RMT demands answers from Scotrail on safe train operation after appalling incident

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mbreckers

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From the RMT Press Office:

RMT demands answers from Scotrail on safe train operation after appalling incident at East Dumbarton on Saturday night.

RAIL UNION RMT today demanded answers from Scotrail on rail safety, and a rolling back of the introduction of Driver Only Operation, after an appalling incident at East Dumbarton on a Saturday night when a man fell between the platform and moving train leading to “life changing” injuries.

The report on the incident from the daily Scotrail daily log follows:
INC 648
2217 hours – Male fell between platform and moving train at Dumbarton East. Conveyed to hospital. Injuries life changing but not life threatening at time of writing. Currently in surgery.

The incident happened on a driver-only operated service at an unstaffed station and is the latest shocking event reinforcing union calls for the retention of the guard on Scotrail trains and the staffing of stations and platforms.


RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said:
“This was a shocking incident at East Dumbarton on Saturday night and joins the catalogue of safety failures on our trains that reinforce the union campaign to retain guards on our railways. It shows once again that not only is DOO a permanent safety risk but that it also puts our drivers in an impossible situation.

“RMT awaits the outcome of the full investigation into the incident that is now underway but we want clear and immediate assurances from Scotrail on the safety of their trains – assurances that we believe can only be meaningful if they include a rolling back of Driver Only Operation.”

http://www.rmt.org.uk/news/rmt-demands-answers-from-scotrail090616/

I don't want to start yet another DOO arguement, and the article (obviously) doesnt give full details, but I do imagine this would not have happened if there was a conductor despatching the train.

Thoughts to the person involved, train driver and anyone who may have witnessed this.

Edit: Can mods fix the title please, dont know what happened there
 
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gimmea50anyday

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No, you're right. The second pair of mk1 eyeballs would have made a difference.

Here you go Pro-DOO'ers, this is the reason why no one wants DOO.

Life changing injuries. No doubt lost a limb. This individual will need medical care and support FOR LIFE! Think that is still cheaper than employing a guard?

I hope and wish the individual concerned has a speedy recovery. And I pray I never have an incident such as this to face in my remaining 25 years of railway
 

ainsworth74

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No, you're right. The second pair of mk1 eyeballs would have made a difference.

And yet it didn't here? Can we decisively say that a second pair of Mk1 eyeballs would have made a difference? Do we not need to wait for more detail to emerge before we can say something like that?
 

ComUtoR

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Life changing injuries. No doubt lost a limb. This individual will need medical care and support FOR LIFE! Think that is still cheaper than employing a guard?

Yes. Still probably cheaper. Cost is always a factor when making decisions about safety.

We were discussing West Wickham today and it was mentioned that this type of incident will happen again.
 

absolutelymilk

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No, you're right. The second pair of mk1 eyeballs would have made a difference.

The link says he fell between the platform and the moving train - it is possible that a guard would have seen this sooner and would have stopped the train more quickly, but equally it is possible that they would not have done so.

In any case, until we know more it's not really possible to say this was made any worse by DOO and certainly not that it was caused by DOO - the man would have fallen between the platform and train whether or not it was a DOO train. Even if the train had been stopped immediately he would still have had horrific injuries.
 

The Ham

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The link says he fell between the platform and the moving train - it is possible that a guard would have seen this sooner and would have stopped the train more quickly, but equally it is possible that they would not have done so.

In any case, until we know more it's not really possible to say this was made any worse by DOO and certainly not that it was caused by DOO - the man would have fallen between the platform and train whether or not it was a DOO train. Even if the train had been stopped immediately he would still have had horrific injuries.

Likewise the article talks of it being an unstaffed station, presumably implying that the RMT think that would have been better if it had been staffed. Again, it is not clear whether station staff would have been able to have stopped it or lessened the severity of the accident.

However (fortunately) such incidents are very rare (whether DDO or not) and as such neither side have a clear statistical case one way or the other as to which is safer.
 

