Professional Driving Policy

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traingeek97

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I've come across the Heathrow Express Professional Driving Policy online (https://ebrochures.design/HEX/PDP/). I didn't realise TOCs had different policies as you would think the majority of information they contain is standard procedure across the Network Rail network. Has anybody found any other TOCs' policies online? I'd be interested to see how they compare.
 
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whoosh

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East Coast one is here:

(As well as the Heathrow one you've already got)
 

DunfordBridge

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Just been having a glance through the Heathrow Express document and in particular section 5.1 on the sixth page about Quality of Sleep. I was amazed to read that the first recommendation is that the bedroom temperature should not be too warm, 18 degrees Celsius or less. Personally, I think that sounds cold. I can imagine that those drivers with partners would regularly get into arguments if they tried to maintain that level of temperature. I would say from a personal point of view is that 19.5 degrees is optimum.
 

TheGoldfish

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I don’t think the PDP is intended as a hard and fast set of rules ... it’s more of guide on attitude and how you conduct yourself and approach and handle everyday situations both in work life and personally with the aim to you presenting yourself in a professional manner ... the rule book gives you the rules and the PDP is how you apply yourself to them.
 

DunfordBridge

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Thanks @TheGoldfish that should sink in for sure now. @ComUtoR was explaining the difference to me at length about a month ago between rules and policies, etc. As an aspiring driver, I have some degree of familiarity with the RSSB UK rule book, now that I have seen an example of a driving policy, things are falling into place for me now. Not that I need to worry too much about it at this point.
 

PaulBusDriver

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The company I work for have a policy of 15 mph over a TPWS grid on approach to a signal at Danger and have there own variation to the rule book. Most of it is just to enhance safety and from what I can tell, provided you are following the rule book its not enough to get you the sack if you aren't following it strictly to the letter, except for the mobile phone policy.
 

DunfordBridge

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@PaulBusDriver When you say 15mph, are you talking about the magnet that trips the AWS in the cab, on the approach to the danger signal, about 185 metres before the signal? I know each traction unit is different and there are varying railhead conditions, but how far would you anticipate travelling before coming to a complete standstill after passing the grid at 15mph if the brake application is constant? I just wondered how much leeway that would give you at that speed for stopping before the signal.
 

ComUtoR

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@PaulBusDriver When you say 15mph, are you talking about the magnet that trips the AWS in the cab, on the approach to the danger signal, about 185 metres before the signal? I know each traction unit is different and there are varying railhead conditions, but how far would you anticipate travelling before coming to a complete standstill after passing the grid at 15mph if the brake application is constant? I just wondered how much leeway that would give you at that speed for stopping before the signal.

Not all magnets are 185m away, it isn't really a fixed distance. Some can be closer, some further apart. Even with a 15mph magnet policy, signals can, and do, get Spadded.
 

Tom Quinne

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Professional Driving Polices, and other life style polices are often written by people often work 0900-1700 Monday to Friday in lovey AC and heated offices.

99.9% of professional railway people know how to do their job without somebody who’s never done XYZ job telling them how to live their life
 

ComUtoR

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I would assume the magent. We used to have the same policy. If it was the TPWS overspeed grids then I'd be very concerned. Not all signals have TPWS on approach, on our patch I'd say its very limited. The ones that do have TPWS Overspeeds for a red are placed a fair distance before the signal. This is because they are designed for higher speeds. I've know Drivers to trip them at 50mph and still stop before the red. If you were doing 15mph based on grid location then you would need to visiually be able to sight the grids, which would be difficult in the dark, it would take your signal sighting away from the signal ahead and it would need to have th elocation of every single grid distance as some, as mentioned, can be quite far. Would it also need to include TPWS+ grids ?

Either way, I'd be very interested to know which TOC and how its implemented.
 

TheGoldfish

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The company I work for have a policy of 15 mph over a TPWS grid on approach to a signal at Danger and have there own variation to the rule book. Most of it is just to enhance safety and from what I can tell, provided you are following the rule book its not enough to get you the sack if you aren't following it strictly to the letter, except for the mobile phone policy.
We’ll have to wait for @PaulBusDriver to clarify as he didn’t mention the AWS magnet in the original post ?
 

DunfordBridge

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Not all magnets are 185m away, it isn't really a fixed distance. Some can be closer, some further apart. Even with a 15mph magnet policy, signals can, and do, get Spadded.

I remember reading the other day that some AWS magnets are located at shorter distances, but for the life of me, I cannot remember the location described, possibly Portsmouth with its short sections on the way to the Harbour, maybe also Leeds where there are several signals per platform. I gather that the speed over the magnet is one of the first things to be checked after they get a download from the black box after a driver commits a SPAD.

Assume he’s referring to the TPWS over speed sensor grids not the AWS magnet ?

All I know about TPWS grids is that not every signal is protected but I was thinking that when present, they are located just after the signal, stand to be corrected. I am not even sure if all semaphore signals have an AWS magnet these days on the approach in certain, more obscure locations.
 

