RMT warning on Lewisham detrainment report

RMT warning on Lewisham detrainment report

25 March 2019

RMT Press Office

RMT warns that Lewisham detrainment report from rail safety body exposes the need for guards and an end to fragmentation

RAIL UNION RMT said today that the RAIB report into the potentially lethal self-detrainment of passengers onto icy and live tracks at Lewisham on the 2nd March 2018 once gain exposes the dangers of Driver Only Operation and the fragmentation of operations under the private franchise system.

RMT has pointed out that the circumstances on that day would likely have had a very different outcome had there been safety trained second person on the train. Today’s RAIB report also looks at previous similar events (Dock Junction, May 2011 and Peckham Rye, Nov 17) and both of these were on trains that were also DOO - reinforcing the union campaign for a guard on our trains.

In summary:

• The report shows that NR and Southeastern had poor quality planning processes in place to deal with situations like this.
• That in particular they did not have processes in place to identify when a train should be considered ‘stranded’.
• There was poor utilization of the few staff they did have and NR and SE need to review the processes for assisting the driver.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“This a shocking report and it is only pure luck that no one was killed or seriously injured at Lewisham last March. Safety on our railways must never be left to chance.

“If there had been a second safety critical worker on the train they could have been the means of providing effective communication between the control and the train and best placed to pass this information on to the passengers.

“ In this instance the focus was on getting points de-iced and getting trains moving rather than paying close attention to what was actually happening on board the train and the welfare and safety of passengers. Communication between the different and fragmented parts of the operation was poor and that is a common theme now when it comes to recent safety investigations on our railway.

“RMT will continue to fight for a guard on our trains, proper staffing levels and an end to fragmentation under a single publicly owned rail body.”

Want to receive updates from us? Subscribe to a mailing list

Tagged with: Lewisham, detrainment