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Right away indication not given before train departure

Report Number:

May 2012

  • Concern

Following an incident at Basingstoke station, a reporter is seeking clarification on whether Right Away (RA) indications should be given at all stations before a train can depart.

The reporter believes that without an RA indication, Drivers are uncertain as to whether the train is safe to depart. In this case, following the detachment of carriages at Basingstoke, a Driver was advised to depart without an RA indication, as the train had arrived with no passengers onboard. However, the reporter believes it is customary to receive the RA on other routes, regardless of whether carriages have been detached or whether passengers are onboard or not.

Could the RSSB clarify:

  • Whether South West Trains has a special dispensation for not giving RA indications?
  • Whether theRule Bookstates that an RA indication is a mandatory practice at all stations?


  • Response

 Response from RSSB

Rule Book module SS1 section 6.5 d)'Starting a train using a Right Away (RA) indicator'.

"If there is a right away indicator, and the train is not fitted with a working bell buzzer communication, you must use the RA indicator to relay the Guard's READY-TO-START signal to the Driver.


At some stations local instructions require you to use the RA indicator to dispatch certain trains. In these circumstances, you must not use the bell or buzzer communication."

As can be seen above, the rules do not state that the use of RA is mandatory at all stations unless the bell buzzer communication has failed. If the use of the RA is mandatory at a location then this is documented in local instructions. A train operating company may well have different dispatch arrangements depending on the trains involved.