The image that shows DOO is not safe

11 January 2017

This is the CCTV image – produced in court this week – which shows that Southern Railways is wrong when it says driver only operation is safe.

trapped in doorsThe image shows a woman whose hand was trapped in a door on a First Great Western service at Hayes & Harlington station on 25 July 2016. She was dragged 60 feet along the station as the train set off,until she finally managed to pull herself free and, magistrates heard, fell on the platform, suffering severe bruising and ‘injuries consistent with falling onto concrete’.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, said: ‘This sad case shows that what we have been saying is right, and what the company is saying is completely wrong. Southern says DOO is safe. It isn’t.

‘Southern says the traction interlocking system, which is supposed to prevent a train leaving the station if something – such as a bag, briefcase, shopping bag, wheelchair, child’s buggy, or, as here, the hand or arm of a passenger trying to get on or off the train – is trapped in the carriage doors, always works. It is, the company says, a failsafe system. This picture shows it isn’t.’

Mick added: ‘ The Rail Accident Investigation Branch said that we could no longer rely on the technology that allegedly used to make DOO safe. They stated that we must do a second check. No company, including GTR/Southern, or the ORR, has, despite repeated requests from us, been able to explain, or give any guidance on how this can be done.’

The court heard: ‘The incident occurred when a passenger was running to get on the train and got her hand stuck in the door as she was trying to get in. The victim was stuck in this door. As a result,she was pulled along, running with the train, whilst her hand was trapped. She subsequently managed to free her hand and fell over quite abruptly.’

Mick said: ‘This is the danger, for every passenger,of DOO. And that is why we need a guard on every train, to check the doors, and passengers are safe, before the train leaves the station.’

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