Control measure knowledge

Some parts of rail infrastructures have designated 'authorised walking routes', providing safe access to or from a place of work. These are normally found near depots, siding or stations. Once control measures are implemented, using these facilities will assist operations. At larger incidents, designating agreed temporary walking routes will assist safety management. These will normally highlight avoidable hazards, such as walking on lineside cable trunking, which is not intended to be used as a pathway. On some parts of the railway, the space between the track and the nearest wall or structure is very narrow. These are areas of limited clearance.



The red signs shown above indicate that there is no position of safety on this side of the railway for the length of structure beyond it.




The blue sign above indicates there are no refuges on this side of the railway, but there are on the other side. Again, this example of signage clearly indicates that the area beyond is too dangerous for personnel while rail vehicles are running on the side that does not have refuges.



The sign above indicates there are no refuges and that no positions of safety exist. Personnel should not go past this point when rail vehicles are running.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure that personnel attending rail incidents understand the signage found along rail routes

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Identify any limited clearance areas and take notice of warning signs

  • Identify any signage, and provide information on safety, as part of any operational risk assessment before personnel are committed
  • Brief crews that are moving around the rail infrastructure on the following points:

    • Keep to the defined working areas
    • Stay alert - keep watching and listening
    • Do not assume safety because a signal is showing a red light or stop signal
    • Use a designated walking route or pathway
    • Face on-coming trains (remember tracks can be bi-directional)
  • Where possible await the arrival of the Rail Incident Officer (RIO) before entering the track area

  • Request advice and assistance from rail or tram network operators regarding the most appropriate access

  • Keep feet clear of track points that may move without warning