Only 101 of these badges created by Ray Cooper and fellow ASLE&F badge collectors 




Battersea branch held its annual beer & badges night on Monday 22 November. The General Secretary presented a number of long service badges to members, including Ian Brett (15 years); Steve Murrey (20); Paul Masters (25); Pasquale Luongo (30); and Keith Pier (40). A retirement presentation was made to John Colvill who retired on Monday 6 December after 32 years on the railway including five years as Victoria Central LSR. Special thanks to GS Mick Whelan who made the presentations and especially for making such a great effort to attend by rushing back from a meeting in Scotland, with his suitcase in tow, also to E.C. 1 Marz Colombini and Southern/Gatwick Express and Southeastern company councils.

Pas Luongo 

Battersea 019 Branch Secretary





Battersea branch held its annual beer & badges night on Monday 22 November. The General Secretary presented a number of long service badges to members, including Ian Brett (15 years); Steve Murrey (20); Paul Masters (25); Pasquale Luongo (30); and Keith Pier (40). A retirement presentation was made to John Colvill who retired on Monday 6 December after 32 years on the railway including five years as Victoria Central LSR. Special thanks to GS Mick Whelan who made the presentations and especially for making such a great effort to attend by rushing back from a meeting in Scotland, with his suitcase in tow, also to E.C. 1 Marz Colombini and Southern/Gatwick Express and Southeastern company councils.

Pas Luongo 

Battersea 019 branch secretary


1st FEBRUARY 2022

The loss of Brighton Driver Michal Komar

Emergency services were called to West Worthing station after a body was found at around 9pm on Tuesday, February 1.

It is believed that the driver of the train got out of his cab before an express train passed through the station.

It is thought the driver was hit by the train just before 9pm.

All train lines were closed in the area while the emergency services dealt with the incident.

A spokesman for the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) confirmed they are investigating the incident.

“RAIB has deployed a team of inspectors to the site of an accident which occurred on Tuesday evening near West Worthing Station," he said.

Pictures from the scene show a cordoned off area around a train.

A number of police cars, police officers and rail incident officers were also pictured at the station.

"British Transport Police (BTP) were called to West Worthing station at 9.03pm following reports of a casualty on the tracks,” a BTP spokesman previously said.

Paramedics also attended and sadly a man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers are currently working to establish the full circumstances behind their death.

At around 9pm last night, Southern Rail said it had received reports of a "trespasser" in the Worthing area. 

There was disruption to services late into the night.

Writing on Twitter, Southern Rail said: “We've just received reports of a trespasser in the Worthing area.

As a safety precaution, the electricity that powers the line has been switched off.

Services will be disrupted in either direction, so please allow extra time for travel.

Trains running between Littlehampton and London Bridge were first diverted via Horsham, before all lines were shut.

At 10pm, Southern Rail announced that the line between Brighton, Hove, Worthing and Angmering was shut.

Aleksandur vlaichev Collection

Brighton Driver Michal Komar



PUBLISHED 16.02.23


At around 20:33 hrs on Tuesday 1 February 2022, a passenger train travelling at approximately 33 mph struck a train driver who had previously exited the cab of a train, which was stationary in West Worthing Middle Siding. The driver suffered injuries that were immediately fatal. It was dark at the time of the accident, and the crew in the moving train were initially unaware that they had struck a person.

When the stationary train in the middle siding did not leave at its scheduled departure time, the signaller attempted to contact the driver. When the signaller could not get a response, he instructed the next train on an adjacent line to stop alongside the stationary train and to contact the driver. The driver of this third train found the driver who had been struck.

RAIB determined that, before leaving the stationary train in the middle siding, the driver did not tell the train’s guard or the signaller that he intended to do so. He also did not request that trains on the adjacent lines be stopped. RAIB has not been able to establish why the driver left the cab of his train. However, in considering only those factors relating to railway safety, RAIB has concluded that the driver was unlikely to have accidentally fallen out of the cab or left it intentionally for a work- related reason and that he most probably exited the train for a personal reason. This may have been to urinate or to smoke a cigarette, possibly in the belief that it was safe for him to be outside of his train.

The driver then entered the path of the approaching train. He may have done this inadvertently after a loss of balance or while trying to regain his feet following a fall from the cab access steps or a loss of footing on ballast. He may also have slipped or tripped on a wooden board that had been left detached on the track for many years.


RAIB has made three recommendations. The first recommendation, made to Govia Thameslink Railway, requires that on-train staff have adequate access to toilets across all of their routes. The second recommendation is made to the Department for Transport, in conjunction with the Rail Safety and Standards Board, and relates to reviewing standards to ensure the mandatory fitment of forward-facing CCTV equipment to new trains. The third recommendation is made to the Rail Safety and Standards Board, in conjunction with operators of trains, and encourages consideration of fitment of forward-facing CCTV equipment to existing trains.

