Preserved Railways, revenue or safety.

Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by 9K43, 25 Oct 2011.

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  1. 9K43

    9K43 Member

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    In these times when money is tight, what comes first the safety of the line or revenue from visitors?
     
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  3. matt

    matt Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Surely safety. Any line that is putting revenue first won't last very long before there is an accident.
     
  4. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    I would hope safety!
     
  5. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Safety - preserved railways do have to adhere to safety rules. Earlier this year, one railway was issued with an improvement notice by the Office of Rail Regulation with regard to its Safety Management System.
     
  6. heenan73

    heenan73 Member

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    If safety isn't put first, there'll be no money - no-one will insure an unsafe operation, and without insurance, the first lawsuit (of many) will destroy the operation.

    That's assuming some inspector doesn't order closure anyway.

    Safety isn't a matter of choice when dealing with the public. It comes first.
     
  7. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    Why is there a choice between safety and revenue? I can see why there might be a choice between safety and investment tho.
     
  8. Jonfun

    Jonfun Established Member

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    With greatest respect to the OP, it's fairly obvious as to what the answer would be. If I'm needed to do safety critical duties, they always have to come first before anything commercial. Likewise, if something can't be done safely, it won't be done.

    If this isn't what the OP meant perhaps he could clarify?
     
  9. Mvann

    Mvann Member

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    What do you mean by safety of the railway? Health and safety items would have to come first. A lot of the improvement notices are To do with the safety management systems and the rule book. A lot of this is costs in people's time, not money.
     
  10. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    There's no question. Safety comes first.
     
  11. district

    district Member

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    Especially where preserved railways goes, the smallest incident can have a big influence on the industry. But in any railway, revenue must always come second to the safe operation of the railway.
     
  12. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    Safety.

    I think that is all that needs to be said.
     
  13. nferguso

    nferguso Member

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    This has to be the most staggering question posed in recent times on this forum.

    Nobody in their right mind would state they would sacrifice safety as an economy, nor would they consider such a ridiculous premise.

    Yes, cut back on investment that does not provide a clear payback, cut back non revenue-generating activities and look closely at staffing levels in non-essential areas, but safety is always paramount.

    A question for 9K43: in what way would you suggest economies could be made by cutting back safety? I would be fascinated to learn...

    Neil
    (Somebody who reads every RAIB report and says a silent prayer to the angels of safe operation)
     
  14. E&W Lucas

    E&W Lucas Established Member

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    Are you really so desperate to stimulate discussion that you habe to stoop to this?

    Or are you so ill informed that you actually believe it?

    Please get the message. It runs on rails, do it is very tightly regulated indeed. By the same bodies that oversee the mainline network.
     
  15. fsmr

    fsmr Member

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    Although we at Stapleford are not on a LRO. We still run to the same stringent safety rules and monitor ourselves the same as anyone else and any SPAD or near miss is treated the same
    If it cant be done safely without risking members or the public, it doesnt happen. That goes for anything railway operational or non, even clearing trees around the line.

    strange question:roll:

    Lots of commercial opportunities i can think of that dont happen on the preserved railways due to common sense rather than any safety laws. You have to ask yourself, if someone was killed or injured, could you live with your actions and what would a judge and jury say.
    Life is about risks and managing them
     
  16. GM078

    GM078 Member

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    I'm confident no preservation group would put revenue before the safety of their passengers and workers. Indeed, the group I volunteer with wasn't able to run trains for the first half of this year until they had their SMS (Safety Management System) documentation complete (not that there was anything unsafe being done, just the law came into force in January and must be complied with).
     
  17. newbie babs

    newbie babs Member

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    It has to be safety, there would be no revenue without this in place.

    There would be too many people (visitors) notice that Health and Safety Regulations were not being followed and so why risk it for Revenue alone. You would lose more money in the long run with the first claim.
     
  18. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    It would depend on what kind of 'experience' you wished to market. If you were to offer a rollercoaster ride to hell aimed at the kind of people who want to endure the Russian Roulette scene from the Deerhunter or who woud feel at home living Fightclub, then you may be on to something by highlighting a cavalier attitude to safety.
    Actually, thinking about that you very well may make money from such a venture !
     
  19. phillipsalan09

    phillipsalan09 Member

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    Safety - no SMS means no trains and no trains = £0!!

