How are emergency speed restrictions (ESRs) implemented?

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eoff

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Can someone tell me how speed restrictions are implemented. As only a passenger I can just guess that signals next to the track would be too late for trains at high speed so there must be some system to inform drivers by making them stop at a previous section to be told of a new restriction or by notice for something planned in advance.

The reason I'm interested is due to this report:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/overspeeding-trains-between-laurencekirk-and-portlethen
...two passenger trains passed through an emergency speed restriction located between Laurencekirk and Portlethen stations, at speeds of up to 100 mph (160 km/h), significantly exceeding the temporary maximum permitted speed of 40 mph (64 km/h)...
 
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Bald Rick

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Assuming you mean an emergency speed restriction (ESR), usually due to an unexpected deterioration of the infrastructure, or some other safety of line issue...

A person competent to impose the speed restriction calls the controlling signaller to explain the restriction. The signaller will then contact all drivers of trains that are to be routed on the affected section of line to advise them. This is usually done by holding the controlled signal before (in rear) of the affected Section at danger, and only clearing it when the message has been communicated and understood.

Meanwhile, the relevant permanent way team will be making the necessary calculations for positioning the speed boards, and making arrangements to install them at the earliest opportunity. This may take up to a couple of hours. When all the boards are in place, the signaller is contacted and he/she will then withdraw the ‘stop and caution’ arrangements.
 

Intermodal

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If you go onto the RSSB's website and download Rulebook Module SP then it will provide great detail in how speed restrictions are set up. OP is essentially correct though, there are signs next to the track that denote a warning for the restriction, with an AWS magnet, giving sufficient time for the driver to brake to slow for the restriction. There are then further boards that denote the start and end of the restriction.

In case of an emergency speed restriction, as opposed to temporary, an additional warning is provided, so you will pass a warning for the warning board, then the warning board, then the commencement board, with an appropriate braking distance inbetween the warning board and the commencement board.

The difference between a temporary and emergency speed restriction is that temporary speed restrictions will be published in advance in notice cases and weekly operating notices, so drivers should be expecting them. An emergency speed restriction will never have been published in such a way, hence the additional warning.

Details are scarce on the RAIB case that you link but it looks like the signage wasn't implemented properly.

From Rulebook Module SP:

tsr.jpg
 
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martin2345uk

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So in the incident linked to, the ESR was set up but the only warning for drivers was a printed notice at the booking on point... I would have still thought the signaller would caution trains until lineside signage was provided, as a "belts and braces" approach? Especially with such a big reduction in speed...? Edit: in fact this is a rule book requirement is it not?
 
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Domh245

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Disappointing to see that this happened not more than a month after RAIB released a report on a similar topic (driver being unaware of a recently imposed TSR and speeding through it)
 

mcmad

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For blanket speeds like that mentioned, signage isn't usually provided. In fact is there not a maximum length of ESR permitted in the rule book beyond which signage alone isn't sufficent?
 

theironroad

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If you go onto the RSSB's website and download Rulebook Module SP then it will provide great detail in how speed restrictions are set up. OP is essentially correct though, there are signs next to the track that denote a warning for the restriction, with an AWS magnet, giving sufficient time for the driver to brake to slow for the restriction. There are then further boards that denote the start and end of the restriction.

In case of an emergency speed restriction, as opposed to temporary, an additional warning is provided, so you will pass a warning for the warning board, then the warning board, then the commencement board, with an appropriate braking distance inbetween the warning board and the commencement board.

The difference between a temporary and emergency speed restriction is that temporary speed restrictions will be published in advance in notice cases and weekly operating notices, so drivers should be expecting them. An emergency speed restriction will never have been published in such a way, hence the additional warning.

Details are scarce on the RAIB case that you link but it looks like the signage wasn't implemented properly.

From Rulebook Module SP:

View attachment 88394

For clarity, the excerpt diagram from the rule book currently in this post by intermodal (post #3) at time of my posting is of a TSR (temporary speed restriction) rather than an ESR. An ESR has an additional AWS magnet and an Emergency Speed Indicator (colloquially known as a 'dalek').

In terms of notification, since an incident on the ECML a few years ago, all operators of trains over network rail infrastructure should be notifying drivers in advance of any current ESR via late notice cases (or digital equivalents where allowed).
 
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dk1

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So in the incident linked to, the ESR was set up but the only warning for drivers was a printed notice at the booking on point... I would have still thought the signaller would caution trains until lineside signage was provided, as a "belts and braces" approach? Especially with such a big reduction in speed...? Edit: in fact this is a rule book requirement is it not?
The signaller would caution yes until advised all trackside signage is in place. They would do it from one signal to another or from a suitable point such as a level crossing so would often be much longer than the actual ESR itself.
 

theageofthetra

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Another one of these. Basically if a driver books on at say 4am and it's not in the notice case they know nothing about it. Relying on a fax (when the printer is out of paper or often not working) is frankly ludicrous in a safety critical industry.
 

theironroad

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Another one of these. Basically if a driver books on at say 4am and it's not in the notice case they know nothing about it. Relying on a fax (when the printer is out of paper or often not working) is frankly ludicrous in a safety critical industry.

Yeah, it's not great.

I think most, if not all, tocs are (slowly !) moving towards tablets (with DAS) or real time DAS systems in cab so that as soon as Network Rail implement a ESR/BSR etc then the driver is notified.

The paper shuffling is archaic.
 

Stigy

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Another one of these. Basically if a driver books on at say 4am and it's not in the notice case they know nothing about it. Relying on a fax (when the printer is out of paper or often not working) is frankly ludicrous in a safety critical industry.
Nobody should have to rely on a fax machine in 2021.
 
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