Supplementary memorandum by Network Rail
THE FUTURE OF THE RAILWAY
Thank you for the opportunity to attend and
give evidence to the Transport Select Committee on 7 January 2004.
Network Rail has been asked to provide additional
information to assist the Committee with its review, this information
is summarised below.
1. NETWORK RAIL
The Railway Safety Case is assessed and approved
by HSE who are also responsible for enforcing its compliance through
local and national inspectors. The Railway Safety Case Regulations
dictate that each Railway Safety Case is subject to a review every
three years (known as the triennial review). This requires each
Safety Case holder to undertake a fundamental review of their
Safety Case and propose enhancements to reflect changes to risk,
enhancements to risk control measures and general improvements.
The changes are then reviewed and approved by HSE.
In addition to the above, Safety Case holders
are required to operate an internal change control procedure to
ensure any significant changes (such as organisation, risk control,
scope), are reviewed and validated before implementation. Significant
or material changes also need to be approved by HSE before implemented.
2. NETWORK RAIL
The basic day to day operating budget for Network
Rail's Safety Department in 2003-04 is £59 million. However,
this must be put in the context that a large proportion of the
company's total resource is devoted to delivering a safe and efficient
The breakdown is as follows:
Note 1 Network Rail is required to fund a
significant element of the total HMRI and British Transport Police
In addition, Network Rail has a Company Safety
and Environmental Plan which sets out objectives and actions to
improve health, safety and environment, performance. The 2003-04
Plan, has £82.7 million of capital funding which includes
£39 million to complete installation of TPWS. Other main
expenditure is on Level Crossing enhancement, Cat A SPAD mitigation,
installation of Automatic Track Warning Systems, treatment for
contaminated land, pollution prevention work at depots and fire
3. TRAIN PROTECTION
In our evidence, we highlighted the additional
cost of TPWS caused by the unjustified level of fitment specified
in the Railway Safety Regulations 1999.
This evidence is supported as follows:
(a) In February 1998 Railtrack formally issued
a discussion document to the industry proposing a rationale for
TPWS signal fitment that would satisfy ALARP. In outline terms
this proposed fitment of approximately 4,000 signals on the basis
of risk. It was envisaged that this would save 2.4 equivalent
fatalities per annum over a 25 year period, at a cost in current
money of approximately £190 million (signals and train cabs).
(b) In May 1998, the HSC issued a Consultation
Document on Proposals for Regulations to mandate fitment of TPWS
at all convergent junction signals amounting to close to 50% of
signals on the Railtrack network and added fitment of buffer stops,
permanent and temporary speed restrictions as well as options
to replace MK1 Rolling Stock. This was accompanied by a Cost Benefit
Analysis. A copy of the HSC Cost Benefit Analysis is tabled as
(c) In August 1998, Railtrack presented a
fully detailed response to the HSC Discussion Document. In essence
Railtrack's position was that the HSC Recommendations, did not
represent an optimum solution and that the HSC Cost Benefit Analysis
underestimated the costs and overstated the risks.
A copy of the Railtrack response is
tabled as Appendix B. Specifically quoted from the Railtrack response
is the concluding statement on Page 10.
"We believe the Regulations as currently
drafted do not represent an optimum solution and that the HSE's
analysis has understated costs and overstated risks. We are however,
committed to moving ahead with TPWS implementationbut
we believe a more targeted approach is required. We believe if
our suggestions are adopted a greater reduction in risk can be
achieved at lower cost representing better value for money and
a significantly better gain in safety at the national transport
system level. It will also render an early implementation completion
(d) 30 July 1999 Railway Safety Regulations
enacted and came into force on 30 January 2000. The final Regulations
largely ignored Railtrack's response and suggested amendments.
The Regulations required a very significant increase in fitment
scope compared to that proposed by Railtrack and the final cost
of fitment to support the HSC Regulation was £575 million
(signal and train cabs). This scope of fitment is estimated to
save 2.6 equivalent fatalities per annum of a cost per life saved
of £8.8 million compared to Railtack's original proposal
at £3.6 million per life.
(e) This position is supported by an independent
review of TPWS Efficiency carried out by the consultants Booze
Allen Hamilton on behalf of the Office of the Rail Regulator during
2003. Section 4 of the report confirmed that the Railtrack response
and concerns on the proposed Regulations were largely ignored
by HSC and as a result their impact assessment was not adequately
At the Select Committee, the HSE explained that
they classify Rail as a High Hazard Industry on the basis that
rail operators require a Safety Case, approval of this Safety
Case through an independent permissioning regime operating by
HSE and also that rail has the potential for "low frequency
but high consequence events". Network Rail and the Train
Operating Companies do not accept this classification which is
frequently used by representatives of both HSC and HSE. To date
our concern over this classification has been raised directly
with representatives of HSC (Commissioners) and HSE at a number
of different forums such as RIAC, (Rail Industry Advisory Committee)
and SAC (Safety Advisory Committee).
5. HSE ENFORCEMENT
The HSE has significant powers over Network
Rail and train operators as the rail industry safety regulator.
This position is further complicated by the HSE also having a
role in approving not just Railway Safety Cases but also products,
equipment, assets and trains in accordance with the ROTS (Railway
and Other Transport System) Regulations. Furthermore the HSE also
has a role in accident investigation and prosecution which often
does not appear to be compatible with the rail industry requirement
to establish "blame free root cause".
Detailed below are various recent examples of
inappropriate and unjustified HSE action.
(a) TPWS Regulationssee above.
(b) Permissive Workingfollowing a
number of mid platform collisions, the HSE mandated that a review
of stations where the practice of allowing two trains to occupy
the same platform was undertaken. This resulted in an approximate
60% reduction in the locations where this practice was historically
practiced with the associated impact on capacity and flexibility.
The HSE then required the industry through Railway Safety (now
RSSB) to install mid-platform signals when stations undergo resignalling/remodelling
schemes through the adoption of a Railway Group Standard. This
has generated significant additional scheme costs and also created
new safety risks associated with SPADs due to change in driving
technique. This requirement is being challenged by Network Rail.
(c) Railway Principles and GuidanceThe
HSE published Railway Principles and Guidance documents which
lay down minimum requirements for installation and operation of
railway activities such as signalling, level crossings, electrification,
etc. Principles and Guidance documents are not meant to be retrospective,
however local inspectors are seeking to use these documents to
drive enhanced standards on existing level crossings. Recent examples
include the Cambrian Line where the local HSE inspector is seeking
to upgrade crossings from private to public road, with the resultant
cost associated with installing higher standards of level crossing
(d) Risk AssessmentNetwork Rail is
required to undertake routine and specialist risk assessment to
justify decisions. If the results of these assessments contradict
a local HSE inspectors opinion of a risk, then Network Rail frequently
has difficulty in making changes. This is often because local
inspectors do not have a consistent view of ALARP. Recent examples
include allowing 2 trains on the Forth Bridge, new stations in
Scotland and Selective Door Opening.
(e) CDM (Construction Design and Management)
RegulationsFollowing the introduction of the CDM regulations
in the 1990s, there has and remains significant confusion over
the application of the legislation in relation to railway infrastructure
maintenance. There is a lack of understanding within the HSE over
role of principal contractor, client and designed with the result
that compliance is unnecessarily difficult and time consuming.
(f) Electrified LinesWarning Signs
are required on all overhead line masts to comply with the Electricity
at Work Regulations 2002. This is required despite the fact that
all rail staff are trained in electrification hazards and the
railways is protected from unauthorised trespass.
I hope this provides all the additional information
you are looking for.
19 January 2004