Improvement order imposed on West Coast Railways

A mandatory improvement notice has been imposed on West Coast Railways by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), after consultation with stakeholders with a view to revoking the operator’s safety certificate.

ORR has stopped short of revoking WCR’s safety certificate, but has made it clear that this could still follow if WCR fails to implement - and then rigidly maintain - the strict requirements of the improvement order.

On May 19, ORR told WCR: “We still have concerns that the proposed changes to WCR’s safety management system have not been fully embedded and that there are still some outstanding matters requiring attention. We therefore consider it necessary to serve an improvement notice.”

The notice specifies changes that ORR requires to ensure there is no repeat of the major safety breach that occurred on March 7 (a Signal Passed at Danger at Wootton Bassett junction, RAIL 771). It also specifies the way in which WCR must prove that the changes have been effectively implemented operationally, and sets out fixed timescales for compliance.



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