Thursday, 5 January 2012

Close Work

Here is an example of overhead line replacement work being undertaken on the Metro-North system in Connecticut, USA. The photo is from the MTA website, so it's official.
The machine on the right is drilling a new post hole for an overhead line gantry while a train passes on the left. Are they doing something wrong or are we, in Britain, doing something wrong by shutting down the railway during this sort of work?

What do you think?


  1. Not only is there not a "physical barrier", there's not even a token Vortok one! Ah, but the worksite appears to be train-borne by the looks of it, so it's a slightly different matter. Better to keep the line open, so long as safety of trains, passengers and workforce can be assured.

  2. There doesn't seem to be anything to stop that machine swinging its post-driving arm into the path of a passing train. A similar thing happened several years ago on a UK roadside worksight, where the passing vehicle was a bus. Two passengers were killed. The likelihood of an accident is probably low, but the magnitude of the consequences of one is massive. Therefore it fails to be safe working practice by anyone's way of thinking.

  3. If in the UK and by a platform I would certainly get off the train and stop work, MOMs would remove all staff period for retraining.
    Training could use this picture to pick the bones out, not just clearance, no H.V.s, staff ears covered, wiring & catenary above working machinery, no barriers, etc etc
    John ECRO