     
  20. Spagnoletti

    Spagnoletti Member

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    Exactly.

    A good look around on the RAIB & ORR websites should provide an unambiguous answer. At least 2 heritage outfits have been handed improvement notices relating to the quality of their Safety Management System in the last 2 years.

    Guess what happens if you don't comply with the improvement notice?
     
  21. PUFFINGBILLY

    PUFFINGBILLY Member

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    Oh how naive to be so critical of the question. In the REAL world and behind the public face profit comes first, but in conjunction with lots of huffing and puffing (no pun intended) and wringing of hands declaring how in fact safety comes first. You only have to read the reports about cost saving that has led to maintenence cuts, compromises in quality of equipment, poor training, lazy practices, an atititude of 'it's not my problem' or I can't be bothered I'm not paid enough' be it rail or airline that has led to fatalities. Lots of Hi Vis vests, signage, endless memorandums and press releases is so much cheaper.
    Sorry but I have NO confidence in the safety of trains or a planes, I just pray a lot.
     
  22. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    As a member of the civil department at KWVR i assure you our department do not take anything above safety what so ever! If anything we are oversafe. Im sure a lot of members on here will be interested to here that you have no confidence in the work they do and are very proud of.
     
  23. GM078

    GM078 Member

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    I'm not saying that things like this don't happen out in the commercial world, but in my experience railway preservation groups do take these things very seriously. As pointed out earlier in this thread, groups now need a satisfactory SMS (Safety Management System) in order operate. They are subject to audits which helps ensure that standards don't slip. Even the things once thought of safe have to be worked around. As an example, I know of a location where locomotive tenders were formally coaled by hand (i.e. people physically emptying bags on top of the tender)- they are now done completely by mechanical means as the authorities were not happy with people climbing on top of tenders sans harnesses.

    There's also of course the personal aspect, as a volunteer I don't want to put myself, my colleagues or passengers into a dangerous situation. If I was asked to perform a task I did not feel safe doing I would simply refuse to do it.

    As jimmyowl1992 says if anything many preservation groups are now oversafe.
     
    Last edited: 29 Nov 2011
  24. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    Make a very good point there. We are also aware that in preservation terms, not being safe means being closed down. Thats not how it would work on the main network. There would be inquiries and changes but you cant shut the ECML you simply make it safer.
    I will say it again puffingbilly, I asure you heritage railways are very safe, we do not at any point put anyone at risk.
     
  25. nferguso

    nferguso Member

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    PuffingBilly, I have a question for you. Do you occupy a managerial or safety critical role in a railway company?

    If 'Yes', then you are part of the problem, presiding over what must be a lax organisation. In that case, it is up to you to sort yourself out and address the problem either directly or by speaking to the relevent safety authorities.

    If 'No', then I doubt you are in a position to comment unless you have witnessed something that is unsafe, in which case by commenting in the manner you have to this forum, then you are still part of the problem.

    Starting a post "Oh how naive to be so critical of the question." doesn't automatically bestow some sage-like qualities to your postings, it just exposes you as a time-waster.
     
  26. zn1

    zn1 Member

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    on every railway in this country - safety of the individual the employee , the safety of the passengers and safe operating of the trains and services are NUMBER 1.

    the H&SA 1974 is and always should be rule number 1 of any railway operating in the land.

    any railway that puts profit over safe operation is negligent in the first instance !!
     
  27. PUFFINGBILLY

    PUFFINGBILLY Member

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    I'm thinking BR not heritage railways, which in all fairness the original question does relate to.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    As already replied elswhere my comments about no confidence in safety as a priority refers to BR. My observation of the manner in which heritage railways prioritise safety in fact leaves me less anxious.
     
  28. nferguso

    nferguso Member

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    Considering that this thread is in the Preservation & Heritage forum, perhaps next time you might think before making such an inflammatory posting.
     
  29. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    I still think your wrong, are you nervous while driving?
     
  30. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    It is dangerous to think that heritage railways are perfectly safe and nothing unsafe happens ever, because you'll be lulled into a false sense of security. The fact is, like the mainline, occasionally things will happen that we'd rather didn't. The purpose is to minimse those occurrences.
     
  31. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    Exactly, im not disputing that, i do know things go wrong it happens what im trying to say it is not like we are 'slacking it' on safety.
     
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