DOO Emergency Call Operations

Our ref: HSR/2/22

Head Office Circular: NP/237/22

26th October 2022

To: The Secretary




Dear Colleague,




Your National Industrial Organising Conference of Signalling and Operations Grades 2022 carried the following resolution:


DOO Emergency Call Operations

“DOO emergency calls promised a lot when the system was introduced. Unfortunately, they have returned very little beyond confusion and inconsistency.


In complex geographical areas, with adjacent lines controlled by different signallers and hubs with many adjacent controlling signallers, it is hit and miss which drivers and signallers receive the call.


There are also so many unique practices that are required when taking emergency calls - Push to talk, ‘over/out’ etc, drivers holding buttons down and preventing communication taking place, somehow managing to specifically tell trains, by headcode, to remain at a stand when the emergency call ends (when you can't see the headcodes on adjacent lines or off your area of control).


All of this reduces the signaller's ability to focus on the incident and the immediate actions that are required. Emergency call communications never go well in real time, due to all of these factors.


We need to address these issues urgently as, especially where signallers get these calls infrequently, the process needs to be intuitive with the way that they use the GSMR system all day, in order for the Emergency Call feature to be fit for purpose.


At its meeting on 29th September 2022, your National Executive Committee resolved as follows: 


We note the resolution and Instruct the General Secretary to raise this issue through our Network Rail Operations Council. 

Branches and Regional Councils to be advised.

I am acting in line with these instructions. Please bring the contents of this circular and the attached document to the attention of relevant members. 


Yours sincerely



Michael Lynch, General Secretary