Network Rail fined £4m for poor maintenance

Grant Prior 12 years ago
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Network Rail has been fined £4m for maintenance failures which caused a train to derail near Grayrigg in 2007, causing the death of one passenger and injuring 86 people.

The sentencing at Preston Crown Court follows the derailment in February 2007 on the West Coast Mainline near Grayrigg in Cumbria.

Network Rail pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to one charge under section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The charge related to the company’s failure to provide and implement suitable and sufficient standards, procedures, guidance, training, tools and resources for the inspection and maintenance of fixed stretcher-bar points.

Ian Prosser, Director of Railway Safety at the Office of Rail Regulation, said: “The train derailment on the West Coast Mainline near Grayrigg in Cumbria was a devastating and preventable incident which has had long-term consequences for all involved.

“Under Sir David Higgins’ leadership, Network Rail is focussed on driving safety measures and I welcome the company’s progress on implementing safety recommendations made after this incident.

“But the pace of carrying out improvements has, at times, been too slow and the rail regulator has had to repeatedly push the company to bring about change.

“Britain’s railways are safe and are one of the safest in Europe. But there is absolutely no room for complacency.

“Where failings are found those at fault will be held to account and the entire rail industry must continue to strive for improvements to ensure that public safety is never put at a similar risk again.”

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