Points Blamed Again for Rail Crash

Cumbria Train Crash

05.10.2007


A "degraded and unsafe" set of points was responsible for the Cumbria train disaster, an official rail accident report has said.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch found failures of parts of the points allowed one of the rails to move into an unsafe position, which contributed to the crash.

One woman died and 89 people were injured when the Virgin train derailed at Lambrigg, near Grayrigg, on the night of February 23.

The latest report from the RAIB covers many of the details already examined in a joint study from Network Rail and Virgin Trains which was published last month.

The RAIB has not yet concluded what the "the causal and contributory factors of the derailment" were, and it will publish a further report early next year.

Network Rail chief executive Iain Coucher has already admitted that mistakes were made and that there are important lessons for "all of us at Network Rail".

John Pickering, Head of Personal Injury at Irwin Mitchell said "The latest report from the RAIB again highlights the flaws in Network Rail's inspection systems which were designed to protect the safety of its passengers.

Mr Pickering who is representing victims of the crash continued It is of a great concern that a simple system of inspection can fail due to the actions of one man. We would urge all rail operators to follow the urgent safety advice contained in this report and ensure that their inspection and maintenance systems are of the highest standard. Rail travel is one of the safest forms of transport but the risk to human life if things do go wrong is great."