May 2011 in Train Operations
The new Fassi system installed on the Tyne & Wear Metro is creating a distraction in the cab, according to one reporter.
The Fassi system provides Drivers with information on departure times and speed. When the system was installed, DB Arriva agreed that in order to minimise the distraction to Drivers the Fassi system would not be operational once the trains were in motion. The reporter states that this is not the case since staff can operate the system whilst the train is in motion.
Other potential distractions include the changes in the
brightness of the screens when in motion, which occurs when trains
travel through tunnels. Also it has been reported that some of the
systems cannot be switched off.
The reporter would like DB Arriva to:
DB Arriva welcome the opportunity to clarify this issue. The statement in paragraph two - which says DB Arriva agreed that to minimise distraction to Drivers the FASSI system would not be operational once the trains were in motion - is not true. No agreement of this nature was made.
FASSI is always 'on' but does not require interaction while the train is in motion. The system advises on station departure time and speed and provides an audible indication of optimum speed. It does not require a Driver to look at the screen. Training provided on the use of FASSI tells Drivers not to use the system while the train is in motion.
The screen has three brightness settings and has a sensor which
automatically adjusts the screen brightness to the most appropriate
level for the ambient lighting conditions. The system is designed
to run continuously while the train is in use as it is one of our
means to identify train location. The system does have a standby
mode which sets the screen to a neutral grey colour.
The use of FASSI was safety validated by a third-party consultant and the issues in this report were explored. The validation process included full consultation with the union safety representatives. A copy of the summary report of that validation is available from email@example.com.