Friday 30 September 2016

Revealed: The Luas drivers' 81-page rulebook - 'No swearing, drinking, or chit-chat'

Jane O'Faherty

Published 06/05/2016 | 02:30

Photo: PA
Photo: PA
Any driver who loses their car driving licence will no longer be permitted to drive a tram. Photo: Collins

Luas driver guidelines include not chatting to passengers over the PA system and not listening to personal radio, the Irish Independent has learned.

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Tram operators must comply with an 81-page manual and complete seven weeks of training before being permitted to drive a tram.

The 'Tramway Safety Instruction Manual', seen by this newspaper, gives an insight into the preparation drivers must complete and rules they must follow on a daily basis.

Personal radios are forbidden inside the driver's cab, and their mobile phones must be switched off while operating the tram.

The Transdev manual also prohibits "general chit- chat" while using the tram's radio system to communicate with passengers.

Some of the manual's rules may seem obvious - swearing over the tram's PA system, exceeding the 70kmh speed limit and drinking alcohol are all forbidden in the document.

Drivers are also warned not to park their tram along the lines overnight "unless necessary and authorised".

Meanwhile, in the manual's glossary of terms, the words" passenger", "driver" and "traffic light" are all defined for the reader.

Any driver who loses their car driving licence will no longer be permitted to drive a tram, it continues.

However, the manual also details more challenging tasks, including dealing with track breakdowns.

While drivers are instructed to get in touch with the Luas central control room in the event of emergencies or faults, they are also expected to know how to take care of numerous failures themselves.

The manual contains a how-to guide to lowering the tram's pantograph - the machine that collects power for the tram from overhead wires.

Drivers are also tasked with coupling trams electrically. This refers to connecting two trams via an electric cable to allow a broken tram to be towed.

The manual also displays the interior of a driver's cab, which contains a lever to accelerate or stop the tram and a tram cab key.

The cab key is similar to a gearbox, allowing the tram operator to use several different driving modes.

The tram is also equipped with a vigilance device foot pedal, commonly known as a "dead man's switch".

The manual also includes details of "pre-departure" checks that drivers must carry out daily.

The procedure includes making sure all external lights work and safety equipment is in place, as well as checking for scotches under wheels.

Drivers must also check the bell and horn, lights, window wipers, brakes and doors are all working.

They may also have to tackle minor fires with an extinguisher, but only if safe to do so.

The manual is given to drivers when they begin training, which lasts for seven weeks.

A portion of this training is classroom-based, while the rest is hands-on experience in the tram.

It is understood that drivers also watch a training video.

Irish Independent

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