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NETWORK RAIL TO FACE PROSECUTION OVER DERAILMENT

Rail regulator prosecutes Network Rail for Grayrigg train derailment

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has started criminal proceedings against Network Rail for a breach of health and safety law which caused a train to derail near Grayrigg in 2007. One passenger died and 86 people were injured, 28 seriously in the incident.

The prosecution follows the conclusion of the ORR investigation into the derailment of the Virgin Pendolino passenger train, and completion of the coroner’s inquest.

The first hearing is due to take place at Lancaster Magistrates’ Court on 24 February 2012.

Charges relate to maintenance of stretcher bar points

Network Rail is facing a charge under section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 resulting from the company’s alleged 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 ORR, said:

“Following the coroner’s inquest into the death of Mrs Masson, I have concluded that there is enough evidence, and that it is in the public interest, to bring criminal proceedings against Network Rail for a serious breach of health and safety law which led to the train derailment.

My thoughts are with the family of Mrs Masson and those injured in this incident. ORR will do everything it can to ensure that the prosecution proceeds as quickly as possible.

The railway today is as safe as it has ever been but there can be no room for complacency. The entire rail industry must continue to strive for improvements to ensure that public safety is never put at risk.”

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