Safety Statistical Report 2010
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This is the second separately published annual safety statistical report of the Railway Safety Commission (RSC). It has been prepared for the general public in line with section 9(A) of the Railway Safety Act 2005 (the Act), as amended by S.I. No 61 of 2008 European Communities (Railway Safety) Regulations 2008, which requires that the RSC operates in an open, non-discriminatory and transparent manner. This report provides background statistics to a number of key performance indicators with discussion when appropriate.
The RSC is the independent railway safety regulator in the Republic of Ireland and is responsible for overseeing the safety of all railway companies, including Iarnród Éireann, Veolia (Luas Operator), Bord Na Móna where their railway interfaces with public roads, a number of heritage railways and the approval of projects undertaken by the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA).
The safety performance of both Iarnród Éireann and Veolia is in the main positive. However, there are a number of precursor events with worsening trends and these will be subject of greater scrutiny by the RSC in the years ahead.
Available data indicates that Iarnród Éireann's continuing investment in assets and management systems is delivering significant safety benefits. However, imported risk, i.e., from third parties interfacing with the railway, continues to be an issue. While there were no passenger fatalities or serious injuries in 2010, two level crossing users lost their lives and seven trespassers lost their lives. One employee died at work in 2010. This occurred to a train driver, who having stopped his train in a station suffered a cardiac arrest.
In terms of train operations, there was a moderate increase in the number of Signals Passed at Danger. While in terms of infrastructure there was also a moderate increase in the number of broken rails in 2010. On a positive note, the number of bridge strikes (107) was slightly less than that in 2009 (114). Similarly, there were decreases in the number of train collisions, derailments and a continued reduction in the number of rolling stock incidents. It should also be noted that there were no collisions between trains in 2010.
The LUAS safety performance in 2010 was largely similar to previous years. There were no fatalities in 2010, but a small number of people sustained serious injury as a result of trespass. The number of road traffic accidents involving a tram was 30, an increase on the 2009 figure by some 30%. However, it should be noted that 5 RTA (16%) can be attributed to snow and ice on our roads (1 event in January and 4 in December). In 2010, tram/pedestrian contact accidents also increased from 18 in 2009 to 22 in 2010. Three individuals required hospitalisation in 2010 as a result.
Bord Na Móna suffered just 1 collision with a road vehicle in 2010. A road vehicle driver stated they lost control of their vehicle in icy weather and collided with level crossing gates and the train as it passed through. There were no reportable accidents or incidents on a heritage railway in 2010.
2010 was a good year overall in terms of railway safety. However, the significant accidents in 2009 most notably the partial collapse of the Broadmeadows Viaduct at Malahide and the Luas/Dublin Bus collision on O'Connell Street remains at the forefront of our minds. Going forward, the RSC will continue its supervision activities and work with the industry to promote and encourage railway safety.