Coronavirus: Trains Safety Council Update

Covid-19 crisis update
Today the RMT THSC took part in a conference call with LU to discuss the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and
measures that were being put in place to reduce risk to all parties.

In response to this crisis emergency timetables are now in place so as to allow key workers to get around. This plan has clearly not worked with trains, especially early in the morning, carrying large amounts of people making social distancing impossible.

LU indicated that they had made representations to the government on this issue with change likely in the next 24 hours. Whether this is achieved through additional trains or heavier enforcement of travel restrictions wasn’t made clear. The RMT made it clear this must happen to operate safely.

Similar concerns over social distancing have been raised over messrooms and canteens. LU have committed to providing additional rooms for Train Operator use, better management of spares andagreed to look at food provision.

In cab training - In keeping to the social distancing advice from the government it was agreed that driver’s cabs must be single person occupancy only. Unfortunately, this will prevent in cab training, in service CMS and any other non- essential cab activity.

Safety checks - PTI assurance checks will remain in place with a safe method of carrying them out
being drafted. This will however be achieved without station staff having to access the cab.

Train borne incidents - Concerns were raised about defect handling, PEA resetting etc. it was clear
that guidance on this was not really forthcoming with LU having no answer to our queries about heavily loaded trains, with clearing cars not very practical if busy.

It is obvious to the RMT that unless ridership numbers decrease these activities are unlikely to be achieved along with social distancing.

Staff taxis - the RMT stated that to comply with the government advice only one member of staff should be in a taxi with the taxi driver. LU disagreed and believe social distancing can be achieved with two members of staff plus the taxi driver. We don’t agree.

Cleaning -The issue of cleaning was discussed with a new product already being used on trains. This product has been thoroughly tested with effectiveness beyond the 21-day cleaning cycle in place. We have asked that an audit process is put in place to reassure T/Op’s that their cab has been cleaned within the appropriate timescales.

It was noted during mechanical testing that the new product was resilient to normal operation and
remained in place but if T/Op’s wiped touch points this may compromise its effectiveness.

Hand gel - stocks are being replenished with supply lines open and we were assured all depots will
have them by the end of the week.

Rules - We asked if there are any planned changes to Rules or procedures to which LU responded no.
The RMT is proud of its members who are working to keep transport open for other key workers but

LU must recognise that our priority is the well being of our members and we expect every effort to be made to ensure it is safe for us to attend work