ComUtoR

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However (fortunately) such incidents are very rare (whether DDO or not) and as such neither side have a clear statistical case one way or the other as to which is safer.

Rare as in ?

I wouldn't say they are rare incidents. I think I posted the stats in another thread. They are available on the RSSB website.
 

furnessvale

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The link says he fell between the platform and the moving train - it is possible that a guard would have seen this sooner and would have stopped the train more quickly, but equally it is possible that they would not have done so.

In the north west at least, with a MOVING train, the guard is back on the train behind a closed door so it is difficult to imagine how his presence would have made any difference.
 

Bletchleyite

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In the north west at least, with a MOVING train, the guard is back on the train behind a closed door so it is difficult to imagine how his presence would have made any difference.

That is a very good point. I have mentioned before that all stock should really have droplights to allow this kind of thing to be seen.

However, with much of the stock in use other than in the South East where cab doors very often have droplights, this could indeed not have been seen other than by platform staff.

So is it actually an argument for DOO but with platform staff at all stations, olde-worlde-German-style?
 

Domh245

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That is a very good point. I have mentioned before that all stock should really have droplights to allow this kind of thing to be seen.

However, with much of the stock in use other than in the South East where cab doors very often have droplights, this could indeed not have been seen other than by platform staff.

So is it actually an argument for DOO but with platform staff at all stations, olde-worlde-German-style?

Not necessarily. Without knowing what actually happened, it is quite possible that a guard would have spotted the person being near to the train or acting suspiciously before giving the right away whereas a driver may have not seen it on their DOO equipment. I guess we will have to wait for the RAIB report to come out to see what actually happened.
 

74A

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The link says he fell between the platform and the moving train - it is possible that a guard would have seen this sooner and would have stopped the train more quickly, but equally it is possible that they would not have done so.


Once a train starts moving by the time you see something the incident will have already happened.
 

Bald Rick

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Suggest we all wait for the investigation report.

Those people who saw the log item will know all is not as presented here.

Which begs the question: if the answers that RMT demand suggests that DOO would have made no difference in this case, will they acknowledge that fact?
 

Simon11

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We also need to find out why the man fell between the platform and moving train?

Was this due to passenger or train being at fault?
 

Phil.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-20339630

A railway guard has been jailed for five years for causing the death of a 16-year-old girl who went under a train at a Liverpool station.
Georgia Varley died when she fell between the carriage and platform at James Street station in October 2011.
Christopher McGee, 45, had denied manslaughter but was found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday.
Sentencing him, Mr Justice Holroyde said McGee had taken a "terrible risk" with Georgia's safety....

Just saying.....
 

92002

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We also need to find out why the man fell between the platform and moving train?

Was this due to passenger or train being at fault?

At that time on a Saturday night, there is a fair chance that alcohol was involved.So doubtful that a second crew member would have made much difference.

Guess we need to see the report however.
 

mbreckers

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The Herald Scotland have published an article on this:

A MAN has been left with "life-changing" injuries after he fell against a moving train.

An ambulance was called to Dumbarton East railway station on Saturday night after the 43-year-old stumbled off the platform as a train was moving away at 10.17pm.

He suffered serious injuries to his arm and is understood to have undergone surgery. He remains in hospital.

A spokesman for British Transport Police said there were no suspicious circumstances, but an investigation is underway and CCTV is being reviewed.

A ScotRail memo on the incident states: "2217 hours – Male fell between platform and moving train at Dumbarton East. Conveyed to hospital. Injuries life changing but not life threatening at time of writing. Currently in surgery."

The incident was highlighted by RMT as part of its campaign against driver-only train operations, which the trade union believes is unsafe.

It is understood that the injured man was struck by a driver-only train - meaning there was no guard on duty. The station is also said to have been unstaffed at the time.

An ongoing investigation by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) will examine whether train or railway staff would have been able to prevent the incident, as well as the activity of the passenger. The man is understood to have been behaving aggressively as the train pulled away.

RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said: “This was a shocking incident at Dumbarton East on Saturday night and joins the catalogue of safety failures on our trains that reinforce the union campaign to retain guards on our railways.

"It shows once again that not only is DOO a permanent safety risk but that it also puts our drivers in an impossible situation.

“RMT awaits the outcome of the full investigation into the incident that is now underway but we want clear and immediate assurances from Scotrail on the safety of their trains – assurances that we believe can only be meaningful if they include a rolling back of Driver Only Operation.”

RMT is currently balloting its members on industrial action to protest against moves to extend driver-only and driver-controlled operations on ScotRail services, because it does not want to see drivers "distracted" by additional duties such as operating the doors.

The union is seeking a guarantee that the "safety critical" role of train guards - also known as conductors - will not be reduced during the Abellio ScotRail franchise term.

A spokeswoman for ScotRail said: “The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is currently undertaking an enquiry into this incident, and we are co-operating fully – including supplying CCTV footage from Dumbarton East station."

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/..._with_moving_train_at_Dumbarton_East/?ref=rss

Edit: It should also be noted the Dumbarton East is an unstaffed station
 
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Sprinter153

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We were discussing West Wickham today and it was mentioned that this type of incident will happen again.

The circumstances that lead to such PTI issues are endemic; I'm halfway through my shift tonight on very similar stock to that from the West Wickham incident, and six times someone has appeared from nowhere jabbing at the 'open' button between me performing the train safety check and re-boarding the train to give the ready to start.

Thankfully, being alert and assertively shouting to stand clear before giving the ready to start can avert this, but it's sobering to think that something like that can happen in a split second, after you've done your diligence and performed the train safety check. It's more likely to elevate into an incident when a driver is concentrating on getting the train moving safely, when they can't as easily have eyes on the platform-train interface and shout/whistle to stand clear.
 

Bletchleyite

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Thankfully, being alert and assertively shouting to stand clear before giving the ready to start can avert this, but it's sobering to think that something like that can happen in a split second, after you've done your diligence and performed the train safety check. It's more likely to elevate into an incident when a driver is concentrating on getting the train moving safely, when they can't as easily have eyes on the platform-train interface and shout/whistle to stand clear.

Speakers on the outside of the train allowing the driver to announce to them would I think be a good safety feature. They are common on German underground systems.

And then there's the controversial idea of leaving bodyside cameras turned on until the train has left the platform. The consensus here seemed to be that this was too distracting for the driver, but I still think it has some merit in that it might allow the driver to see such an incident taking place and stop. Of course, on guarded trains the argument moves to having lockable droplights at all locations where guards can dispatch to allow the same thing. On the vast majority of stock once the local door has closed there is no chance of the guard seeing such an incident, and I see that as a big gap compared with the days of LHCS when they always had a means of leaning out - often from an open door.
 

185

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At that time on a Saturday night, there is a fair chance that alcohol was involved.So doubtful that a second crew member would have made much difference.

Bit early to speculate just yet, but I think especially at night, DOO Cams, mirrors and station lighting should, on many stations be reassessed and if necessary improved.

Personally, I've always felt guards should be essential - as long as they do station duties correctly, which should be head slightly out of a droplight window until the platform is clear, and in easy reach of the brake or plunger. In a perfect world all stock would have decent droplight windows for dispatch. I've stopped 185s on a few occasions using the plunger (buzzer/bell code does not work over 3mph).

That said, if DOO is required simply for cost and performance reasons, it should be done at the highest of standards to justify it's expansion. If DOO were to come in, a second person on board should always provided, simply as the driver has no idea of what's going on within the train.
 

Bletchleyite

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I think there is a strong case for retrofitting droplights, including locking ones at passenger doors where dispatch tends to be from there, to all stock that is not already so fitted. These incidents seem to be becoming common, and they would be prevented, or at least reduced in severity, if we returned to the guard being able to watch the train out of the platform in all cases.

In much of Europe, of course, this is simply done from an open passenger door.
 

