Any Line Open

Change of Term

The term Adjacent Lines Open has been changed to Any Lines Open.

This is to clarify the requirement that any open line that has the potential to be fouled by the work being carried out on the infrastructure by construction plant or machinery must be assessed and controls put in place to ensure that the works will not affect the safe passage of trains. Where the word Adjacent was previously used it was mistakenly believed that only the line immediately adjacent was to be considered.

Relevant Guidance and Recent Additions

Any Line Open (ALO) working is not a new concept and this methodology had been implemented for many years under British Rail and Railtrack. However its use over the last few years has increased as Network Rail Managed Infrastructure (NRMI) strives to maximise train paths to meet customer and stakeholder demands. This is in parallel with an increase in amount of work being delivered by Network Rail. Effectively managing the risks posed by construction plant or machinery working alongside lines open to traffic is one of Network Rail’s highest priorities. These are governed primarily by the following three documents:

NR/L2/PLANT/0200 Infrastructure Plant Manual, Module P501, “Safe System of Work”, which can be accessed by following

Code of Practice for Any Line Open Working, can be found on the RSSB Standards Catalogue,

Guidance Document COP0032 Changes

COP 0032 ‘Code of Practice for Any Line Open Working’ replaced Guidance for Managing working next to lines open to traffic on 1st September 2016.

The main change introduced by COP0032 is to risk control systems. Risk controls formerly managed under Control Systems 1, 2 & 3 have now been replaced with new controls within COP0032 (sections 3.3 to 3.5) which states when a low or high performance level Movement Limiting Device (MLD) must be fitted. Affected useful documents will be updated in the future.

The Network Rail Workforce Safety & Compliance Team is delivering a number of projects to assist in the management of ALO working, they are:

  • Movement Limiting Devices.
  • ALO Toolkit

Movement Limiting Devices.

Network Rail secured funding to deliver upgrades to a number of excavators. The Upgrade Programme fitted reliable movement limiting device to these excavators enabling ALO working to be undertaken. The latest list of approved machines (5th Feb 2016) can be found here.

ALO Toolkit.

As a result of the ORR Improvement Notice in 2013 Network Rail previously launched a suite of documents and tools – an “ALO Toolkit”, to provide guidance to the industry when planning and managing plant whilst working ALO.


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