RAIB has also identified four learning points. The first reminds traincrew to arrange appropriate protection before leaving their cabs. The second highlights the importance of wearing suitable personal protective equipment. The third learning point prompts infrastructure managers to take timely action to remove tripping hazards. The final learning point reminds employers of train drivers to assure themselves that the correct protective equipment is being worn by their staff.

Response to recommendations:

  • RAIB will periodically update the status of recommendations as reported to us by the relevant safety authority or public body
  • RAIB may add comment, particularly if we have concerns regarding these responses.


Graham Court retired on the 15th February 2022 after 48 years.

Graham is seen at Eastbourne after working the 21:00 Hastings to Eastbourne


APRIL 2022

It is with great sadness that we were informed of the passing of one of our retired Epsom drivers, Ron Thomas, aged 77, on Saturday 22 January. He was one of the longest serving drivers, if not the longest, in the history of Epsom depot.

Ron was born on 22 February 1944 at Abereynon in the Welsh valleys. He joined the railway around 1960 and started as an engine cleaner at a depot near his home. In 1962 he transferred to Old Oak Common and soon passed as a fireman. Much of that time he lived in the railway hostel and often spoke of the good times he had and the friendships he made there. Just after the end of steam, in the late ’60s, he transferred to Epsom to gain promotion to driver.

Ron was a dedicated railwayman with a strong sense of tradition and union values. There are not many who manage to achieve over 50 years as a member of ASLEF. I was privileged to present his 50 year medallion at his home with his beloved wife Pat present. Unfortunately, three years ago, Pat sadly passed away. Ron was a family man, and will be greatly missed by his daughters, Gail and Lynne, and his four grandchildren, as well as his sister Anne. Ron moved to Devizes a couple of years ago, to be near Gail. He made a number of new friends and was very happy in his new home.

Through his working life and into retirement Ron was always a good laugh to be around and well-liked by those who knew him. He had a twinkle in his eye and a mischievous smile that led to many family members, workmates and friends being on the receiving end of his teasing.

His funeral was attended by family, friends, and many former workmates from around the country. His love of horse racing, gardening, and holidays were all highlighted, all made more special when they involved his Pat and their family. It is almost wrong to call it a funeral as it was a celebration of his life. Many memories were shared, the common factor being his happy nature. There were lots of happy memories, along with the one time his workmates upset him – the story of the chair he brought to the depot for its staff to enjoy – possibly best left for those who remember the saga, and definitely for all those concerned in the chair's demise.

Ron, you may be gone, but your memory remains with all of us who had the joy of knowing you.

Dave MacLennan 

Epsom driver

Presentations made at the Brighton A.S.L.E.F. Reunion

3rd May 2022


Tony Farmer, Trevor Parsons, Marz Colombini EC, Maurice Hunter, Mick Whelan GS, 
John Gale & Mike Burtenshaw

Tony Farmer receiving a presentation from the Brighton branch for his commitment to the Brighton, also his retirement certificate. 

Trevor Parsons, John Gale & Mike Burtenshaw receiving their retirement certificate. Maurice Hunter receiving his 50 year medallion

Brighton Thameslink driver Matt Cole on the stops at Brighton, having worked his last train today, Thursday 16th June 2022, 9S25 1200 St Pancras International to Brighton, ending a train driving career spanning 42 years.





Left - Right Richard Williams, Barry Andrews, Barry Stoltan, Paul Donnelly,
Marz Colombini (EC Member) & Mick Whelan (G.S.)

The 40th anniversary badge of 1982 Flexible Rostering strike (4th - 18th July 1982).
This is one of a set of four badges that was designed by Mark Johnson.
The three other badges, includes the Remembrance Engine in Grey & Green liveries, 
and a black and chrome version 

Designed by Norwood Driver Stu Boxall 




Staff and passengers working and travelling on Britain’s railways deserve decent facilities. That has always been our belief. And that is what we always press for in negotiations with the train and freight operating companies.

We will use World Toilet Day on Saturday 19 November – a United Nations observance day ‘designed to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis’ – to again lobby the DfT, Network Rail, TOCs, FOCs, and industry groups on the need for access to clean, safe, and appropriate toilets.

That need was thrown into sharp focus on Tuesday 1 February when, in a tragic incident at West Worthing in West Sussex, a driver was killed when he stepped down from his cab to relieve himself.

The RAIB’s initial report reads: ‘At around 20.33 hrs on 1 February 2022, a train travelling at approximately 33mph passed a stationary train that was waiting in a siding, around 300 metres to the west of West Worthing station. As it did so, it struck and fatally injured the driver of the stationary train, who had previously exited the train’s cab and descended to track level.

