Report your concern online
A safety net when all else fails

50297 Rule Book query on road traffic light failures at crossings

August 2011 in Network Rail and Suppliers

tagged Rules and procedures Training and briefing Not Specified

A reporter is seeking clarification on whether Signallers should be adhering toRule Book module TS9 part 2.6.  This section applies when Signallers have been informed that the road traffic lights at an Automatic Open Crossing Locally monitored (AOCL) or Automatic Barrier Crossing locally monitored (ABCL) have failed.

The Rule Bookstates:       

TS9 2.6 Failure of crossing equipment


          "If you are told that the road traffic signals at an AOCL or ABCL have failed, or the   barriers have also failed at the ABCL, you must tell:

  • the Signalling Technician; and
  • Operations Control.



         "Until normal working is resumed, you must instruct the Driver of each train to;

  • stop at the crossing; and
  • not pass over the crossing until the Driver has made sure it is safe to do so, if         necessary by operating the Driver's emergency plunger.

The reporter is aware of occasions when Signallers have not alerted Train Drivers to AOCL or ABCL crossing failures, even though they have been in receipt of this information some time in advance.  This is resulting in Drivers approaching these crossings to find out at the last minute that the road traffic lights have failed.  The reporter is concerned that this could result in a vehicle being struck.  According to the reporter, this risk could be mitigated if Drivers were informed by Signallers beforehand of any failure.      

Could RSSB:

  • Clarify whether Signallers should always adhere tomodule TS9 part 2.6when they have been informed that road traffic lights have failed at an AOCL or ABCL crossing?

 Could Network Rail:

  • Clarify whether they expect Signallers to inform Drivers of a failure of road traffic lights at an AOCL or ABCL crossing?
  • If so, remind Signallers who monitor AOCL and ABCL crossings that they should be adhering toModule TS9 part 2.6?


Response from RSSB

Signallers are required to fully comply with Rule Book module TS9, section 2.6and tell Drivers that there is a defect at an AOCL or ABCL crossing. One of the reasons for this is that it avoids a Driver reporting a defect that is already known about. There are also benefits in the Driver knowing in advance that the crossing is not likely to operate correctly.