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2018 Mock Exam Paper for mod 1 & 7
#1
Selected (and sometimes slightly amended) past questions for a composite mod 1 / 7 exam paper.

There were 5 candidates,
  • 3 of whom opted for a mod 1 question (posted below) and
  • 2 of whom opted for a mod 7 question (posted in different thread)
Please feel free to post feedback for them


Attached Files
.docx   Mock Mod 1&7 Question Paper.docx (Size: 29.15 KB / Downloads: 2)
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#2
Candidate 2's attempt

Question A2
On occasions the safety that is provided by signalling and operational telecommunications installations may be degraded, usually due to failure or intrusive maintenance.
Different methods of railway operation are frequently used as an alternative in these circumstances.
Describe three such methods of degraded working, indicating how an acceptable level of safety is maintained and state the residual risks when compared to normal working.                [25 marks]


Attached Files
.pdf   Q2, candidate2.pdf (Size: 1.87 MB / Downloads: 3)
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#3
Candidate 1's attempt.

Question A4

A major signalling and telecoms renewal scheme is underway and taking advantage of new technology.
a) What are the main components of a suitable competence management system
                                                                                                                       [15 marks]
A serious installation error was identified by testers when testing a new system
b) How would you manage the consequences of the error?                                     [4 marks]

c) How could a competence management system be used to prevent reoccurrence
                                                                                                                        [6 marks]


Attached Files
.pdf   Q4, candidate 1.pdf (Size: 1.88 MB / Downloads: 2)
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#4
Candidate 4's attempt

Question A6
 
A branch line is 15km long with a single track throughout its length. 
a) Explain a suitable method of working for a half-hourly passenger service between the stations at the beginning and end of the line, describing how safety is maintained.
                                                                                                                        [5 Marks]
A new siding is to be provided 3km from the beginning of the line. Two freight trains a day are required to make a return trip from the mainline to the siding, whilst the passenger service is operating.
b) What risks does this new service introduce?                                                          [5 Marks]

c) Describe two possible methods of working; one that describes a comprehensive technical solution to control the risks and the other which relies on less technology.  Compare the relative costs of the two methods and comment upon their suitability.                                                                                                                                                                              [15 Marks]


Attached Files
.pdf   Q6, candidate 04.pdf (Size: 1.94 MB / Downloads: 2)
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#5
Candidate 06 (someone who preferred to watch the football but did subsequently) attempt

You are responsible for the stewardship of the signalling or telecommunications infrastructure on a specific geographical area of a railway system.
How would you ensure that the infrastructure is maintained to a suitable standard and that failures and incidents are managed safely?  [18 Marks]
Explain why it is important that the local maintenance staff are made aware of incidents which have occurred elsewhere on the railway and how this is achieved.  [7 Marks]


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.jpg   A1 Page 1.jpg (Size: 420.3 KB / Downloads: 1)
.jpg   A1 Page 2.jpg (Size: 476.65 KB / Downloads: 1)
.jpg   A1 page 3.jpg (Size: 451.32 KB / Downloads: 1)
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#6
(09-07-2018, 09:47 PM)PJW Wrote: Candidate 2's attempt

Question A2
On occasions the safety that is provided by signalling and operational telecommunications installations may be degraded, usually due to failure or intrusive maintenance.
Different methods of railway operation are frequently used as an alternative in these circumstances.
Describe three such methods of degraded working, indicating how an acceptable level of safety is maintained and state the residual risks when compared to normal working.                [25 marks]

I felt this was a good answer and worth at least a Credit.
It was of a good length and definitely worded to address the question.
There were three significantly distinct scenarios and I liked the fact the last one was not a failure but involved migration and the engineering fleet had yet to be fitted with the new system.
It might have been better if the first scenario had affected a single non-communicating train that needed to be removed from the system as opposed to an area of trackside affected as this would have been more different from scenario 3 (that seems to have been a late substitution for another idea which became rapidly rejected).
There was no explicit comparison of Residual Risk with the normal method of working, but otherwise certainly addressed all the question.
Candidate certainly came across as knowledgeable and experienced and reinforced the view that the [25 marks the lot] type of questions are best for the strong candidate who can exploit them as they wish, but perhaps best avoided by the weaker candidate who runs the risk of not covering all that the examiners expect and so might end up getting far fewer marks for their effort than they anticipated.
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#7
(09-07-2018, 10:08 PM)PJW Wrote: Candidate 4's attempt

Question A6
 
A branch line is 15km long with a single track throughout its length. 
a) Explain a suitable method of working for a half-hourly passenger service between the stations at the beginning and end of the line, describing how safety is maintained.
                                                                                                                        [5 Marks]
A new siding is to be provided 3km from the beginning of the line. Two freight trains a day are required to make a return trip from the mainline to the siding, whilst the passenger service is operating.
b) What risks does this new service introduce?                                                          [5 Marks]

c) Describe two possible methods of working; one that describes a comprehensive technical solution to control the risks and the other which relies on less technology.  Compare the relative costs of the two methods and comment upon their suitability.                                                                                                                                                                              [15 Marks]
I felt this answer was OK from a Safety Management perspective generally, but disappointing relating to module 2 type knowledge!