Chrisgr31

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And then there's the controversial idea of leaving bodyside cameras turned on until the train has left the platform. The consensus here seemed to be that this was too distracting for the driver, but I still think it has some merit in that it might allow the driver to see such an incident taking place and stop. Of course, on guarded trains the argument moves to having lockable droplights at all locations where guards can dispatch to allow the same thing. On the vast majority of stock once the local door has closed there is no chance of the guard seeing such an incident, and I see that as a big gap compared with the days of LHCS when they always had a means of leaning out - often from an open door.

Isn't the solution to have bodyside cameras that broadcast tot he other cabs. The guard can them monitor the screens as the train departs the station and summon a emergency stop should an incident occur.

Station staff potentially wouldnt help as how are they to notify the driver there has been an incident as the train leaves the station?
 

Bletchleyite

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Station staff potentially wouldnt help as how are they to notify the driver there has been an incident as the train leaves the station?

Tube-style emergency stop buttons?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The "solution" is to prevent incident. Cameras, droplights etc just let you watch it happen.

How, though? Only platform-edge doors would seem to have a certainty of doing that.
 

ComUtoR

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How, though? Only platform-edge doors would seem to have a certainty of doing that.

There are various "solutions" being offered. When you read the RAIB reports they make suggestions and offer potential solutions. It is well worth reading up on the incidents and looking at what is being offered.

The easiest "solutions" are managing the PTI risks. This is being done by changing the way in which trains are dispatched and changing dispatch policy.

Platform edge doors or something along those lines could offer more of a solution and they have been discussed before. Until we admit defeat and spend the money on proper solutions then its only a matter of time till the next person dies.
 
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whoosh

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I think there is a strong case for retrofitting droplights, including locking ones at passenger doors where dispatch tends to be from there, to all stock that is not already so fitted. These incidents seem to be becoming common, and they would be prevented, or at least reduced in severity, if we returned to the guard being able to watch the train out of the platform in all cases.

In much of Europe, of course, this is simply done from an open passenger door.

I absolutely agree about drop lights. Stock was introduced without drop lights, and the Rule Book was then changed to accommodate the fact the Guard couldn't observe the platform as the train departed.

It was almost as if the stock had been specced like that on purpose, so the Guard's duties could be watered down....
 
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But what us drivers are being expected to put up with is, 12 cars worth of people refusing to stand away from the train, being distracted by their smartphones, blocking the view regardless of which means is employed to show us that view, no means of seeing what is going on as we leave, no drop light for the guard to see in the increasingly rare event we have one, no staff on the platform and no means for the, to let us know what is going after we move off.

The unpalatable truth for the dft, the TOCs and the raib is that a guard on the platform, then looking out of an open door on departure, provided us with the only truly safe way of moving a train.

DOO has only one purpose. Nothing to do with allowing conductors to provide customer service. Nothing to do with not having to cancel trains due to no guard. It's about making it easier for the government to cut the subsidy to the railway. It won't cut ticket prices. It won't make it more likely that services will be expanded or lines reopened. It's about penny pinching. If a doubling of passenger numbers doesn't allow the industry to argue that it needs to repsond to demand with more staff, then what will? It's cutting safety and customer service and piling unreasonable extra liability on the driver.
 

tsr

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Tube-style emergency stop buttons?

I completely agree that this idea should at least be trialled, especially for dispatchers but maybe not accessible to the general public to prevent misuse at unstaffed locations. But as I understand it, Tube emergency stop buttons (which, as an aside, are often badly marked or even secured closed with plastic tabs, which always strikes me as odd) only withdraw the authority of a train to enter a station by sending a signal which disrupts the flow of commands carried through the track which would enable usual signalling sequences. Effectively I believe it simply overrides the normal signalling. As far as I know, what it does NOT do is apply brakes or send an emergency stop command to the train or its driver. I'm actually not sure how much use it would be if a train is already moving out of a station, and exactly what method you'd use to implement an emergency stop system with the ability to stop such departing services.
 
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