As Britain marked the ten year anniversary of the last train crash fatality, rail bosses say there is still “room for improvement”.
Ian Prosser, HM chief inspector of railways, told the Press Association that railways in the UK are currently the “safest they have ever been “but there is still room for improvement”.
He said: “It has been 10 years since there has been a train accident that was fatal to passengers or staff and last year was the first year ever in Britain without a railway worker losing their life.
“That said, as the recent tram incident at Croydon has shown, there is no room for complacency on safety.”
Derailed at high speed
Passenger Margaret Masson, 84, from Glasgow died on February 23, 2007, when a Virgin service derailed in Grayrigg, Cumbria, while travelling at 95mph.
Another 89 people were injured in the accident, including 30 who were seriously injured.
Eight of the nine carriages on the 300-tonne Pendolino train from London to Glasgow fell down an embankment when the vehicle came off the tracks. The accident was attributed to a faulty set of points that had not been maintained properly.
Network Rail, the organisation responsible for the upkeep of the rail infrastructure, was fined £4 million for failing its duties to maintain safety on the line.
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Margaret Masson, who tragically lost her life and with all those who were injured or affected by what happened.
“Valuable lessons were learned which have contributed to the railway in Britain now being the safest major network in Europe.”
Accidents still occurring
Although there have been no deaths in train accidents for a decade, last year alone there were 25 potentially high-risk rail incidents, according to figures from Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
The rail regulator says these incidents include 11 derailments and six collisions involving more than one locomotive.
The figure also includes four collisions with trains at level crossings.
Source: ITV News
Date Published: February 23, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown