Resolution sought as IVRS 40 mph limit continues

08 October 2008

The union has held constructive talks with Network Rail following its advice to members, on the grounds of safety, to adhere to a 40 mph maximum speed between Wingfield and Tapton. This is because of concerns about IVRS - the emergency communications tool which guarantees contact between all train drivers in the area and the signaller. However while the parties move to a resolution the current advice on 40 mph remains in place.


The problems began when the union was informed by its representatives of the failure of the IVRS system for over a mile south of Clay Cross Tunnel (between 144m 25ch and 145m 41 Ch.) and of further problems and unreliability in the whole stretch of track between Wingfield and Tapton.


ASLEF accordingly, on safety grounds, advised its members driving in the area to avoid running at speeds in excess of 40 mph. This has affected trains running on the main line between Chesterfield and Derby and has involved trains from at least eight companies, including Cross-country, East Midlands, Northern Rail and three freight companies.


The union maintains that this is vital in order to ensure the safety of its members and the travelling public.


The agreement with Network Rail, after meetings held on the 1 and 8 October 2008 includes the following points:

  • Network Rail have agreed to apply a 40mph Temporary Speed Restriction (TSR) for the area covered by Weekly Operating Notice, No.25, for the London and North Eastern route. This states that between 144 miles and 25 chains and 145 miles 41 chains, the IVRS signal could not be guaranteed.
  • Network Rail to provide ASLEF with details of the programme to provide IVRS coverage between 144 miles 25 chains and 145 41 chains.
  • Network Rail have agreed a programed to test the reliability of IVRS handsets between Chesterfield and Derby. ASLEF representatives will be fully involved in this process.
  • The aim is to complete these programmed by 19 November 2008.


**The current advice to members to run at 40MPH remains in place until advised by the Executive Committee**

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