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Hi Vis Jackets


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Hi All

Can anyone tell me when the yellow Hi Vis jackets and waistcoats came into use They just seem to have appeared but I cannot fine a time period for them. Dose any one know?

Peter

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Guest stuartp

Early 70s (?) for the plain orange short ones, cotton or nylon, three orange buttons, no retro-reflective stripes. Often worn around the waist, especially by the PWay, hardly ever worn by traincrew despite them being the ones who could literally see the benefits. Cotton jackets and bib/braces often worn by PWay but most common 'uniform' was jeans and a donkey jacket.

 

Retro-reflective stripes appeared in the late 80s along with the velcro tabard type, 'V' on the front, two vertical stripes on the back. Orange nylon anoraks available around this time, without stripes at first then with bits of retro stuck on. 'New' BR uniform includes a gilet with plain orange lining which could be worn reversed, closely followed by a flurry of memos warning that under NO circumstances were these to be used as hi-viz gear !

 

Early 90s - Orange Goretex coats appear, mostly used by PWay; collars, cuffs and pocket facings in grey or blue with retro stripes. Velcro tabards withdrawn after complaints from guards and shunters that they got tangled up in everything. PW start to turn up reglarly in orange Goretex trousers. Traincrew still tend to treat hi-viz clothing as something which happens to other people.

 

Mid-90s - longer waistcoat-style 'Type 2' vests available, I blagged a padded one which was fantastic. Short ones still common though. All seams presstudded rather than velcroed by now. PWay now generally encased in stripey orange Goretex from head to foot.

 

Hard hats - usually engineering possesions only until Network Rail days, and then only if cranes or other overhead lifting was going on. Never used by PW staff for ordinary duties unless it was raining particularly hard. Made mandatory for all track work sometime in the Network Rail era.

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Just to add to Stuart's excellent response...

 

 

PWay now generally encased in stripey orange Goretex from head to foot.

 

Not generally but always - anyone under the control of a COSS must be in full orange (I believe this is the way it's worded, train crew don't require full orange IIRC) - this came in 1st April 2009 if memory serves correctly.

 

PS Only full Goretex if you have a good employer! :lol:

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orange is used as there is nothing on the railway that is so colloured and therefore stands out

jordan

( frequent toter or the high-viz

 

 

Except for HS1 where they use yellow simliar to the Police as it's the Euro standard or something. A study says the Yellow HiVi is actually more visible at a distance. Overall orange is pretty obvious though at a distance especially if you are clad head to foot like NR staff have to be.

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If you mean the 'yellow ones' they came into use in the the last 5 years before that the platform staff wore orange too.

 

There must be purely for staff to be seen on platforms then? What does the rule book say on their use? :huh:

 

I guess they can't be regarded as railway PPE as platform staff aren't required to wear orange whilst carrying out their duties.

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Overall orange is pretty obvious though at a distance especially if you are clad head to foot like NR staff have to be.

 

Providing it's clean!

 

One driver told me its the reflective strips which are often seen in anything other than bright sunlight; modern lights pic them out very easily too.

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Man on right - early hi-vis (7/1966), or just bizarre outfit? Standard Class 5 at Waverley

plucked from a superb flickr collection btw

 

I reckon early hi-vis - notice the driver of 73108 seems to be giving him a funny look too!

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There must be purely for staff to be seen on platforms then? What does the rule book say on their use? huh.gif

 

 

It's just TOC issue as part of their uniform to make them more visible to passengers, nothing required by the rule book for platform staff.

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It's just TOC issue as part of their uniform to make them more visible to passengers, nothing required by the rule book for platform staff.

 

Makes sense so if they were required to go on track they'd be under the usual rules - do TOCs actually PTS their platform staff?

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Guest stuartp

Makes sense so if they were required to go on track they'd be under the usual rules - do TOCs actually PTS their platform staff?

 

I can only speak for one TOC, but no unless they're required to go trackside other than on a walking route.

 

Hi Viz for platform staff dates (I think) to the aftermath of Kings Cross or one of the bombings, it was a series of local initiatives to make staff more visible to punters in the event of an emergency. It's often orange because it's been ordered from the TOC's usual traincrew/depot staff supplier (Jenbro for example).

