Monday, 5 June 2023

Tightening of Rules on Heritage Rolling Stock May Require Fitment of Central Locking

Heritage rolling stock could be banned from the UK main line following a tightening up of regulations from the rail watchdog.The rules state that all trains on the main line should have central locking to improve safety.

But heritage trains using Mk 1 carriages and other slam door stock like those pulled by the Flying Scotsman and other heritage locos, have their doors opened by passengers and locked individually with a traditional bolt key. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has called for companies to modernise the carriages with a central door locking system.

The ORR argued that centrally-controlled locking systems prevent passengers from opening doors when the platform is too short, according to The Daily Telegraph.

An exemption from regulations banning carriages without central locking has expired and now West Coast Railways who run steam and diesel excursions using heritage carriages,  is hoping to have the rules reviewed.

An ORR spokesman said: "A regulation prohibiting relevant organisations from operating rolling stock with hinged doors for use by fare-paying passengers, without the means of centrally locking them in a closed position, came into force on 1 January 2005.

"ORR has granted relevant organisations exemptions from this regulation on a case-by-case basis in accordance with powers afforded to it.

"ORR determined that it would not issue West Coast Railway Company Limited (WCRC) with an exemption from this regulation in decisions issued on 31 January 2023 and 16 March 2023.

"WCRC has informed ORR that it proposes to challenge these decisions. ORR intends to defend this claim."

More info here and here