Letter from the Chair

Message from the Chair: December 2018 – January 2019

I want to start with the Railway Conference which we held on 20 November 2018 at the Etihad stadium in Manchester. Our theme this year was: ‘Reflections - influencing our future’. The aim was to consider how lessons from the past, can be used to enhance and improve our future railway culture and experience. It proved to be a great event and you can get an overview of the conference and more details of the speakers.

I also want to thank all who submitted entries to the International Railway Group Awards 2018. We had a strong field of entrants and it was difficult to decide on a winner. First place went to SMRT Trains of Singapore and I congratulate them on their success. Find more details of the winning entries.

What strikes me about the award entries is that there is a lot of innovation going on around the industry and I suspect there are many others who could share their experiences. Even if you do not want to enter the award process please let us know what you are doing, so that we can help you to spread the learning.

I also what to congratulate Keith Morey, the former Chair of the Railway Group committee on his Presidents Distinguished Service Award. Keith has served in the Railway Group for many years and was responsible for sharing expertise with the Kosovan and Kazakhstan railways in 2017.

We are hoping to continue supporting the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, (EBRD), in 2019.

Review of 2018

2018 has been a challenging year for member events. Despite our best efforts some of our plans to deliver events failed. We are aiming to make 2019 a better year.

Although we struggled with member events we managed to maintain the IOSH Railway Group as a strong independent voice for safety in the industry. At times of change with an increasing focus on performance and economy the safety message is sometimes lost and its significance as an integral part of a successful railway not fully acknowledged. Opportunities for involvement and influence need to be seized as they arise.

Throughout 2018 I attended the Rail Industry Health and Safety Advisory Committee, (RIHSAC), meetings on behalf of the group committee and at the October meeting I presented a paper challenging the adequacy of health and safety governance and management in the railway industry. I see it as important that we focus on this as a key issue for maintaining improvements in safety performance in CP6.

The committee also made inputs to several PR18 consultations to emphasise the need to ensure that safety was fully integrated into the PR18 process. As I write we are also preparing a response to the current consultation on holding Network Rail to account.

We have also recently input to the EBRD work on level crossings.

Future events, activities and opportunities in 2019

We have an emerging programme for 2019 starting I hope, with a webinar of fatigue early in the year. We will share with you our plans as they are confirmed. We are preparing comment to the Williams Review of the railways and phase 2 of the Glaister inquiry into the timetable disruption in May 2018. We have also started to plan the 2019 conference.

We have recently been given a place on the ORR board overseeing the revision of RM3. I can advise that a consultation on a revised version of RM3 will start soon. Can I ask that you take his opportunity to make your comments and influence the final version.

Keep in Touch

The IOSH LinkedIn sub group is a good place to share thoughts and ideas.
Please also remember that the Railway Group Committee members are all volunteers. Our aim is to facilitate learning and member development. This relies on the good will of members to offer ideas and venues for events and to share experiences. If I may misquote the late JK Kennedy, ask not only what the railway group can do for you but also what you can do for the railway group.
Season’s greetings and all the best for 2019.

David Porter
Railway Group Chair