27 September 2017

Greater Manchester on track with rail safety

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A national week of action, aimed at reinforcing vital safety messages around rail and light rail, is being supported this week across Greater Manchester.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Metrolink operator KeolisAmey Metrolink (KAM), Network Rail and train operating companies are taking part in national Rail Safety Week, which runs until Sunday 1 October.

They are not only aiming to highlight the work being done to make the region’s rail and light rail networks safe, but also demonstrate how people can help support their actions through safe practices.  

On Thursday 28 September, a special awareness-raising event will be held at Manchester Piccadilly station, where visitors will be able to try their hand at the tram driving simulator used to train Metrolink drivers. This will enable people to experience and understand the daily challenges facing drivers, such as inclement weather conditions, poor visibility and navigation through highly pedestrianised areas such as town and city centres.

There will also be operator representatives present to provide useful information on rail safety.

The event will reinforce the work already done on a daily basis by TfGM, KAM, Network Rail and train operators to make the networks as safe as possible, such as

• Drivers being given live information from the control room to inform decision making
• Installation of measures such as strategically located signals, signage and car traps to enable interaction with road traffic to be as safe as possible
• Close liaison with the award winning  Disability Design Reference Group to ensure the network is made as safe and accessible as possible for people with disabilities
• Educational visits to inform school pupils of the dangers of messing about on the railway
• Awareness campaigns supporting police counter terrorism operations
• Working closely with the Samaritans to enable staff to identify and assist potentially vulnerable passengers

However, people can also help to keep themselves as safe as possible by remembering a few simple practices, such as:

• Remain vigilant around rail and tram tracks
• Do not become distracted by mobile phones/headphones
• Do not board trams or trains when the door tones are sounding
• Do not put belongings in the carriage doors to stop them closing
• Do not rush for a tram or train and stand back from the platform edge

Amanda White, Head of Rail at TfGM said: “We work closely with KAM and rail industry partners to ensure that Greater Manchester’s rail and light rail networks are kept as safe as possible.

“Initiatives such as Rail Safety Week provide an excellent opportunity to not only tell people about all the important work done behind the scenes to ensure safety, but also to remind them of some key safety tips to remember when in and around the networks.

“However, rail safety isn’t just a week-long initiative and passengers, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike need to play their part to help keep themselves safe all year round.”

Janet Ault, Director of Health, Safety, Quality and Environment for KAM said:

“We hope passengers enjoy the chance to experience what it’s like to drive a tram and everything our drivers do on a daily basis to provide a safe journey for customers.

“Zero harm is our number one priority – we are committed to working with TfGM to keeping Greater Manchester moving and growing safely.”

Rail Safety Week is an industry-led initiative focusing on rail safety for everyone. The aim is to engage, address, promote and bring rail safety to people’s attention for the duration of the week.

For information on public transport across Greater Manchester visit www.tfgm.com, call 0161 244 1000 (7am-8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am-8pm at weekends and bank holidays) or follow @OfficialTfGM on Twitter.

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