Control measure knowledge

It is vital that the various power supplies within fire and rescue service boundaries are identified, and full training is given to identify their respective hazards and on how to stop moving rail vehicles.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Be fully aware of the operation of rail vehicles within their boundaries, identifying whether they are electrified, steam or diesel
  • Identify the power supplies (i.e. overhead line equipment (OLE) or whether there is a third or fourth rail) where rail networks are powered electrically

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Request isolation of the power supply, remembering that, unless earthed, DC conductors and AC overhead line equipment (OLE) equipment may hold residual charge
  • Establish the line speed and implement appropriate control measures
  • Request and establish whether trains are stopped or are running at caution
  • Provide crew briefings as to the hazards
  • Avoid any contact with live electrical power systems
  • Where there is any doubt, always assume the power supply is live
  • Reminders to push or pull any casualties clear with non-conductive equipment, for example, a dry line or wooden pole
  • Reminders that personnel and equipment should not be allowed within three metres of any overhead line equipment (OLE) unless isolated, and that for the rescue of live person(s) personnel and equipment must not come closer than one metre unless earthed
  • Request the use of short-circuiting devices (SCD) - to be used only by qualified personnel
  • Consider that rain and flooding can increase the electrification hazard
  • Ensure that, where possible, all personnel stand on dry, non-conductive material such as a salvage sheet without metal ringlets

  • Identify the presence and status of any Battery Electric Multiple Units

  • Consider additional risks presented by steam trains (Extreme temperatures, high pressure steam)

  • Confirm that Overhead Line Equipment is isolated and earthed prior to the use of firefighting jets

  • Request isolation of live power systems (infrastructure and on-board)