to be at danger"
 

Tom Quinne

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I haven’t seen the broadcast but sounds like a misunderstanding?

This sort of thing always reminds me of the incident at Kempston Hardwick and the level crossing attendant with no flags.

The driver always regretted not using the SPT.

BTW what does the suffix P mean after the unit number as in 150131 P?

I was in the messroom when the driver returned after that incident. He wasn’t happy at all. didn’t think he’d done any wrong and later refused to drive over the route again.
 

edwin_m

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I watched the programme and feel that the wording was a little misleading.
What I think was intended was "the dispatcher told the driver to proceed, without having observed that the signal was showing a proceed aspect"
Rather than that "the dispatcher gave the driver authority to pass a signal known to be at danger"
Sounds like the sort of subtlety that gets lost in a programme intended for a mass audience, rather like the question of whether the NYMR's 9F is the last of its type. Plus they'd just mentioned the possible consequences for a driver and had someone on saying how drivers are harder on themselves than anyone else is after that sort of incident. So to say the driver was not to blame fitted in with that sympathy and avoided leaving the audience with a bad feeling.

I thought the programme as a whole was a reasonable portrayal given the constraints of time and the need to hold the audience.
 

30907

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I thought the programme as a whole was a reasonable portrayal given the constraints of time and the need to hold the audience.
Agree, pleasantly surprised, though it's getting repetitive.
In view of recent RAIB issues about communication protocols, I was a little surprised at some of the conversations recorded - or is it not regarded as an issue in face-to-face communication? Not pointing any fingers, just curious!
 

Andyh82

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The bit where a bloke was seemingly wandering around Euston trying to turn off the fire alarm came across quite badly. I know it probably wasn't like that in real life, but it looked like they didn't know what alarms were where.

The new dispatcher seemed a bit too relaxed
 

PG

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I watched the programme and feel that the wording was a little misleading.
What I think was intended was "the dispatcher told the driver to proceed, without having observed that the signal was showing a proceed aspect"
Rather than that "the dispatcher gave the driver authority to pass a signal known to be at danger"
Haven't seen the program but sounds like (assuming it was relatively recent) a case of giving RA (right away) without checking the signal had a proceed aspect.
 

PudseyBearHST

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Haven't seen the program but sounds like (assuming it was relatively recent) a case of giving RA (right away) without checking the signal had a proceed aspect.
If you mean the RA indicator, it is usually interlocked with the signal so if it is not showing a proceed aspect, ‘RA’ won’t/shouldn’t work. (Although CD will work)
 

Mojo

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In America they have a role called Dispatcher which is a bit of a cross between Control and Signaller on UK Railways. It could just be that the person who narrated the program misunderstood because of this.
 

edwin_m

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In America they have a role called Dispatcher which is a bit of a cross between Control and Signaller on UK Railways. It could just be that the person who narrated the program misunderstood because of this.
They showed some dispatchers elsewhere in the programme and they were definitely the people on the platform who blow the whistles and give the hand signals.
 

6Gman

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I thought it was ironic that, having explained at length the importance of white lights at the front red lights at the rear, we then saw a train depart with white lights at the rear !

Presumably the film editor thinking it looked better that way rather than an operating irregularity.
 

John Webb

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The bit where a bloke was seemingly wandering around Euston trying to turn off the fire alarm came across quite badly. I know it probably wasn't like that in real life, but it looked like they didn't know what alarms were where......
They knew fairly accurately where the apparently alarming 'devices' were, as Euston has a digital fire alarm system which tells them precisely which device/devices have been operated. These devices could be a 'call point' or a detector. Detectors can be difficult to spot on a ceiling. And Euston is a very large area.....
Of course it turned out to be a technical fault on the alarm system!
 

colchesterken

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There are several SPAD training vids. on You Tube, very interesting to see what can go wrong.
There is one in ( I think it was Glasgow ) where the dispatcher and the guard give the "go" and the driver moves on SPAD
he got interviewed! for not looking at the signal before the off
I understand the dispatcher should see the green signal before the green flag so he was at fault, but in the end I assume the driver has final responsibility
 

Blinkbonny

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Like most similar (and by god there's been a few!) it's good in parts. I watch it with fast forward firmly in hand.

The choice of voice-over is very strange. He is known for his scathingly sarcastic delivery. He seems at times to be mocking the whole programme!

"Finally, people are able to get on their way to Wolverhampton!"
 

Pete_uk

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I wonder if the sometimes lax communication is down to the fact that the radio system is set up as a phone system rather than a push to talk system??
 

357

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In America they have a role called Dispatcher which is a bit of a cross between Control and Signaller on UK Railways. It could just be that the person who narrated the program misunderstood because of this.
For avoidance of doubt - I just watched the program - the exact words used were "a platform dispatcher" gave the authorisation to move down the platform past a red signal.

Perhaps it was a mid-platform signal that the driver didn't see? I wouldn't pass any signal at danger on authority from a dispatcher (no disrespect to dispatchers) without speaking to the signaller myself.
 

SouthStand

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No, it would be the signaller. Under certain circumstances, could also be a handsignaller, pilotman or shunter who are acting on the signaller’s instructions anyway. Dispatcher cannot give authority to pass a signal at danger so a phone call to the signaller must be made. Unless of course you’re American where a signaller is called a dispatcher.

I’ve not seen the programme. If it is what it sounds like, it’s not the first time dispatchers have told drivers wrong information. Unfortunately, it’s the driver whose going to get the blame not the dispatcher.
Unless Im missing the obvious here, why shouldn't the driver get the blame? Wouldn't they know not to take an instruction like that from a dispatcher?
 

Mojo

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For avoidance of doubt - I just watched the program - the exact words used were "a platform dispatcher" gave the authorisation to move down the platform past a red signal.

Perhaps it was a mid-platform signal that the driver didn't see? I wouldn't pass any signal at danger on authority from a dispatcher (no disrespect to dispatchers) without speaking to the signaller myself.
Okay. I don’t watch ITV so wouldn’t know. It’s just a common misunderstanding.
 

ComUtoR

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Platform 10 at Birmingham New Street. It really isn't clear who gave the instruction other than a 'dispatcher' The Driver was asked to move down the platform and the subsequently went past a Mid Platform signal and run through a set of points. The Driver was 'cleared of wrongdoing' according to the Narrator.
 

BrianW

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I haven't seen the programme, but ...
It must be hoped that people are able to 'own up'- ie report factually so that 'lessons will be learned'.
The rail and air industries have good records in that regard.
For as long as people are involved there will be 'human error',but heh there is equipment malfunction and system failure ...
I did watch a repeat of the Charge of the Light Brigade- 'not my fault, guv .. it was Cardigan, Lucan, Raglan ... Nolan (shooting the messenger!- he died)
Thank you to all trying to keep the show on the rails whether on the platform, in the train, or the back office, or at home, or wherever just now.
 

dvboy

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Like most similar (and by god there's been a few!) it's good in parts. I watch it with fast forward firmly in hand.

The choice of voice-over is very strange. He is known for his scathingly sarcastic delivery. He seems at times to be mocking the whole programme!

"Finally, people are able to get on their way to Wolverhampton!"
This whole last train from Euston thing was silly, because the last train from Euston has no connections and goes through to Wolverhampton anyway.
 

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