The principles of banality
On 5 April the Office of Rail and Road published the ‘high level principles’ it expects train companies ‘to follow when rolling out and managing Driver Controlled Operation of trains’.
[‘Rail Regulator publishes principles for driver controlled operation’,
5 April 2017, ORR]
Six high level principles have been drawn up in consultation with industry and the trade unions. They are designed as a framework for train companies who are considering introducing, or who are operating, DCO.
The Principles set out that DCO schemes need to be well planned, with appropriate implementation timescales and developed against a shared understanding of how to handle any issues which need to be addressed.
The Principles are part of the rail regulator’s overall approach to railway safety which helps train companies and their staff understand what is needed to comply with health and safety requirements. This is part of our ongoing work with industry to continuously improve the approach to all types of train dispatch.
The six high level principles are:
Where driver controlled operation is used or planned to be used:
Trains need to be compatible with the platforms that they use and the method of operation at these platforms.
Station platforms need to be compatible with the trains using them and they must support the methods of operation.
The nature of the operation with the train and platform need to be assessed.
This includes consideration of passenger needs and behaviour.
Staff should be trained and competent
The implementation should be planned
The system should be managed through its whole life, with improvements adopted
“Staff should be trained and competent.”
“Trains need to be compatible with the platforms that they use and the method of operation at these platforms.”
How revelatory are these principles? They seem to be on much the same advice level as “Don’t drive a car with a blanket over your head.”