Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Trains Missed Danger Signals

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Trains Missed Danger Signals

Article excerpt

A passenger train has gone through a red light at a signal on the Newcastle to Carlisle line which has been breached on numerous occasions.

There have been seven Signals Passed at Danger (Spads) in the last five years at the H52 signal, on the approach to Hexham Station from Newcastle.

The driver of the Arriva train overran the signal by 40 yards on September 16, at 3.38pm.

The Health and Safety Executive are investigating the incident as a level two Spad - where the train goes 25 to 200 yards past a signal but not beyond the overlap where it is likely to crash.

There have been several North East Spads at the serious level three, where trains go more than 200 yards past signals and beyond a safety overlap. When that happens there is a serious risk of a collision.

A level two Spad was also reported on the Tyne Valley line at the approach to Hexham Station, from Carlisle, on November 6, when an Arriva train driver went through a red light at the H2 signal, at 3.37pm.

Two drivers on the Tyne Valley line were forced to quit after passing more than three red signals - one of them the H52 - in 2001.

The latest national figures, in the 51st monthly report on Spads on the Network Rail Controlled Infrastructure, show that 46 signals were passed at danger, nine more than in November 2002.

There were 17 serious Spads compared to 11 in the previous November, falling within the Railway Group's severity category three to eight.

However, the figures show the number of Spads is five less than compared to the average figure for this month over the last six years.

There were 23 cases, including the two Hexham signals, where the Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) was successfully activated.

An Arriva passenger train was close to crashing last January when it went 328 yards beyond a signal at Manors, close to Newcastle Central Station, making it a serious level-three Spad. …

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