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Man on right - early hi-vis (7/1966), or just bizarre outfit? Standard Class 5 at Waverley

plucked from a superb flickr collection btw

 

Could well be 'experimental' at that date - we definitely weren't always wearing them 'on and about the line' as operating staff in 1969/70 although I think the PWay (at least in some places) had them by then and were supposed to wear them. There was definitely no requirement to wear them in the Rule Book prior to 1972 but as far as I can remember I was normally wearing one 'on and about etc....' regularly from early/summer 1974 onwards.

 

They were not issued to Shunters until sometime around the mid 1970s and were almost immediately condemned as dangerous due to the likelihood of them catching on something when going in between (vehicles). In an attempt to make them safer for shunting staff the velcro fastening was introduced and I was definitely wearing one of those if undertaking any loco attaching/detaching in the very late 1970s/early 1980s.

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Hi,

Hi-vis button up waistcoats for PW staff were around from 67 if a photo I have is anything to go by.

I also recall shunting staff at Bournemouth wearing them around this time as well as the shunters accompanying the the trains down Weymouth Tram.

Stu

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Our platform staff can be seen in either orange or that green/yellow hi vis vests. There is a difference, all platform dispatch staff are PTS and safety critical, doing things such as attaching/detaching stock in service as well as train dispatch duties, they have to wear the orange Hi-Vis vest whenever on duty.

 

The lime green/yellow ones are not safety critical, they tend to be passenger assistance guys, ramps, gate line, that sort of thing. At Network Rail operated stations you will see the blue ones which are their guys on the platforms, passenger assistance, etc.

 

All train crew are required to carry their Hi-Vis vest at all times when on duty (although not wear it unless going trackside which for drivers is when on depot or in sidings and for us conductors if we have to go and do Emergency Protection procedures) and we all have the standard vest, orange with the poppers and reflective stripes although for some reason there was a cock up with my uniform order when I joined and I got two of them!! One of them is still neatly kept in its packet for a special occasion!

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I still have an early BR his-vis with 3 buttons on the front, now rather grubby from use on the KESR rather than on BR, where in my days, almost nobody wore them. Only from about the mid 80's did anyone bother.

 

At that time loco crew were issued with a very nice waterproof jacket in either dark blue or hi-vis. Most at Waterloo chose the dark blue. When asked why by Bill Cleghorn, the then train crew manager, he was told that drivers preferred the dark blue "so you can't see us f***ing off home early!"

 

I certainly wasn't issued with a hi is at either Rugby, Kings Cross or Addiscombe. In those days we kept a sharp lookout instead. Have any of you been issued with a sharp lookout? The rule book said you had to keep one! B)

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Guest stuartp

I know a certain TOC in the South West don't give their platform staff PTS....even to the point of them asking loitering Train Crew to retrieve items off the track......(with the signalman's permission etc!!)

 

That's a good point actually, some of ours might be. I'll have to check.

 

It's been a while since I had anything to do with PTS and safety crit staff. Our railman at Appleby (the legendary Bop P) had PTS to do the lamps but that was in BR days. He was also quite fond of playing with charter trains in the yard so I kept his shunting competency up too.

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Have any of you been issued with a sharp lookout? The rule book said you had to keep one! B)

 

Not issued wiht one but did get a dopey lookout once with a contractor - nice little near miss thrown in too!

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Not generally but always - anyone under the control of a COSS must be in full orange (I believe this is the way it's worded, train crew don't require full orange IIRC) - this came in 1st April 2009 if memory serves correctly.

 

 

Spot on with the date James. The "memo" that was sent round by NR brought "All Orange" into force from January 2009 but it did not become mandatory until April.

 

Just a point of note though, the COSS bit is a bit off the mark. Anyone "on or near the line" must be all orange unless they are on an approved walking route, this last bit allows train crew etc to just wear the orange tabard over their uniform (another exception is signallers and crossing keepers doing certain specific tasks)

 

Incidentally, NR didn't change their policy on PPE to cover the all orange requirement until June 2009 which meant that a lot of Infrastructure Maintenance Companies being unsure of the requirements to the point of staff being turned away on-site because they didn't have the correct PPE.

