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OSN 135: The removal of the speech system element from Headwall Tunnel Telephones


At the beginning of the year THSC reps fought hard against the latest attempt by LU to get rid of a vital piece of safety equipment: the Tunnel Telephone Wires. This issue was discussed at the highest level of the machinery where we put forward our concerns but LU ignored our concerns and decided to impose the change. The sole basis for removal of this equipment was cost. We have recently found out that LU now want to go a step further than what we initially discussed and now want to remove the Headwall Tunnel Telephone’s (HTT) communication facility. This would effectively render this equipment an emergency
plunger. In fact, the original Change Assurance Plan (CAP) assured us that the communication function would remain.

There has been absolutely NO consultation on this change with the THSC. LU have claimed that there was no need to consult with train side reps as the Connect Radio system is 99% reliable. LU have claimed that our Station’s Safety Council were consulted and had no concerns with this change. This is not correct: our Station’s Reps advised LU that this change was unacceptable to them also.

If LU had consulted with us at least we would have found out their reasoning and rationale for this change. In essence we would have had the discussions and would have been able to inform you of this proposed change before it was implemented.

Needless to say, following the “as per usual” shockingly bad communications we are left with little choice but to advise our members not to sign for any OSN until this issue is rectified by LU management. We have contacted management and are awaiting a response. We will also be passing this matter to our Head Office for them to formally complain to LU about the lack of legally requisite consultation.

We will keep you fully updated as further information becomes available. 

  • Please distribute the attached notice in your depot