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West Coast Railways steam prohibited on main line network

The Office of Rail and Road has prohibited West Coast Railways from operating steam trains on the main line rail network.
In a statement released today (November 24), the regulator said: “The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has temporarily prohibited West Coast Railway Company Ltd from operating steam trains on the main line rail network, to protect the safety of its staff, volunteers, passengers and members of the public.
“The enforcement action follows an initial investigation into an incident near Doncaster on October 2 2015, which found staff on-board locomotive 45231 had turned off its Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) isolation equipment, designed to apply an emergency brake if the driver makes an error.
“ORR will not allow the company to run trains where there are not effective controls in place for key safety systems. The regulator is working with the company to make the required improvements before services resume.”
The prohibition applies from 2300 on November 24, and WCR must seek formal approval from ORR before moving any steam locomotives. The notice does not affect operation of the company’s diesel trains.
ORR continues to investigate the serious incident where a West Coast Railways’ steam-hauled train passed a signal at danger near Wootton Bassett Junction on March 7 2015.
RAIL has approached WCR for a statement.

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