Engineering Notice – EA-MG-CS-01 - Courthill South 872 Cable Damage (Points Failure)

    Engineering Notice – EA-MG-CS-01 – Courthill South 872 Cable Damage (Points Failure)


    Following the South Rail Systems Alliance works at Courthill South over the Christmas period, the worksite was handed back at 02:28 on the 4th January 2022 with a fault on 872 points resulting in the loss of normal detection causing significant delay and disruption to passengers.

    The main cause of the incident was later identified as a damaged cable caused during the core works.

    The cable was fully cleated and secured to the sleeper, with Vortok guards fitted below the rail.

    The actual cause of the damage remains unknown; however, we have been able to identify from the data logger that detection on the points was lost at 00:42 during the final site activities.

    Actions Required

    The following actions shall be taken on all SRSA worksites to mitigate the risk of this occurring again.

    Risk Elimination

  • Engineering and Assurance: Check that there are enough cable management sleepers both on the design and on the 1:50 drawing used by the manufacturer
  • Cable management sleepers must be installed as per the approved design to reduce the risk of cable damage Controlling the Risk on Site
  • Brief all staff on site on the importance of reporting any suspected cable damagen and re-enforce that SRSA always operates a fair culture where we actively encourage people to raise any issues.
  • Work supervisors must physically check the condition of any cables when carrying out any activity near cables on site, before moving onto the next task.
  • For tamping activities ensure the requirements of Engineering alert (EA-MG-TW-01) attached are re-briefed and implemented on site to reduce the risk of cable damage.
  • A final “All Clear” call must be made to the Signaller immediately before handing back the worksite. This is to confirm everything is clear on the signallers panel and that all equipment is correctly indicated. (This can be done by a representative of the Signalling team, of the Engineering Supervisor where no Signalling staff are on site for those works).
  • Reminder that the swing testing of points within a worksite should be as close to the hand back of a possession as possible, where there are a significant number of points to test, those in close proximity to the main site activity should be swing tested last.