‘The train driver who was struck had earlier driven his train from Brighton to West Worthing and had then driven it into the siding where the accident occurred. The train was timetabled to wait here for a short time

before returning to West Worthing station and forming the next passenger service to Brighton. Train drivers should not normally need to leave their trains as part of their duties while waiting in this siding.’

The subsequent result of the RAIB investigation has not yet been published but there have long been concerns that the Class 313 stock has no toilets, and the West Worthing shuttle timetable does not allow drivers enough time to use a toilet between services.

‘There had been previous complaints regarding drivers discarding bottles full of urine on the track at West Worthing and threats of disciplinary action for those caught doing so,’ says AGS Simon Weller. ‘We believe the driver who was hit had gone down to track level, in the dark, to urinate.’

The ORR has, separately, issued a damning

One of the pertinent images we created to push for proper facilities for freight and passenger train drivers improvement notice to the operator, GTR Thameslink: ‘They have failed to provide adequate welfare facilities and arrangements for drivers and conductors operating Class 313 trains between Brighton station and West Worthing station. This includes toilets and the adequate time to access them. Therefore, as an employer, they have failed to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the welfare of their employees whilst they are at work.’

Simon adds: ‘Whilst an unusual combination of stock type, siding location – between the up and down running lines – and lack of facilities ultimately led to this tragedy, I do not believe it to be unique. We are seeking information from company councils on similar stock types without toilets and inadequate facilities at similar locations and will use the GTR improvement notice to effect changes at similar locations in other parts of the country.’

One of the two coloured 2022 ASLEF badges

Ballot Results 7th December 2022

Results of ballots of members at Greater Anglia, Arriva Rail London, Great Western Railway, London North Eastern Railway, Southeastern, West Midlands Trains, Avanti West Coast, Cross Country, Southern, Thameslink Great Northern, Island Line and South Western Railway (Depot Drivers only).

GTR Great Northern Thameslink

Yes: 896 [90.8%]

No: 91 [9.2%]

Turnout: 87.1%

Southern/Gatwick Express

Yes: 780 [84.6%]

No: 142 [15.4%]

Turnout: 83.6%

Joining fellow ASLE&F members in 12 other Train Operating Companies in the fight for their claim cost of living pay rise.

ASLEF members at 12 train companies have voted overwhelmingly to continue strike action in a long-running dispute over pay.

The union had to ballot members again as a mandate, under the law, is only valid for six months.

‘This shows just how angry – and determined – our members are,’ said Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, which represents 96% of the train drivers in England, Scotland, and Wales. ‘The turnouts were huge and the mandates are overwhelming.’
‘The resolve of our members is rock steady. A 93% “Yes” vote – up on the very high figure last time – on an average turnout, across the 12 companies, of 85% shows that our members are in this for the long haul.

‘Now we don’t want to go on strike. We don’t want to inconvenience passengers – our friends and families use the railway, too, and we believe in investing in rail for the future of our country – and drivers don’t want to lose a day’s pay. Strikes are always a last resort.
‘But the intransigent attitude of the train companies – with the government acting, with malice, in the shadows – has forced our hand.

‘Because these drivers – who were, don’t forget, the people who moved key workers and goods around the country during the pandemic – have not had a pay rise for nearly four years – since April 2019.

‘With inflation running in excess of 14% the companies and the government are saying that they want us to take a real terms pay cut.

‘That’s why we are calling on the companies to come to the table with a proper proposal to help our members, their drivers, buy this year what they could buy last year. That is the way to prevent another strike and all the disruption that causes. The ball is now firmly in the train companies’ court.

‘And we are calling on the government to help – not hinder – the negotiating process.’
The companies affected include Avanti West Coast; CrossCountry; Great Western Railway; Greater Anglia; GTR Great Northern Thameslink; London North Eastern Railway; Southeastern; Southern/Gatwick Express; South Western Railway (depot drivers only); SWR Island Line; and West Midlands Trains.

The drivers at these companies have not had an increase since 2019 which means that the TOCs are expecting members to work just as hard – with inflation running at just over 14% – for considerably less. And that amounts to a real-terms pay cut.

We have already called five one-day strikes this year – drivers withdrew their labour on Saturday 30 July; Saturday 13 August; Saturday 1 October, Wednesday 5 October; and Saturday 26 November.

We have successfully negotiated pay deals with 11 train companies this year – DB Cargo; Eurostar; Freightliner Heavy Haul; Freightliner Intermodal; GB Railfreight; Grand Central; Merseyrail; MTR Elizabeth line; Nexus; PRE Metro Operations; and ScotRail – and are in dispute only with those companies which have failed to offer their drivers – our members – anything. And these are drivers who have not have an increase since 2019.

In addition, an offer from Arriva Rail London (London Overground) has been put to members with a recommendation to accept.

We have balloted for industrial action at those companies which, so far, have not been prepared to offer drivers an increase to keep pace with the rise in the cost of living.

One of the two coloured 2022 ASLEF badges

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