Tuesday, 20 February 2007

RMT has had enough of rail firm's excrement

You thought you had it bad? Count yourself lucky you don't work on the railway track. This is an RMT press release.

Rail firm GNER has failed to stop its trains spraying human waste into the atmosphere from on-board toilets, despite warnings from the Railways Inspectorate (Risks 269). Rail union RMT says monitoring of trains from the Linger and Die crossing at Ferryhill, near Darlington, has revealed that the problem has worsened. The union has demanded the Railways Inspectorate take action to stop a fine spray of human waste being released into the air from toilet tanks when Mallard Class 91 trains go round steeply-banked bends at speed or brake heavily. 'It is now more than two years since our members working on the track near Darlington complained that they were being sprayed with human excrement and we asked GNER to deal with it,' RMT general secretary Bob Crow said.

He added 'they lied to us, telling us that the discharge was from air conditioning and was harmless, even though their own study showed traces of E-coli in the discharge,' a standard indicator of sewage contamination. Mr Crow said a long promised solution, a new tank emptying facility, 'has been in operation since November, and the most recent monitoring, in December, showed that there was a discharge from three out of eight trains observed - worse than the previous two monitoring exercises. If GNER cannot find any other way to sort out the problem they will have to put in place speed restrictions in those places where the discharge is released.' The union leader added: 'We have had enough lies and excuses, and we now need to see our members' and the travelling public's health and safety put ahead of GNER's profits.'

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