We sought views on our proposed revision of ORR guidance on application of the Railway Safety Regulations 1999 to Mark 1 type and hinged door rolling stock when operated on railway infrastructure where line speed exceeds 40kph.
On 30 July 2021 we published guidance explaining the application of the Railway Safety Regulations 1999 (RSR99) to Mark 1 type rolling stock and rolling stock with hinged doors. Our guidance is supported by an impact assessment.
We intend to issue separate updated guidance on the train protection elements of RSR99 in 2022.
In November 2020 we sought views on our proposals as outlined below and other aspects of our draft guidance.
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At the time of introduction of RSR 99 where line speed exceeded 40kph it was recognised that for hinged door rolling stock it was impossible for the range of heritage stock primarily operating on the mainline railway to immediately comply with the requirements of the regulations, most notably for central door locking (CDL). In this case RSR 99 permitted the use of exemptions until rolling stock was progressively retro-fitted with CLD or equally effective systems.
We are now 21 years on from the introduction of the regulations and we have the view that this is sufficient time for relevant stock to be fitted with CDL.
The withdrawal from service and dismantling of more modern mainline hinged door carriages fitted with CDL means that serviceable second-hand components for CDL are available which can be retro-fitted to hinged door stock at reasonable cost.
We believe there is no practical basis for justifying continuing non-compliance with the requirement to fit CDL and for further generic exemptions to be issued for hinged door rolling stock operating on infrastructure where line speed exceeds 40kph.
Other than the person responsible for activating the central door locking system, we can see no justification for reliance of a manual process for locking and unlocking the doors of hinged door stock.
The basis for this proposal is that:
- The relevant RSR 99 regulations are not qualified by ‘reasonably practicable’, therefore CDL must be fitted.
- CDL technology and components are now readily available.
- There has been considerable time for industry to achieve the fitment of CDL on stock intended to run on infrastructure where line speed exceeds 40kph.
- We recognise that alternative, equally effective technical solutions comparable in effect to CDL may be possible, and consequently the provision for the potential issue of exemptions from the absolute requirement to have CDL remains in place. However, we have amended the criteria to reflect the changed circumstances and that:
- an engineering means of door locking that does not rely on more than 1 person is proposed
- the engineering-based approach is supported by quantified risk assessment, and
- the application of the hierarchy of controls as per the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 has been undertaken.
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With regard to Mark 1 type rolling stock exemptions, we proposed the following future requirements:
- where Mark 1 type carriages are used, there is a clear inspection and maintenance regime with appropriate accompanying records, to demonstrate that structural crash pillars are maintained to an acceptable standard, and
- that the remainder of the vehicle underframe and body shell are also maintained in a state of good repair.
Where such evidence as indicated above is available, we would normally expect to continue to issue exemptions against RSR 99 Regulation 4 (Prohibition of Mark 1 rolling stock).
We consider that the draft revised guidance that we consulted on set out the above position clearly, whilst remaining consistent with the unchanged legal wording of the regulations.