Railway regulations on Colour Vision?

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Humberman

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Hello, I don't know if I'm in the right place here but joined when I saw this forum which has a specified section for Careers. I'm looking for advice on how train driver colour vision is conducted. The main reason I asked was that my son (13) is an aspiring train driver, but has had a prolonged eye condition since he was 7 (seasonal deffective conjunctivitis) which has affected him vision wise, which he's slowly growing out of. Ever since he tried an online Isehera test, he's becoming increasingly worried about his chances of passing a medical when he's older. When he was around 8, an optician at Vision Express conducted a full eye examination, including Colour Vision, which came back all clear. I took him again last week after being notified by the Opticians he was due for another check up. This time, he didn't manage the full set of Isehera plates, and after the full examination, the conclusion was he was not Red/Green colourblind. After some browsing about other forums, judging on others posts, I came to the conclusion that the Railway tends to only use the Isehera plate test to define colour defficiancy, and that you have no chance should you not succeed, or even another regulated examination. Does the railway medicals take into account external medical examinations (for example the opticians), or do they just let you go if they find some sort of issue?

Apologies again if this is in the wrong area, I'm really looking for someone to shed some light on this to put our minds to rest. Thanks :)
 
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Raul_Duke

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You may as well flip a coin for a diagnosis as use an online ishihara test.

Even if you have calibrated your monitor as much as possible.

They work because people with red/green deficiencies see yellows and blues as being much more clear and vibrant than they do red/green. A monitor will be backlit ect and this obviously affects the outcome.

Ishihara is a diagnostic screening tool. It will tell you if someone has "Normal" red/green perception or not. It doesn't check yellow/blue and doesn't really tell you anything else.

The City University test will quantify it a bit more and an anomaloscope will give you the most detail.

You won't come across the hundred-hue test very often and its probably not relevant in this case anyway.

The Holmes-Wright lantern used to be the standard occupational test as it checks if you can determine if a small point of light is white, green or red. RAF Cranwell used to have one and somewhere on the South Coast had one for testing merchant sailors I believe.


Depending on the ishihara plates being used, you can make 2/3 mistakes and still be regarded as "normal." The railway only seems to accept ishihara as they are only interested in normal/abnormal colour perception.

To sum up, if you're that concerned, take him to an independent opticians, explain why you want him checked, ask them to do Ishihara AND City University. Be prepared to pay though, and good luck to him!
 
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JohnFM

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24 Jul 2015
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Hello, I don't know if I'm in the right place here but joined when I saw this forum which has a specified section for Careers. I'm looking for advice on how train driver colour vision is conducted. The main reason I asked was that my son (13) is an aspiring train driver, but has had a prolonged eye condition since he was 7 (seasonal deffective conjunctivitis) which has affected him vision wise, which he's slowly growing out of. Ever since he tried an online Isehera test, he's becoming increasingly worried about his chances of passing a medical when he's older. When he was around 8, an optician at Vision Express conducted a full eye examination, including Colour Vision, which came back all clear. I took him again last week after being notified by the Opticians he was due for another check up. This time, he didn't manage the full set of Isehera plates, and after the full examination, the conclusion was he was not Red/Green colourblind. After some browsing about other forums, judging on others posts, I came to the conclusion that the Railway tends to only use the Isehera plate test to define colour defficiancy, and that you have no chance should you not succeed, or even another regulated examination. Does the railway medicals take into account external medical examinations (for example the opticians), or do they just let you go if they find some sort of issue?

Apologies again if this is in the wrong area, I'm really looking for someone to shed some light on this to put our minds to rest. Thanks :)

Sorry but I've gotta be cruel to be kind here!

Firstly - STOP taking online tests and worrying about it!! An online test is completely and utterly unnecessary and misleading. The colours on a pooter screen can never, ever, be the same as what is printed on the plates.

This does two things

Firstly it allows your son to be your son, a happy kid with plenty of options and a life ahead of him.

Secondly it allows him to experience life. To grow and mature and to get a job without any worries.

If he or you keep on pushing the CP testing it will become a massive issue and your son might fail simply because of nerves! Seen it a couple of times.

The railway does not allow external medical examinations - why should they? Why would their finding be any different from an opticians?

Leave it alone - don't make it an issue. Stay off Google!

Unless your son acquires uncontrolled diabetes or has a severe head injury then there really is no reason to keep on doing it.

Your son needs to be over 21 years old anyway to even get a shot into train driving and even then it's rare as maturity and life experience goes a long way. That means a minimum of 8 years until he can start to worry about train driving.

That's a long, long time to be obsessed over your CP standard!!
 

smerlin

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Just to add my 5 cents- when I joined the fire service I failed the ishira test for the first time in 20 years and so ended up having to pay for a City university test. Cost me about £300 and lasted an entire day, basically turns out I can't distinguish 2 of the 17(I think) shades of green.
Doesn't really effect anything, and unless ur blind to blue colours are pretty much the same, and tbh even now I can pass the ishira test 99% of the time so I wouldn't worry to much.
 

irish_rail

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Im a train driver (have been since 22 , 8 years of experience or whatever is not needed...:roll:)
Everytime I do ishihara at medicals I get maybe one or two wrong, never a problem, nowt wrong with my colour vision, so I think you are worrying over nothing. Try and concentrate on focusing on the positives for your lad, for example taking an interest in how things work and working hard at school (as the TOCs do prefer better educated candidates nowadays. But as others have said, I wouldn't go into all this too seriously just yet, as he grows older he may well see sense and go off the idea haha!
 

SpacePhoenix

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18 Mar 2014
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Is colour vision even more important now given that some lines have switched to using "search-light" type signals?
 
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