Evaluation of a risk assessment system for heritage railway earthworks

Eamonn Doherty, Paul Kelly, Martin Crapper

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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There are currently over 100 heritage railways in the UK carrying 6.8 million passengers on 15 million passenger journeys and contributing an estimated £579 million to the UK economy. Many of these lines include significant earthworks, which present a considerable risk to their safe operation. In the last decade there have been major slips at several heritage railways causing major disruption to operations and a serious threat to business continuity. This research describes the application of a risk assessment system based on that used by Network Rail but specifically adapted for heritage railway conditions. Adaptations include significant alterations to the consequence categories used in prioritization of earthwork issues and a simple low-cost method of implementation based on paper forms and Excel spreadsheets. Use of the system on two heritage railways, the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway and the Strathspey Railway is evaluated by means of discussion with railway engineering staff and civil engineering volunteers. It is concluded that whilst the system represents a realistic and useful approach to management of earthwork assets, the system could not be used by heritage railway volunteer staff without targeted training. Such training, however, would be straightforward to provide, perhaps under the auspices of the Heritage Railway Association.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
EventRailway Engineering 2013 - London
Duration: 1 Jul 2013 → …


ConferenceRailway Engineering 2013
Period1/07/13 → …


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