The third protocol

In April 2019 I wrote ‘Third degree murder’, about the Office of Rail and Road’s effective ban on extending the third rail network. After an eventful year it is time for a policy definition

On the juice: Southern Class 377 No 377111, wearing a special livery in tribute to the efforts of NHS workers during the Covid pandemic, negotiates the Arun Valley just north of Arundel with the 13.05 London Victoria to Portsmouth Harbour service on 18 May 2020.
John Vaughan

According to the document ‘ORR’s policy on Third Rail Electrification Systems’, which references a 2012 RSSB statement, third rail electrification has eight times the equivalent fatalities of 25kV overhead, despite having half of the route mileage. The document states the regulator’s ‘presumption against’ any extension of the third rail network based on these shocking statistics.

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