Roberts’ Reflections – A sad time for us all.

What a sad time for our railway family, with the loss of a driver, conductor and passenger in Scotland. RAIB has stated that the primary cause was a landslip which immediately made me think of the incident near Watford where some quick thinking saved us from more sad news. I remember research being undertaken by RSSB into the effects of climate change – I can see the recommendations in that report being dusted off once again!

The pandemic goes on with little sign of abating, only the measures being taken seem to change. I may be accused of being a cynic but I have to agree with a woman on Radio 4’s Any Questions (not a programme that I often agree with those that phone in!) who said that you seem to be able to go anywhere that has a card reader!

I see that RSSB has worked out that on average an individual is likely to infected by Covid-19 once in 11000 journeys when travelling on a train. The model that demonstrates this assumes social distancing is taking place (so a relatively small number of people on the train) but doesn’t take into account the wearing of face masks. Should we be reassured by this, well those travelling on our near empty trains currently should be. I will be more interested when scenarios are modelled with increasing numbers of customers on the train as the masses are encouraged to return to the office.

I’m pleased to say that I have recently gained a contract with Bridgeway Consulting to deliver a piece of work for Network Rail’s T190+ research programme. The programme is building the industry’s capability to deliver the next generation of digital technology.

A recent announcement from the government will mean that Coventry will receive £1.8m in funding to help develop a Very Light Rail system for the city. This coupled with funding of £6m to help create a Very Light Rail test centre in Dudley is great news for the West Midlands.

If you ever require professional railway operations advice, then please contact me at or comment on this post.

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