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Rowlands Castle Near Miss - December 2020

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Deepgreen

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This is from the BBC News site just now. There appears to have been a mix-up about which signalling centre to contact to permit access to the track to retrieve a possession. Do such 'managers' carry this information with them?


"A railway manager narrowly avoided being struck by a train after a mix-up over signalling before he ventured on to the line, investigators have said.
The Network Rail employee was retrieving a bag from the line at Rowlands Castle, Hampshire, on 19 December.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said he had requested the wrong signalling centre to stop trains.
He managed to get back on to the platform and was unhurt.
The RAIB said the mobile operations manager had contacted Petersfield signal box to halt trains shortly after 19:00 GMT on 19 December, instead of the controller at the Havant signalling centre which had control of the line.
He went on to the tracks and subsequently saw the non-stop passenger train approaching at 60mph (97kmph).
The RAIB said he managed to get clear with "one second" to spare.
The driver of the train was said to be "distressed" by the near miss.
It said a full investigation would determine the sequence of events that led to the incident and publish any recommendations."
 
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PG

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The RAIB have published a News story about this near miss.
At around 19:14 hrs on 19 December 2020, a Network Rail Mobile Operations Manager (MOM) was nearly struck by a non-stopping passenger train passing through Rowlands Castle station, between Petersfield and Havant. The MOM was on the track retrieving a bag from the line, when he saw the train approaching. He managed to get onto the platform and clear of the train about one second before it passed at around 60 mph (97 km/h). Nobody was injured, although the MOM and the train driver were distressed by the incident.

The MOM did not request that trains through the platform be stopped and was not aware of the train’s approach because he had contacted the wrong signaller to check whether there were any trains approaching. Instead of contacting the signaller at Havant signalling centre, which controls the area including Rowlands Castle, the MOM contacted Petersfield signal box, which controls the adjacent area on the approach to Rowlands Castle. The signaller and MOM did not discuss the fact that Rowlands Castle was not in the control area of Petersfield signal box.
 

40129

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Do the signal identification plates at Rowlands Castle give the signalling center name or the line of route?
 

pompeyfan

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Do the signal identification plates at Rowlands Castle give the signalling center name or the line of route?

there is no starting signal on the down line but Rowlands Castle is well within Havant’s area. Petersfield fringe just south of petersfield station, with 7 signal sections between the fringe and the station. I would imagine it was the Havant MOM attending too which is even more embarrassing
 

lineclear

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This is from the BBC News site just now. There appears to have been a mix-up about which signalling centre to contact to permit access to the track to retrieve a possession. Do such 'managers' carry this information with them?

Mobile Operations Managers (MOMs) hold COSS (controller of site safety) competence. As such, they are required to be familiar with the area they are working in. They will have line diagrams that show signals and signal box area boundaries.
 

30907

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I assume the bag was on the down line, hence the (misguided) decision to call Petersfield? Does RAIB say?
 

Deepgreen

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As this states December 2020, should the subject line be changed from 2019? Or were there two separate incidents coincidentally a year apart (not impossible!)?
Yes, it should - entirely my fault for not keeping up! To quote Barry Cryer - "Have the visitors been?"
 

Horizon22

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Margins are a thing of the past,he should be requesting a line blockage from the correct signaller.

They can often be ok if it's a sataisfactory amount of time (10+ minutes or so), but if its a more intensive service then yes that's not ideal at all.

The average Sat seems to have 2tph stopping services (1 up, 1 down) and 2tph (1 up, 1 down) non-stopping Portsmouth Harbour/Fratton - Waterloo trains which seem fairly evenly spaced out across the hour, but the day in question might have been different considering Saturday engineering works.
 

dctraindriver

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They can often be ok if it's a sataisfactory amount of time (10+ minutes or so), but if its a more intensive service then yes that's not ideal at all.

The average Sat seems to have 2tph stopping services (1 up, 1 down) and 2tph (1 up, 1 down) non-stopping Portsmouth Harbour/Fratton - Waterloo trains which seem fairly evenly spaced out across the hour, but the day in question might have been different considering Saturday engineering works.
And the guards strike.....
 

Tin Rocket

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They can often be ok if it's a sataisfactory amount of time (10+ minutes or so), but if its a more intensive service then yes that's not ideal at all.

The average Sat seems to have 2tph stopping services (1 up, 1 down) and 2tph (1 up, 1 down) non-stopping Portsmouth Harbour/Fratton - Waterloo trains which seem fairly evenly spaced out across the hour, but the day in question might have been different considering Saturday engineering works.
The rule book would disagree with you I'm afraid,and this is the type of behaviour NR are trying to eradicate for good reason.
 

SignallerJohn

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The rule book would disagree with you I'm afraid,and this is the type of behaviour NR are trying to eradicate for good reason.
Some lines you would struggle to get a line blockage on due to how busy they are.

The MOM should know which signal box to contact, and the one he did contact should have put him straight and told him who to contact.
 

30907

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The MOM should know which signal box to contact, and the one he did contact should have put him straight and told him who to contact.
But isn't the MOM senior to the signaller, which means telling your boss off? Or have I got that wrong?
 

theironroad

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Some lines you would struggle to get a line blockage on due to how busy they are.

The MOM should know which signal box to contact, and the one he did contact should have put him straight and told him who to contact.

