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Electric Multiple Unit Trains (Brake Failures)

Volume 129: debated on Tuesday 15 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what reports he has received, or requested, from his Inspectorate of Railways concerning failures in braking systems on electric multiple unit trains; what representations have been made to him or his inspectors on this topic; when he expects to publish any reports; and if he will make a statement.

There is no evidence that failures are occurring in the braking systems of electric multiple-unit trains. The British Railways Board is currently studying the braking performance of trains generally. This is in response to some evidence that the number of signals passed at danger is increasing and the claims by some drivers that under certain conditions the braking performance of their trains is less than fully adequate. The inspectorate's report on the September 1986 accident at Colwich junction, to be published shortly, will, I understand, include comments on current train braking systems, and the report on the August 1987 accident at Walton-on-Naze will comment specifically on the braking of electric multiple-units. No formal representations have been made to the Department on this subject.