Abbey line safety

J Youngs made this Freedom of Information request to Network Rail Limited

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Network Rail Limited should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Network Rail Limited,

Further to my FOI Reference number: FOI2016/00857, the response to which indicated that no replacement CWR was needed as the line passed all safety checks, please provide:

1) further safety check reports and
2) all correspondence relating to safety checks on the line and
3) all correspondence relating to any delayed or cancelled CWR programme,

given that in the recent weather the line was restricted to 20mph and subject to massive cancellations, when all other lines ran normally. Surely the safety restriction of speed limits "to avoid rails buckling" contradicts the previous safety checks which say everything is fine. Either the line needs CWR OR the trains should be running normally. The two are exclusive. Someone is not being honest!

Yours faithfully,
J Youngs

FOI, Network Rail Limited

1 Attachment

Reference number: FOI2017/00746

Dear Sir/Madam

Please find attached our response to your request for information.

If you have any queries please contact me.

Yours faithfully

Colin Bendall
Information Officer
Freedom of Information Team
The Quadrant
Elder Gate
Milton Keynes
MK9 1EN

Telephone: 01908 782405
Email: [Network Rail request email]
Web: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/foi/

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Dear FOI,

Thanks, well I guess since 2007 since that was when CWR WAS on Network Rails plans but got removed some time after....

Yours sincerely,

J Youngs

Dear FOI,

Since 2007 when CWR for the Abbey line WAS on Network Rails plans. Thanks

Yours sincerely,

J Youngs

FOI, Network Rail Limited

Dear J Youngs,

 

Reference number: FOI2017/00757

 

Information request

 

Your correspondence was received by Network Rail on 21^st June 2017. I can
confirm that your request is being processed under the terms of the
Environmental Information Regulations (EIR). I will endeavour to respond
to you as soon as possible and in any event by 20^th July 2017.

 

On occasion we may need to consult with third parties about requests, in
line with the recommendations in the Code of Practice issued by the then
Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs.

 

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Please remember to quote your reference number in all future
communications.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Robert Malcolm | Information Officer

 

Freedom of Information Team

The Quadrant

Elder Gate

Milton Keynes

MK9 1EN

 

Telephone: 01908 782405

Email: [1][Network Rail request email]

Web: [2]www.networkrail.co.uk/foi

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Network Rail request email]
2. http://www.networkrail.co.uk/foi

FOI, Network Rail Limited

2 Attachments

Dear J Youngs,

 

Please find attached a letter from Network Rail in response to your recent
request for information.

 

Kind regards

 

Robert Malcolm

Information Officer

 

Network Rail

Freedom of Information

The Quadrant

Elder Gate

Milton Keynes

MK9 1EN

 

T 01908 782405

E [1][Network Rail request email]

 

[2]cid:image002.jpg@01D16971.89AF19F0

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Network Rail request email]

Dear FOI,

You have previously provided (voluntarily, not under FOI) details including scans of inspection reports. They showed where rails were approaching safety limits. Why are you now not able to provide the same info? It seems rather that you are hiding behind a limit that you never previously used.

I regret I cannot locate the reference for the previous (voluntary) response.

Please reconsider or advise how I appeal to the Information Commissioner

Yours sincerely,

J Youngs

Dear FOI,

I managed to trace the previous information given by DfT under FOI reference F0009697 in 2013. Clearly it is reasonable to obtain under the limits as DfT were able to do so.

Yours sincerely,

J Youngs

FOI, Network Rail Limited

Dear Sir/Madam

Internal review request - reference FOI2017/00866

Thank you for your two emails of 20 July 2017, at 19.46 and 19.49.

We are treating these emails as a request for an internal review of the handling of your request FOI2017/00757.

The purpose of the internal review procedure is to provide a fair, thorough and independent review of the handling of your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)

We will endeavour to respond to your request for an internal review by 18 August 2017. We will write to you if an extension is required.

Yours faithfully

Colin Bendall
Information Officer – Compliance & Appeals
Freedom of Information Team
Network Rail
The Quadrant
Elder Gate
Milton Keynes
MK9 1EN

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FOI, Network Rail Limited

Dear Sir/Madam

Internal review request - reference FOI2017/00866

Further to my email earlier today, I was wondering if you would be able to send us copies of the inspection reports which you obtained from the Department for Transport in 2013?