Assuming there was a desperate need to retrieve the bag (I'm going to take a guess at a ballast bag or something that potentially could get tangled up in shoe gear) then a line block should definitely have been requested for Rowlands castle. The curvature of the route through the station means it's a blInd approach for drivers in both directions. Sounds like this was on down and I bet the driver (and mom) were more than a bit shaken. The mom is very lucky to be alive by the sounds of it.

The MOM should have known which box to contact as Rowlands is well inside Havant's patch as Pompeyfan has mentioned. Although NOT the signalling border , Buriton tunnel through the south downs is a bit of a clue too.

It would be interesting to know the contents of the phone call between petersfield box and the MOM and just how safety critical it was. The petersfield signaller really should have picked up if the mom had mentioned Rowlands castle by name.

I assume the bag was on the down line, hence the (misguided) decision to call Petersfield? Does RAIB say?

Might well be that, maybe the mom took the approach of box to rear , but still no excuse really for a mom.

But isn't the MOM senior to the signaller, which means telling your boss off? Or have I got that wrong?

I'm sure someone will correct me but I think it's the LOM who is senior, MOM is separate.
 

lineclear

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But isn't the MOM senior to the signaller, which means telling your boss off? Or have I got that wrong?
Signallers are line managed by LOMs, not MOMs, although in some areas MOMs have supervisory responsibilities.

Signallers are in charge of the safe running of trains, not LOMs or MOMs. If a signaller's LOM (or the local MOM) was to instruct the signaller to do something contrary to the rules or unsafe, it is the signaller's responsibility to refuse.
 

bramling

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But isn't the MOM senior to the signaller, which means telling your boss off? Or have I got that wrong?

It isn’t a case of telling off, just a case of passing the relevant information.

It seems highly likely this will come down to a case of poor communications, like so many incidents.
 

Mag_seven

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Signallers are line managed by LOMs, not MOMs, although in some areas MOMs have supervisory responsibilities.

Signallers are in charge of the safe running of trains, not LOMs or MOMs. If a signaller's LOM (or the local MOM) was to instruct the signaller to do something contrary to the rules or unsafe, it is the signaller's responsibility to refuse.

In short, signallers outrank anyone when it comes to the safe running of trains.
 

pompeyfan

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The incident was definitely on the down, abs I believe the item was a bean bag discarded by local children, which surprises me as Rowlands isn’t exactly rough.
 

SignallerJohn

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But isn't the MOM senior to the signaller, which means telling your boss off? Or have I got that wrong?
A signaller assumes lead responsibility on all calls, except the ECO.

A standard phone call should (how we are taught) like this/ a variation of this:

Phone rings
Signaller: signaller at X speaking
MOM: Hi signaller, it’s John Doe MOM speaking to you from X
Signaller: hello John Doe, MOM at X location (see edit 3)

Immediately now the signaller should have a clear understanding who and where the person they are dealing with is located.
 
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theironroad

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The incident was definitely on the down, abs I believe the item was a bean bag discarded by local children, which surprises me as Rowlands isn’t exactly rough.

Lol, wasn't expecting that. Not really sure how much damage a bean bag could do, though though after a few hits I'd imagine that it would split and the beans would fall out. Could provide some ballast support.
 

30907

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Signallers are line managed by LOMs, not MOMs, although in some areas MOMs have supervisory responsibilities.

Signallers are in charge of the safe running of trains, not LOMs or MOMs. If a signaller's LOM (or the local MOM) was to instruct the signaller to do something contrary to the rules or unsafe, it is the signaller's responsibility to refuse.
Thanks - still learning!
 

Stigy

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But isn't the MOM senior to the signaller, which means telling your boss off? Or have I got that wrong?
Even if it was a case of “telling your boss off” so be it.

Lol, wasn't expecting that. Not really sure how much damage a bean bag could do, though though after a few hits I'd imagine that it would split and the beans would fall out. Could provide some ballast support.
I’d suggest it’s prudent to remove it anyway so as to avoid instances of trespass. Row lands Castle itself isn’t too bad, but it does border Leigh Park...
 

Tin Rocket

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If the MOM deemed this bag as affecting the safety of the passage of trains then he should have faulted it with the appropriate authority,stopped the job and rectified the situation under a line blockage.
His actions however well meaning almost resulted in him being bowled over by all accounts,absolutely barmy.
 

bramling

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If the MOM deemed this bag as affecting the safety of the passage of trains then he should have faulted it with the appropriate authority,stopped the job and rectified the situation under a line blockage.
His actions however well meaning almost resulted in him being bowled over by all accounts,absolutely barmy.

It’s fairly normal practice to seek to recover items which aren’t a risk to the safety of trains, because of the risk that the owner of the said item might take it upon themselves to go down and pick it up. Hence why things like mobile phones, wallets, jewellery and such like will often merit being recovered. It’s never going to be well received if the industry declines to go down and collect something and then later in the day there’s a fatality when the person climbs down themselves.

This will almost certainly come down to a simple mistake, probably compounded by poor comms. The comms pretty much has to be deficient as otherwise the misunderstanding would have been identified. Unless there’s something more to it like an incorrect reference source used (something for example like a wrong or out of date track diagram) or such like.
 

richw

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Surely after phoning the wrong signaller, if the MOM the went to retrieve the item the wrong signaller must have given him the go ahead.
that suggests to me incorrect location given or the signaller is equally or greater at fault, for not picking up that the MOM wasn’t in an area he controls?
 

Chumba

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Please be careful discussing this in an open forum, we have no idea as to exactly what happened and you never know, those involved may be members of this forum!
 
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