Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Are the Railways Safe Now?

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Are the Railways Safe Now?

Article excerpt

MANY people's reaction to the news of the Berkshire rail crash will be one of despair that after billions of pounds of safety improvements, we once again see the terrible pictures of rescue workers picking their way through the twisted metal of a major rail crash. Yet while we are all appalled by the seven deaths and hundreds of injuries in Saturday's horrific crash on the Great Western route, it is important to keep the likely responsibility for the crash in perspective.

We will have to wait for the full results of the police investigation, although suicide by the car driver involved seems the most likely explanation at present. But the state of the railway infrastructure and rail safety is very different now than it was in the late 1990s, when the poor condition of track and poor safety systems at red lights caused the first of Britain's terrible string of recent rail disasters. Since the Hatfield rail crash of October 2000, billions have been spent on renewing track and on the new Train Protection and Warning System. …

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