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Jacobite Train license suspended

Hi all, I noticed on a TA thread that the Jacobite Steam Train had it's license suspended and is not likely to up and running by mid May. Yet, they are taking bookings. Here's a link to an article from early April. It looks like safety is an issue so they need to get it right before starting up again! Here's the TA Thread for those who want to follow it there. Maybe MC or Unclegus will have more information.

I believe that you can still do the trip by regular train.

Pam

Posted by
8889 posts

Yes, the licence has been suspended ever since one of their trains failed to stop at a red signal on 7th March (see here), so it is nothing new. They were banned by Network Rail, the company that owns the track. Now the official rail safety authority has also suspended their licence.
The company involved owns the engine, not the Jacobite Train. It is paid to haul the train, and Network Rail is paid for the use of the track (like a toll road). So in theory they could hire an engine from some other company who still has a safety licence, but don't hold your breath.

Posted by
1291 posts

The ordinary ScotRail trains will still run, not as romantic, but are still running. Basically not wanting to repeat Chris F's comments, passing a signal in such a manner has been the cause of a number of accidents over the years so both Network Rail and the government take it incredibly seriously.

Terms and conditions should be checked for anyone booked on any of their services, be it the Jacobite or elsewhere, as journeys after the provisional renewal of the licence will still exist in potentia.

Posted by
25749 posts

I'm of two minds on this one because I have a soft spot in my heart for the company, but I know that it is a Very Big Deal when Network Rail pulls a license.

I've done a bit of digging and the problem is much deeper than the one incident of a Driver passing a signal at danger (red). It appears that the management of the company had already been on very thin ice on safety grounds several months earlier and didn't take the actions to put things right; and the result? An extremely risky action, unfortunate for the Driver, and potentially catastrophic for many many more.

The company didn't have in place the safeguards to protect the public and - as far as I know - still hasn't. I've read three articles now on this, and i am sure that if the company can meet the requirements laid upon it by the deadline of the middle of this month - and has its licence restored - it will be watched liked a hawk by many and sundry.

It appears that the biggest failing was with management, and their training and records of same, and their understanding of the severity of what had happened, what was happening, and what would potentially happen.

Their entire license to operate freight and passenger service was lifted, not that of one engine.

I work in the same industry, and we are well aware of our responsibilities. We have all been trained in the what the deficiencies were, and we have been for many years. I'm proud to say that, as a whole, the UK railways are extremely safe. We safely move many millions of passengers every year with an extremely high safety record.

Posted by
5561 posts

Thanks all. Nigel, I should have known that you would have info! :)

Pam

Posted by
5561 posts

That is good news. The articles were skeptical of this result.