UK regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has published safety principles for train companies to follow when rolling out and managing driver controlled operation (DCO).
Upon consulting with the industry and trade unions, six high-level principles have been introduced, designed as a framework for DCO operation.
ORR's railways chief inspector Ian Prosser said: "ORR’s principles are designed to give guidance to the industry about how best to plan and implement DCO.
“The most important element is planning new arrangements well in advance, talking with staff and their representatives to address concerns, and ensuring they are informed about the progress of plans.
"These principles reinforce our view that suitable equipment, proper procedures, and competent staff must be in place for the safe implementation of driver control operation."
Under the principles, trains and station platforms need to be compatible with each other and the nature of operation between platform and vehicle require assessment, which includes consideration of passenger needs and behaviour.
Staff should also be trained to a competent standard and the DCO implementation should be well-planned.
In addition, the system should be managed throughout its service life, with improvements adopted where possible.
These principles are part of ORR’s overall approach to railway safety. They require better planning of the DCO schemes, with suitable implementation timescales.
They help train companies and staff understand health and safety requirements and are also part of ORR’s ongoing work with the industry to improve all types of train dispatch.
Image: Six high level principles have been introduced for train companies which plan to introduce or operate DCO. Photo: courtesy of Hamburg Shots via freeimages.com.