Class2ldn

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Assume he’s referring to the TPWS over speed sensor grids not the AWS magnet ?
Why would anyone be going over tpws grids at 15? I'm pretty certain its the aws magnet, our company and most companies its 15-20 at the aws and stop no closer then 1 coach length to the red.
The main tpws with a low speed is the ones on approach to buffer stops (10mph) and certain locations where the signalling is close together but generally you won't be doing 15 at the tpws grids.
I believe freight tends to specify 10 mph because of the heavier weights carried.

Certain places around London dont have any aws ramps
 

whoosh

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My first TOC was 20mph at the AWS magnet for a red signal. My current TOC is 15mph.

It's easier with a train brake that's variable, rather than a three step brake for instance. If you go over an AWS magnet at 15mph with a train with a three step brake you'd be:

Step 1
Off
Step 1
Off.......
Step 1

Lots of coasting or messing about between notches.

"Just approach a red sensibly, and not like a normal station stop if a red is at the end of a platform," is what they are getting at.


TPWS grids approaching a red I aim for 30-35mph.
 

TheGoldfish

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As I say he didn’t mention AWS .. but as you explain .. we call that the 20/20 rule ... 20mph 200m from the signal, stop 20m before the signal..
 

Class2ldn

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A few times our drivers have been caught out in the core with posa signals, a few didn't realise that even once the signal flashes the tpws grids are still set at 22mph and set them off
 

Stigy

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The company I work for have a policy of 15 mph over a TPWS grid on approach to a signal at Danger and have there own variation to the rule book. Most of it is just to enhance safety and from what I can tell, provided you are following the rule book its not enough to get you the sack if you aren't following it strictly to the letter, except for the mobile phone policy.
Sounds like you’re referring to the Appendix to the Rulebook (ARB)? I mentioned ours a while ago as I thought all TOCs had a variation. It’s basically a rulebook which encompasses certain modules and is generally more restrictive based on the given TOC’s own expectations. Some things are extra, and aren’t in the rulebook.

I remember reading the other day that some AWS magnets are located at shorter distances, but for the life of me, I cannot remember the location described, possibly Portsmouth with its short sections on the way to the Harbour, maybe also Leeds where there are several signals per platform. I gather that the speed over the magnet is one of the first things to be checked after they get a download from the black box after a driver commits a SPAD.



All I know about TPWS grids is that not every signal is protected but I was thinking that when present, they are located just after the signal, stand to be corrected. I am not even sure if all semaphore signals have an AWS magnet these days on the approach in certain, more obscure locations.
This is the case in point as to why doing no more than 20mph, 200yrds from a red signal shouldn’t be based on the AWS magnet. At most locations I get my speed down to 15 ish mph at an AWS magnet based on route knowledge (our policy is 20mph apart from leaf fall when it’s 10), but the signalling on the way in to and out of Portsmouth is so close together, it’s unlikely there’s the standard(ish) distance between AWS ramp and signal (I mean, I’ve never checked, but it appears much closer together). 15 would probably suffice in most cases at any AWS magnet, but reduced during leaf fall.
 
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PaulBusDriver

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Sounds like you’re referring to the Appendix to the Rulebook (ARB)? I mentioned ours a while ago as I thought all TOCs had a variation. It’s basically a rulebook which encompasses certain modules and is generally more restrictive based on the given TOC’s own expectations. Some things are extra, and aren’t in the rulebook.


This is the case in point as to why doing no more than 20mph, 200yrds from a red signal shouldn’t be based on the AWS magnet. At most locations I get my speed down to 15 ish mph at an AWS magnet based on route knowledge (our policy is 20mph apart from leaf fall when it’s 10), but the signalling on the way in to and out of Portsmouth is so close together, it’s unlikely there’s the standard(ish) distance between AWS ramp and signal (I mean, I’ve never checked, but it appears much closer together). 15 would probably suffice in most cases at any AWS magnet, but reduced during leaf fall.
Yes it is the ARB and you'll have to forgive me if I'm coming across a bit vague, I'm in the early days of ops training so I haven't put these rules into practice yet.
 

tlionhart

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Yes it is the ARB and you'll have to forgive me if I'm coming across a bit vague, I'm in the early days of ops training so I haven't put these rules into practice yet.
You wouldn’t be wrong though.

In my operator the PDP also emphasises certain ARB rules. That being speeds on AWS magnets in general operation and low rail adhesion. Other rules and procedures are in there too.
However a lot of TOCS give tips or best practices which are also in the PDP. For instance speeds on cautionary aspects.
Typically 35-40 pass a single yellow and 60 pass a double. Then we have one for TPWS grids into bays/terminus. 8mph being the speed (most are set at 10-12mph)
Another mention of reduced power notches on restrictive signals.

My tocs aws to the red is: 20mph on magnet (Old rule was 15mph until they updated it to) and 20m from the signal. -(You have to stop, but can draw forward) Exceptions being in a station and certain situations you can just stop close to the signal because of the way it’s setup. Like approach control. In low rail adhesion it’s reduced to 10/20.
 

