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Transport for London adopts Network Rail’s ‘passport’ to the railway infrastructure

Transport for London adopts Network Rail’s ‘passport’ to the railway infrastructure

In a significant step towards the vision of ‘One Industry One Card’, Network Rail and Transport for London (TfL) have signed an agreement to extend the use of Sentinel to London Underground and its supply chain. Sentinel cards began to replace the TfL LU LUCAS smartcard on 1 April 2015, although existing LU LUCAS cards will remain valid for access to TfL infrastructure until they expire.

Sentinel - in its current form - was introduced by Network Rail in June 2013 to improve workforce safety and get everyone home safe every day. Since its implementation in 2013, workforce injuries and fatalities have fallen by 11%. The system uses the latest smartcard and database technology to manage and maintain individual workers’ competence, medical records and authority to work. There are currently 96,000 active Sentinel cardholders and this collaboration with TfL extends access to over 33,000 additional rail workers, which will increase over time as other parts of TfL adopt the smartcard.

The Sentinel service operates through an easy-to-navigate mobile application which is available on all smart phone devices. A built-in QR code scanner records the data of registered users from their cards at the point of entering a worksite. Today’s announcement shows that there’s potential the system could be rolled-out across the entire sector representing the gold standard in safety authentication.

Guy Wilmshurst-Smith, head of professional development & training at Network Rail, says “TfL’s use of Sentinel represents a significant milestone; not only will the two largest operators of the rail infrastructure be able to use the same system but Sentinel will also provide the opportunity to share data on double-shifting, fatigue management and competence restrictions.”

TfL Programme Director of Infrastructure, George McInulty, says “We often use the same suppliers as Network Rail so it is sensible and safer to have the same processes and standards wherever we can, so they don’t have to switch between the two. Joining Network Rail in the use of the Sentinel ID card is a fantastic example of where we can come together to make our industry a safer and more joined up place to be.”