August 2009 in Network Rail and Suppliers
A reporter has noted that over the past few weeks there appears to be a right side failure occurring with the distant signal on the approach to Brundall Junction, in the up direction from the Yarmouth branch line and the Lowestoft main line.
This is resulting in trains always being cautioned at the distant signal even though the associated stop signals are off.
With 20 to 30 trains travelling through this junction a day the reporter is concerned that if the failure is not rectified it could result in complacency creeping in and lead to a SPAD, because drivers may start to sub-consciously assume that the stop signals are going to be off. This has not occurred to date but the reporter would like to highlight this as a potential risk that could easily be eliminated if the problem was rectified as a matter of urgency.
It should also be highlighted that signal BL28 is in this section of track and is known to be a multi-SPAD signal.
Concern has been expressed that for some unknown reason Brundall
signal box is unable to clear the distant signal even though the
stop signals are off. It is not known whether the fault lies in the
signal box interlocking or with the stop signals.
Could Network Rail investigate and fix the problem as a matter of urgency? In the interim, the reporter would also like information to be provided to the affected drivers through notices placed in notice cases and the WON.
Network Rail would like to thank the reporter for raising this
There have been two specific problems at Brundall. There was a long standing issue with BL32, on the Up Lowestoft line, which has now been put right but at BL35 signal, which is on the Up Acle line, a defective wire crank is making the signal lever difficult to pull. A fault was reported on 27th March 2009 although the problem with the crank was known about before this date.
BL35 has had a new crank made and installed. Unfortunately this
has not rectified the problem. There is no time frame at present
for restoring BL35 to normal working, but our engineers are working
on a solution as a matter of priority.
Network Rail understands the concerns raised about the risk of complacency but it is vitally important that drivers obey the signal aspect that is displayed. WON notices are used for permanent infrastructure changes so it would be inappropriate for an item to cover an infrastructure fault. We will provide updates to the relevant, local NXEA managers as the situation progresses.