Stigy

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You wouldn’t be wrong though.

In my operator the PDP also emphasises certain ARB rules. That being speeds on AWS magnets in general operation and low rail adhesion. Other rules and procedures are in there too.
However a lot of TOCS give tips or best practices which are also in the PDP. For instance speeds on cautionary aspects.
Typically 35-40 pass a single yellow and 60 pass a double. Then we have one for TPWS grids into bays/terminus. 8mph being the speed (most are set at 10-12mph)
Another mention of reduced power notches on restrictive signals.

My tocs aws to the red is: 20mph on magnet (Old rule was 15mph until they updated it to) and 20m from the signal. -(You have to stop, but can draw forward) Exceptions being in a station and certain situations you can just stop close to the signal because of the way it’s setup. Like approach control. In low rail adhesion it’s reduced to 10/20.
Does your TOC actually say about doing 20mph at the magnet, rather than the distance? It seems quite a few do? Ours has always emphasised the distance and steers clear of naming the magnet as a means of measuring the distance purely because it varies. Admittedly and realistically, 9/10 times I use the magnet as the measurement based on route knowledge, but feel it’s dangerous to an extent to publish in a policy/ARB etc about this.
 

tlionhart

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Does your TOC actually say about doing 20mph at the magnet, rather than the distance? It seems quite a few do? Ours has always emphasised the distance and steers clear of naming the magnet as a means of measuring the distance purely because it varies. Admittedly and realistically, 9/10 times I use the magnet as the measurement based on route knowledge, but feel it’s dangerous to an extent to publish in a policy/ARB etc about this.
I agree with you. Unfortunately ours just states a 20/20 rule. As you say, doing 20mph over some magnets would be dangerous as the distance between the magnet and the signal is less than what the rule book states. However and luckily drivers have adapted to do less and stop the required distance. I would say the distance is more important than the speed. Ours emphasises speed and distance. What I make from it is they don’t like drivers rushing about and speeding up to the red. They like to see us stop a good distance from the signal (20m initially) but then drawing forward slowly if you need to see the signal number or to trigger the signal to allow permissive working.

So does your toc just say ‘stop 20m from the signal?’
 

Stigy

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So does your toc just say ‘stop 20m from the signal?’
We use the 20/20 rule, and 10/20 during leaf fall or known LRA areas.

Ultimately the aim is to stop 20 metres short though. I tend to crawl up to reds and stop when I sight them signal plate (could even be slightly closer at night depending on the headlight glare). If adhesion was reportable, I’d potentially stop and draw forward as guy mentioned. If following a train I tend to just hold back as there’s no point rushing up to a red and it generally just feels more seamless than stopping and starting. Admittedly I that’s not possible everywhere.
 

DunfordBridge

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Sounds like you’re referring to the Appendix to the Rulebook (ARB)? I mentioned ours a while ago as I thought all TOCs had a variation. It’s basically a rulebook which encompasses certain modules and is generally more restrictive based on the given TOC’s own expectations. Some things are extra, and aren’t in the rulebook.


This is the case in point as to why doing no more than 20mph, 200yrds from a red signal shouldn’t be based on the AWS magnet. At most locations I get my speed down to 15 ish mph at an AWS magnet based on route knowledge (our policy is 20mph apart from leaf fall when it’s 10), but the signalling on the way in to and out of Portsmouth is so close together, it’s unlikely there’s the standard(ish) distance between AWS ramp and signal (I mean, I’ve never checked, but it appears much closer together). 15 would probably suffice in most cases at any AWS magnet, but reduced during leaf fall.

Thanks as always @Stigy. Good to see that your TOC has guidelines for both normal and degraded railhead conditions. It is quite remarkable that based on the standard distance with poor railhead conditions, it can take 165 metres to stop from 10mph. You could travel a coach length until you realised the brakes were having any kind of effect.
 

Felixkoch2312

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A couple of times our drivers have been gotten out in the center with posa signals, a couple didn't understand that even once the sign blazes the tpws lattices are as yet set at 22mph and set them off as the above guys has said

Class2ldn

 

Stigy

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Thanks as always @Stigy. Good to see that your TOC has guidelines for both normal and degraded railhead conditions. It is quite remarkable that based on the standard distance with poor railhead conditions, it can take 165 metres to stop from 10mph. You could travel a coach length until you realised the brakes were having any kind of effect.
It’s been known for drivers to get to as low as 5mph in some cases and then the train just picks up momentum. Bath is one such place, not because of the usual yearly low rail adhesion, but because they like to grease the rails there :D.
 

PaulBusDriver

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Just to clarify, as I posted a bit early, my TOC has a 60-40-20 policy and policy is 15mph as recommended on approach to the signal at 200 metres.
A trainer had mentioned tpws when I think he meant aws, easy mistake I guess with so many acronyms.
 
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