UK: RSSB publishes new rules for MCBs with obstacle detection

14 Apr

The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), the GB rail industry’s independent rail safety body, has published new rules for the safe operation of manually controlled level crossings equipped with obstacle detection systems that take effect at the beginning of June 2014.

Two RSSB managed research projects that followed the accident at Ufton Nervet in November 2004 considered obstacle detection at level crossings and whether it had the potential to reduce risk. The circumstances at Ufton Nervet were that a man intent on taking his own life parked his car in the path of a train at an automatic half barrier level crossing. The train derailed in the ensuing collision with the motorist, the train driver and five passengers travelling on the train were killed.

Following the publication of this research, Network Rail developed a detailed design for a crossing with obstacle detection (MCB-OD) and carried out trials at Filey in Yorkshire.

New style crossings have now been introduced at a number of locations where full barrier (Closed Circuit TV monitored)or gated crossings (Crossing keeper controlled) existed.
In normal operations the crossing will close to road traffic automatically on the approach of trains with Radar and Lidar laser light technology ensuring that the crossing is clear before the protecting signal clears automatically.

To support the introduction of manually-controlled barriers with obstacle detection, the industry has now set new rules to support staff working at these locations.

Updates to the following Rule Book Modules and Forms will come into force in June 2014.
• GERT8000-TS9 Level crossings – signallers’ regulations, Module T3 Possession of a running line for engineering work, Module TS1 General signalling regulations and Module TW8 Level crossings – drivers’ instructions.
• Forms RT3180 Signallers Line Blockage, RT3181 IWA / COSS / PC Line Blockage, RT3191 Pilotman’s Single Line Working, RT3192 Signaller’s Single Line Working, RT3193 Driver’s Single Line Working Ticket, RT3198 Possession Arrangements and RT3199 Engineering Supervisor’s

For more details see Issue 26 of the Rule Book Briefing Leaflet which can be found at:

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