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Guest stuartp

Not generally but always ... this came in 1st April 2009 if memory serves correctly.

 

Sorry, I wasn't very clear there. I meant 'now' in the context of the mid-90s that paragraph was referring to, not 2010 now. Tango trousers first appeared around then but as you correctly state they weren't mandatory (for Network Rail staff and contractors) until last year. The current standard for everyone else (i.e. TOCs) remains Group Standard GO/RT3279 which specifies mini-vests as the minimum requirement.

 

Another point worth mentioning for anyone modelling pre-privatisation is that the shade of orange used now is a flourescent and a lot more vivid; the BR-era vests look washed out by comparison. Not that they ever got washed of course (apart from anything else, if you washed them hot enough to get the grease out the retro-reflective stuff melted...)

 

"Hi-Viz Clothing - A Pictorial History" would be a good thread if anyone has suitable pics. I've got some late 80s - 2000ish ones (which was when I generally stopped wandering about on the track), I'll scan them if I get chance.

 

Further to the 'Do TOC staff need/get PTS' question earlier, they don't need it anymore provided those track safety rules applicable to them are included in their rules assessment.

 

Rule Book Module 'G'

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Just a point of note though, the COSS bit is a bit off the mark. Anyone "on or near the line" must be all orange unless they are on an approved walking route, this last bit allows train crew etc to just wear the orange tabard over their uniform (another exception is signallers and crossing keepers doing certain specific tasks)

 

I couldn't remember the exact way it was described; we were told whenever we were working on NWR property it would be all orange - VolkerRail were going to make all their sites all orange but relaxed it in the end on certain sites to save on re-issuing trousers! Don't think they saved anything though! We were rebranded on the 1st March so they had a massive PPE bill anyway!

 

Incidentally, NR didn't change their policy on PPE to cover the all orange requirement until June 2009 which meant that a lot of Infrastructure Maintenance Companies being unsure of the requirements to the point of staff being turned away on-site because they didn't have the correct PPE.

 

We refused to let a subby on site that April as they were confused over the issue - they complied with the PPE standard but not the all orange instruction. A few heated phone calls that day!

 

Another point worth mentioning for anyone modelling pre-privatisation is that the shade of orange used now is a flourescent and a lot more vivid; the BR-era vests look washed out by comparison. Not that they ever got washed of course (apart from anything else, if you washed them hot enough to get the grease out the retro-reflective stuff melted...)

 

The colour is a good thing to highlight - I've been experimenting with different colours, I'll post the results if anyone was interested. EVen my original PPE was a different colour from the very latest stuff. Only a few years apart too!

 

I've never really washed PPE, only T-Shirts, anything else when gets dirty put in for a new one! Plus the crap on some stuff will only make your washing machine dirty and I don't see why we should put up with that.

 

"Hi-Viz Clothing - A Pictorial History" would be a good thread if anyone has suitable pics. I've got some late 80s - 2000ish ones (which was when I generally stopped wandering about on the track), I'll scan them if I get chance.

 

That would be an excellent thread! Although some people probably think I'm petty, layous with staff in the wrong PPE really annoys me! A full orange gang on 1970s layout just looks wrong! Likewise I'm getting sick of seeing the surveyor and his mate in the old GrantRail jackets on every other 'modern' layout!

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I couldn't remember the exact way it was described; we were told whenever we were working on NWR property it would be all orange - VolkerRail were going to make all their sites all orange but relaxed it in the end on certain sites to save on re-issuing trousers! Don't think they saved anything though! We were rebranded on the 1st March so they had a massive PPE bill anyway!

 

Ha ha, us too! we all bought all orange romper suits early 2009 onto have corporate rebranding foisted on us in July. I still use my old Harsco Track Technologies stuff, it's fine and not supplied by Buzl so won't fall apart B)

 

I heard a rumour that my old boss was going to come back to the industry with VolkerRail ....

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Points of detail - I've always been taught that Orange was chosen, as Yellow could be mistaken for a green signal. Also that "proper" railway Hi-Vi vests are designed to rip off if caught by a moving train, in other words they are made in sections which were Velcro'd together. Nowadays press-studs are the norm. Also coats must never be worn undone, always done up so they can't catch on a moving train

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