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Rule books - old or new?

Discussion in 'Railway Operations M.I.C' started by Neil_Scott, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

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    Just out of interest, how many railways base their rule books on the old BR rule books from the 1950s/1960s and how many use the more modern RSSB books as a template?

    This question applies to signalling regulations as well by the way.
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The present NYMR rules etc are based on the later BR (pre RSSB) rulebook and General Appendix. Talk of changing over to the RSSB book as crews effectively have to swap rule books when they go over the boundary between NYMR and Network Rail and there are contradictions between the two.
     
  3. secr1084

    secr1084 New Member

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    The Bluebell use a modified version (edited) of the 1960 ish rule book.
     
  4. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk New Member Account Suspended

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    If the railway is running under a Light-Rail order there are certian rules that we have to follow from the RSSB Group Standerds book.
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Why? I've never heard of this. Please explain? Just interested, nothing more.
     
  6. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk New Member Account Suspended

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    As far as I know, some heritage lines run under a light-rail order. This effectivley gives us the rights as a tramway on a big railway. It does certian things like limit speed to 25mph, and we have to follow certian other rules from the RSSB that apply to Light Railways
     
  7. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

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    What rules are these then?
     
  8. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk New Member Account Suspended

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    I don't know - if you are interested the RSSB might be able to help.

    They should be incorperated into your railway's rule book anyway
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I don't think so.

    The Light Railway Order (or Transport & Works Order) will lay down certain requirements, such as maximum speed and maximum axle load. The actual requirements will vary with each Order although there will be a common template. A particular railway's rule book is its own and nobody else's although most have a common origin in the 1961 edition of old BR 1950 rule book.

    The RSSB standards, including their rule book, apply to the big railway (the Interoperable Railway) not to heritage railways. A heritage railway may apply some or all of the standards but there is no obligation to do so.
     
  10. secr1084

    secr1084 New Member

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    I understood that most preserved railways used to use the BR 1960s rule book (ie Bluebell), Due to the large number of rules that are not applicable, the 1960 rule book was altered (ie Bluebell) to form the basis of a new rule book. In the Bluebell's case this had to be and was approved by (I think) the railway inspectorate.

    I have heard rumors that some railways are using an RSSB based rule book. While a lot has been made about the ease of use of the RSSB, I have had no problem with 1960 based rule books, I do not find them at all confusing!

    The rules in the RSSB rule book that could be applied to preserved railways cannot be too different from the 1960s rule book, so I don't think there is too much to worry about.

    Please note that the above are general comments, all rules passed staff should concern themselves with the rule book applicable to the railway they are working on.
     
  11. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The Railway Inspecorate use to approve railways rule books but this is no longer the case. They aren't in the business of 'approving' anymore. It gives them liability, amongst other things. A railway is solely responsible for its rules. It has to lodge a copy of its rulebook with HMRI, but that is all.
    Whilst totally re-written in a user friendly format, the basic principles of the rules are virtually unchanged. There are some differences, though. Examples are the requirement for train staffs to be carried on the leading loco, emergency det protection being significantly increased to cater for the higher speeds on Network Rail and when you should sound the horn.
    Totally agree with that comment.
     
  12. Edward

    Edward Member

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    I am going to have to disagree with you there Steve. There is a fundamental culture shift between the 1970 Rule Book that the NYMR essentially works to, and the Modular Rule Book, or its predecessor, the Personal Rule Book series. The new books are very prescriptive as to when a train/ loco cannot enter service, or when it must be removed from service. Driver discretion has largely been removed. As these publications are marked "Not for Publication", that's as specific as I'm going to be on here.
     
  13. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

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    Quite.