This may be helpful in reviewing whether we dealt with your request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Yours faithfully

Colin Bendall
Information Officer – Compliance & Appeals
Freedom of Information Team
Network Rail
The Quadrant
Elder Gate
Milton Keynes
MK9 1EN

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michael edwards left an annotation ()

As you're seeking specific information about the rail wear/ residual rail life and the plans (if any) for conversion to CWR I'd suggest that you make your requests as specific as possible and over a much reduced timescale. By asking for records since 2007 you're basically guaranteeing that the burden of work to locate and identify the information is in excess of the limit set by the FOI Act. Also, 10 year old information is, I'd suggest, of limited value compared to more recent info.

Why not ask for some/ all of the following:
1) the latest rail wear records for the Abbey lines
2) information from over the past (say) 12 months about re-railing the Abbey lines
3) information from over the past 12 months about installing CWR on the Abbey lines
4) information about why the recent (and give a timescale) temporary speed restrictions were imposed

Good luck!

Dear FOI,

Any view on Michael Edwards comments? Would that "enable" you to actually respond/reply?

Yours sincerely,

J Youngs

FOI, Network Rail Limited

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your email of 22 July 2017.

Annotations on What Do They Know are not emailed to public authorities - instead, they are only posted on the website and are intended to help requesters in obtaining the information which they are seeking.

I have copied Mr Edwards's annotation on What Do They Know for reference:-

"As you're seeking specific information about the rail wear/ residual rail life and the plans (if any) for conversion to CWR I'd suggest that you make your requests as specific as possible and over a much reduced timescale. By asking for records since 2007 you're basically guaranteeing that the burden of work to locate and identify the information is in excess of the limit set by the FOI Act. Also, 10 year old information is, I'd suggest, of limited value compared to more recent info.

Why not ask for some/ all of the following:
1) the latest rail wear records for the Abbey lines
2) information from over the past (say) 12 months about re-railing the Abbey lines
3) information from over the past 12 months about installing CWR on the Abbey lines
4) information about why the recent (and give a timescale) temporary speed restrictions were imposed"

I will check with colleagues in Network Rail about whether we could provide all of the information listed in points 1 to 4 above and contact you again in due course, to advise you on how you might be able to refine your request.

I have assumed that you would like all of the information listed in points 1 to 4, but please let me know if you would like only some of the information which was listed.

Yours sincerely

Colin Bendall
Information Officer – Compliance & Appeals
Freedom of Information Team
Network Rail
The Quadrant
Elder Gate
Milton Keynes
MK9 1EN

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Dear FOI,

Yes, last 12 months will be fine but for all 4 items. Thanks

Yours sincerely,

J Youngs

FOI, Network Rail Limited

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your email of 31 July 2017.

I have now heard from colleagues in Network Rail.

They have estimated that it would be possible to answer the following request for information, within the limits in the Freedom of Information Act 2000:

"1) the latest rail wear records for the Abbey lines over the past 12 months
2) information over the past 12 months about re-railing the Abbey lines
3) information over the past 12 months about installing Continuous Welded Rail on the Abbey lines
4) information over the past 12 months about why temporary speed restrictions were imposed for the Abbey lines"

Please can you confirm whether you would like to make a new request for information using this suggested wording.

Please can you also confirm whether would like us to proceed with the internal review looking at the handling of your previous request (reference FOI2017/00866).

Yours faithfully

Colin Bendall
Information Officer – Compliance & Appeals
Freedom of Information Team
Network Rail
The Quadrant
Elder Gate
Milton Keynes
MK9 1EN

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Dear FOI,

Yes, please re-word as suggested
No, no need for review if that information is forthcoming

Yours sincerely,

J Youngs

FOI, Network Rail Limited

Sent on behlaf of Robert Malcolm

Reference number: FOI2017/00913

Dear Sir/Madam,

Information request

Your correspondence was received by Network Rail on 31st July 2017. I can confirm that your request is being processed under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I will endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible and in any event by 30th August 2017.

On occasion we may need to consult with third parties about requests, in line with the recommendations in the Code of Practice issued by the then Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please remember to quote your reference number in all future communications.

Yours sincerely,

Rebecca Lindsay
Senior Information Officer

Freedom of Information Team
The Quadrant
Elder Gate
Milton Keynes
MK9 1EN

Telephone: 01908 782405
Email: [Network Rail request email]
Web: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/foi/

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FOI, Network Rail Limited

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your email of 31 July 2017.

As requested, we will not proceed with the review of your previous request.

My colleagues have separately acknowledged your new request for information and will respond to that request by 30 August 2017.

Yours faithfully

Colin Bendall
Information Officer – Compliance & Appeals
Freedom of Information Team
Network Rail
The Quadrant
Elder Gate
Milton Keynes
MK9 1EN

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FOI, Network Rail Limited

2 Attachments

Dear J Youngs,

 

Please find attached a letter from Network Rail in response to your recent
request for information.