Diagram was probably a good idea, but did serve to highlight omissions!
Given the challenging timetable (30 km including acceleration / deceleration / any intermediate stops / turnaround time within 30 minutes), service would need own platform at Station A rather than finding a slot on the Up Main.
Don't think need trap points given both lines are passenger.
Would want a reflectorised distant board (if not worked distant for C205) in each direction on the single line!
STOP board could hardly be on the Up Main protecting the points! Imagine it means a colour light signal with PLJI but a reminder board re commencement of staff section.
Seemed a lot to do for the initial 5 marks- do wonder if would have done better without the diagram in the circumstances.

Conversely I think the list of new risks was good; however might have been worth contemplating what the freight was- whether in itself hazardous or whether its passage could affect adhesion conditions or worsen the track or structures  (may only have been engineered / maintained for relatively low axle-weight vehicles with good suspension).

Drawing for option 1 shared some of the defects of the original; also oddly it has no traps from the freight siding against the passenger line!  Given that station B is at least 10km from the freight siding protecting signal, wouldn't want a 3 aspect at station B.

It seems pretty unlikely that could satisfactorily timetable a freight to get into /out of siding within the period available in a 30 minute passenger service; would need to postulate it only running at the ends of the day when presumably passenger service only hourly.

Don't like your option 2 at all.  Just occasionally (Western Region "C2 working") we'd allow pure procedural working on a short freight line as if extended sidings (remnants of the Heathfield branch from Newton Abbot and the branch down towards Heathrow airport spring to mind), but NEVER on a passenger line.
Option 2 is non-compliant with the operating info "whilst the passenger service is operating" and it isn't even as if there is a bay platform at station A for the rolling stock to be stabled in when the freight is on the branch.

The bulk of the marks was for part c and I don't think this part was answered well.

I do think that the required train frequency made this a hard question (indeed I do wonder if examiners had thought it through adequately...)  The freight is going to take a long time to access the line (MAR) and then get into siding (assume that it has to run around train inside the complex).  It is going to be bad enough with MAS signaling- just don't see it operable at all using token / train staff etc because will consume far too much time.

Think a question worth leaving and trying another instead!
PJW
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#8
(09-07-2018, 09:56 PM)PJW Wrote: Candidate 1's attempt.

Question A4

A major signalling and telecoms renewal scheme is underway and taking advantage of new technology.
a) What are the main components of a suitable competence management system
                                                                                                                       [15 marks]
A serious installation error was identified by testers when testing a new system
b) How would you manage the consequences of the error?                                     [4 marks]

c) How could a competence management system be used to prevent reoccurrence
                                                                                                                        [6 marks]

The answer was perhaps slanted a bit more to a question of how would you introduce a CMS rather than "what are the main components" but it did cover the ground.

Don't think there was as much focus as there should have been relating to the new technology and the implications that there may not be ready-made training courses or a body of people already deemed competent in it.

In the more general case one would expect newly trained people to gain additional experience under mentorship- this was not mentioned and in the specific case of adoption of new technology the sourcing of such mentors is likely to be difficult.

Overall a reasonable answer for the first part, but it could have done with being more obviously targeted to the precise question asked rather than being a too standard statement of the generic information relating to competence. 

I do think that trying to think of enough relevant to say to achieve 15 marks would be a challenge to me.


I found that the responses to b) and c) a bit muddled together.
Almost immediately the answer is talking about root causes and underlying reasons which are certainly relevant to part c) but not pertinent with DEALING WITH THE CONSEQUENCES.
It does then address some of b) before drifting into c) again.
However it is talking about DESIGN MODIFICATONS when the error was apparently by an installer; it could well be that the design could have been clearer and therefore to reduce the probability of the error reoccurring then some element of the presentation of the design might well be best improved, but the wording of a design modification suggests an actual change to design is needed and this doesn't match the question.

Also the answer doesn't seem to address considering if any similar errors by the same person (or indeed by others - we don't know if the error was a one-off slip or because of a misunderstanding, manual / training error etc. and so rather more systematic) have already occurred that perhaps had not been picked up by the testers and so a programme of re-checking may be necessary.

Similarly would need to understand if the individual failed to live up to the competence criteria against which they had been previously assessed (and therefore whether competence should be down graded pending re-training / more experience under guidance etc.) or whether it was the criteria themselves that were insufficient etc.

Overall there was some good content and I think it would have passed, but it did need to be more closely aligned to the actual question asked.
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