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2001-10-05 DTR-001
Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions

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Paddington to be protected by new train safety systems - Byers


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Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions

Paddington to be protected by new train safety systems - Byers
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date
5 Oct 2001 00:00
source Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions
type Press release



Train protection systems will be operational on all trains operating into and out of Paddington two years ahead of the deadline, Transport Secretary, Stephen Byers announced today.

Thames Trains, First Great Western and Heathrow Express services will all be using train protection systems from the end of October. Virgin Cross Country''s two services a day will be replaced by TPWS fitted Voyagers by early January.

Speaking on the second anniversary of the Ladbroke Grove rail crash, Mr Byers will say:

''I am pleased that all trains using Paddington will be protected from the danger of a driver passing a signal at red by the turn of the year, two years ahead of the deadline for train protection to be fitted across the network - and all but a handful of trains will have protection from the end of this month.
''Despite the recent tragic accidents on the railways, rail travel remains the safest form of land transport. But the Government is not complacent and has taken action to ensure that we have an even safer railway.

''By the end of 2003 all trains will be fitted with the TPWS train protection system. We have given HSE the responsibility for approving the safety case for all train operators. The industry-wide safety functions which were undertaken by Railtrack are now dealt with by the more independent, non-profit making company Railway Safety. And we are committed to working with HSE and the railway industry to take forward the recommendations from the public inquiries into rail safety.

''This week, on the advice of the Health & Safety Commission, I made regulations which will ensure that train operators have plans in place to cover the escape of passengers from a train in an emergency. This was a recommendation from Lord Cullen''s inquiry into the Ladbroke Grove crash.''

Notes to editors:

1. Thames Trains completed the full fitment of its fleet with TPWS at the end of August. First Great Western, the operator of most long distance services out of Paddington, already has all its trains using Paddington fitted with automatic train protection (ATP), as does the Heathrow Express. At the end of October Railtrack will have finished trackside fitment of TPWS on the station approaches. The track was already fitted with the First Great Western and Heathrow Express ATP system.

2. The Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) is effective between 70-75 mph at stopping trains passing signals at danger within the signals overlap. It will reduce serious SPAD risk by about two thirds.

3. First Great Western and Heathrow Express are fitted with a system known as BR-ATP which operates at any speed.

4. From the end of October, the only weekday trains using Paddington not fitted with train protection will be two a day operated by Virgin Cross Country. Virgin expects to begin operating their new Voyager trains (fitted with TPWS) on these routes from around the end of December or early January (2 years ahead of the deadline in the regulations for fitting TPWS).



Public Enquiries: 020 7944 3000 DTLR website: http://www.dtlr.gov.uk



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