 

Kind regards

 

Robert Malcolm

Information Officer

 

Network Rail

Freedom of Information

The Quadrant

Elder Gate

Milton Keynes

MK9 1EN

 

T 01908 782405

E [1][Network Rail request email]

 

[2]cid:image002.jpg@01D16971.89AF19F0

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Network Rail request email]

Dear FOI,

I am sorry to report that your reply is just NOT TRUE.. I hesitate to use the word LIE but I know for fact that other temporary speed restrictions have been put in place in last 12 months such as due to heat and alleged (statements of announcers and train staff) warping of rails.

Please consider re-doing the answer with accurate information.

Yours sincerely,

J Youngs

Dave left an annotation ()

It's possible there may be a misunderstanding here into the terminology for speed restrictions. Speed restrictions due to high rail temperatures are often called Emergency Speed Restrictions and only last for a matter of hours as there will somebody on the ground to monitor the temperature until it falls below a specified level (off the top of my head I don't know what the value is). This is often referred to as avoiding warping/buckling of the rail. I would respectfully suggest Network Rail are not hiding any information here, it may be a case of refining the request, alternatively it is entirely possible that records of Emergency Speed Restrictions due to high temperatures are not recorded, or even held, in the same way as Temporary Restrictions and therefore Network Rail haven't looked for them.

I think you are being kind here... but given that we are told that restrictions were put in place for safety reasons to avoid rails buckling when on the same day no such restrictions are placed on the main Euston to Watford line it tells you something about the conditions of the track. Since my FOI and previous ones have been aimed at highlighting the failure of Network Rail to introduce promised CWR (which is less prone to the issues I am told, as well as MUCH quieter for local residents) I am surprised how they manage to NOT disclose such speed restrictions

FOI, Network Rail Limited

Dear Sir/Madam

Internal review request - Our reference FOI2017/01038

Thank you for your two emails of 30 August 2017 and 31 August 2017, which we are treating as a request for an internal review.

The purpose of the internal review is to provide a fair, thorough and independent review of the handling of your request (reference FOI2017/00913). In this case, the internal review will consider whether our response to the part of your request about speed restrictions was in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

We will endeavour to respond to your request for an internal review by 28 September 2017. We will write to you if an extension is required.

Yours faithfully

Colin Bendall
Information Officer - Compliance & Appeals
Freedom of Information Team
Network Rail
The Quadrant
Elder Gate
Milton Keynes
MK9 1EN

FOI, Network Rail Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Sir/Madam

Internal review request - Our reference FOI2017/01038

Please find attached our response to your request for an internal review.

Yours faithfully

Colin Bendall
Information Officer - Compliance & Appeals
Freedom of Information Team
Network Rail
The Quadrant
Elder Gate
Milton Keynes
MK9 1EN

FOI, Network Rail Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Sir/Madam

Further to my email below, one of my colleagues in Network Rail has offered to meet you to explain how and why we decide to maintain or renew infrastructure.

Please let me know if you would like to take up this offer of a meeting.

Yours faithfully

Colin Bendall
Information Officer - Compliance & Appeals
Freedom of Information Team
Network Rail
The Quadrant
Elder Gate
Milton Keynes
MK9 1EN

Dear FOI,

Yes, I would be happy to meet. I have also contacted Abfly group to see if they think their attendance would also be helpful, if you are agreeable.

Yours sincerely,

J Youngs

FOI, Network Rail Limited

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your email. I will pass this on to my colleague.

Please can I suggest that future correspondence about the detailed arrangements for a meeting is dealt with via your personal email address, if you would like to send a personal email to our FOI email address. This is because the meeting will not be about your request under the Freedom of Information Act (which is the purpose of What Do They Know) but your concerns about the line.

(If you wish, you can always leave an annotation or send a further email via What Do They Know about the outcome of any meeting which might be held.)

Yours faithfully

Colin Bendall
Information Officer - Compliance & Appeals
Freedom of Information Team
Network Rail
The Quadrant
Elder Gate
Milton Keynes
MK9 1EN

Dear FOI,

Still waiting for that meeting promised. I provided my details and was told someone would call me back but of course nothing happened....

Yours sincerely,

J Youngs

FOI, Network Rail Limited

Dear Mr Youngs

Thank you for your email of 22 November 2017.

I have reminded my colleagues to contact you directly about arranging the meeting. I have copied that email to your private email address which you provided on 18 October 2017.

Yours sincerely

Colin Bendall
Information Officer - Compliance & Appeals
Freedom of Information Team
Network Rail
The Quadrant
Elder Gate
Milton Keynes
MK9 1EN

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