November 2010 in Train Operations
A reporter is concerned that the safety stickers on the Class 170 trains operated by First TransPennine Express display the wrong message.
On the door pillars inside the cab, these stickers display a warning about live conductor rails. But, in fact the danger comes from the overhead lines, not the conductor rail.
These ex-South West Trains were previously used in the southern region where trains use the conductor rail to draw power. The same, incorrectly displayed message is also visible on an ex- Porterbrook demonstrator now used by First TransPennine Express. In total, these messages are displayed on 10 different units. The reporter understands that this may be perceived as a fairly trivial issue, but believes it is important to create the right impression in safety matters; it would be relatively easy to put right.
First TransPennine Express are always grateful to receive suggestions as to how safety might be improved. This same suggestion had previously been reported internally via our Injury Prevention Scheme and considered by our Fleet Engineering and Operations Teams.
The main method of advising our Train Crew of route safety hazards is via their basic training and route knowledge training, which is monitored via our competence management system.
Additional reminders about Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) are
provided by the orange warning line, indicating the safe maximum
working height on the side of rail vehicles. This is an Industry
Group Standard. Supplementary stickers are generally only required
where there is a break in the orange warning line. There is
therefore no requirement for the fitment of OLE warning stickers in
Warnings about the live third rail are required when stock regularly work over an area with third rail electrification. Our units operate over a very short section of third rail electrified lines in the Hunts Cross area on our services to and from Liverpool Lime Street.
We considered removing the third rail warning stickers altogether. However, on balance, we have decided not to remove a safety warning that could potentially be of some benefit, so where stickers are currently present we will be leaving them in-situ for the time being.