B305 RSSB Freight Safety is the focus of the latest RED safety video

RED 67: making sure freight operations stay safe

The need to move freight is why we have a railway in the first place. Moving coal from mines to ports spurred our industry’s development before the passengers came. Now there are more passenger trains than freight trains, but the latter are seen – rightly – as part of our country’s more sustainable future.

Freight trains are safe, but freight safety has traditionally focused on derailments. Every one of these incidents has more than one cause. Many RAIB reports have pointed to the combination of issues with the track and the wagon. But fatigue plays a part too, as does the condition of the infrastructure. More incidents are occurring in yards and sidings, where the condition of the infrastructure or the mishandling of points can send wagons off the rails.

RED 67 examines the challenges faced by those who drive, load and shunt freight trains. RSSB’s Dougie Hill, who chairs the National Freight Safety Group (NFSG), discusses the risks, including trespass, road driving, and overspeeding. The condition of freight vehicles on the network is also a key element, which is why NFSG works with RSSB to improve safety in this area.

Please Click Here To Watch RED 76 on freight Safety

Louise Ward, Safety and Sustainability Director of Genesee & Wyoming Inc UK & Europe, discusses freight SPADs, pointing to the number that occur in yards and sidings. Meanwhile, RSSB Principal Human Factors Specialist, Anna Vereker, explains how fatigue contributes to freight incidents and gives tips to help front line staff.

Our reconstruction concerns a derailment caused, in part, by distraction, staff workload and the condition of the vehicle. RAIB inspector Ian Capewell concludes the episode with an overview of the derailment at Llangennech, South Wales, in August 2020. The freight train involved was carrying dangerous goods, which subsequently caught fire. It has spurred industry effort even more to make sure vital freight operations remain safe.

B305 RSSB Red Safety Video RED 67

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