    I have a copy of the 1947 LMS Absolute Block regulations in my possession (freely available from Ian Allan I hasten to add) and the similarities to today's Absolute Block regulations are marked.
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I'm not disagreeing with you in that there are a lot of things in the present rule book that aren't in the older ones but that is largely due to equipment that didn't exist in the 1950's (TPWS, OTMR, headlamps are just some examples) and there are lots of things in the 1950 rule book that don't exist now (stacking coal on tender, throwing clinker over viaducts, Rule 55, etc). The essence of train operations hasn't changed much, though, which was what I was referring to.

    As for the present rule book being marked 'not for publication' simply go to:
    http://www.rgsonline.co.uk/Rule_Book/Fo ... ments.aspx
    It's freely available to everybody.
     
  15. secr1084

    secr1084 New Member

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    Before the Bluebell published there own rule book, the Station staff at Sheffield staff only had access to an SR rule book, rather than the official 1960s one. There did not seem to be too much difference in the rules applicable to Station staff.

    Thanks for the clarification as to the modern way of publishing rule books. Although I do wonder about liabilty, can you really sue a government department for its incompetence?
     
  16. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Don't know about that but an inspecting authority (HMRI) would have great problems in prosecuting you over an incident that was due to inadequate rules that they had approved! After Ladbroke Grove the Cullen report recommended that this conflict of interest, whereby HMRI were both the approving and inspecting authority, should be removed.
     
  17. Edward

    Edward Member

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    I quite agree, a railway is still a railway, so many of the basic principles are still the same. however, if you look at Module TW5 (Train Working - defective & isolated equipment), you'll see a very different emphasis to the earlier books. (you don't get the full effect of this on the EVL, due to the low speeds, nature of traction used & proximity to Grosmont loco).

    Look at clauses 2.10 & 1.2. Effectively, decision making has been removed from the hands of the driver. That's the culture change. This has come in post - Southall, to make sure trains aren't running around with safety systems isolated, etc.

    Not sure about this modular book being "user friendly."
    The best book was its predecessor - the Personal Rule Book series. Different book for each grade. If it was in the book, it applied to you. In a loose leaf format, so amendments were easy to do. It was written in "railway speak," but after a couple of days learning the terminology, it's actually are more concise way of expressing what goes on in this specific environment. I suspect that "plain English" may also be more "Lawyer friendly." I still find it hard to check things in the "new" book; it may be in "plain" English, but it's not natural English, and can be just as confusing.
     
  18. Nigel Clark

    Nigel Clark Member Loco Owner

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    Swanage originally used the 1950 (1961) BR Rulebook and then moved on to one based on the 1972 version. We subsequently developed our own Rulebook, the format still being loosely based on the BR 1972 version but completely rewritten to encompass our own operation and dispensing with non-applicable regulations. We continue with some of the older practices such as token/staff being carried by the rearmost engine but recent revisions have seen the introduction of driver's tickets for Pilotworking etc. The Signalling Regs are based upon the later BR version of SGI's, OTW, and EKT.

    With regard the Railtrack Personal Rule Book series, this was actually flawed in that it didn't cover the requirements of the Incident Response Staff who had to have 3 different books in an attempt to have the correct modules. I didn't find the wording that satisfactory either. The biggest advance with the current modular series are the diagrams, but the actual wording is worse and not a patch on the 1972 book. There is now talk of yet another design of Rule Book for the national network............
     
  19. aldfort

    aldfort Well-Known Member

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    As it happens I've just obtained a 1961 copy of the British Railways rulebook. Having a quick browse through one thing has certainly changed, at least on the WSR. Use of shunting poles. A primary requirement of the 1961 book. Banned on the WSR.
    As far as I can tell the WSR rulebook is an amalgamation of the best bits of the 1961 book with the best of current practice. I know WSR modifies it's rule book from time to time, as any safety orientated organisation should, to keep abreast of current thinking.
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    That's an interesting one. Any idea why they are banned? They make coupling/uncoupling of loose coupled vehicles so much easier and, imho, safer. Having said that, using a shunting pole with vac piped vehicles is usually not practical and most heritage railway vehicles have a vac pipe, these days.
     

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