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‘Lessons Must Be Learned’ From Grayrigg Train Crash Inquest

Expert Comments Following Conclusion Of Hearing


A serious injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell who represented people injured in the Grayrigg train crash in 2007 has called for lessons to be learned following the conclusion of an inquest into the death of a woman in the incident.

Margaret Masson was killed when the Virgin Pendolino train derailed when travelling from London to Glasgow, while more than 80 passengers were also hurt in the incident.

A two-week hearing into the incident revealed that a Network Rail supervisor failed to check faulty points on the line five days before the incident occurred, while the jury heard that the firm had been warned of concerns about the availability of the right tools and problems related to understaffing.

Following the conclusion of the inquest, coroner Ian Smith concluded he would issue a rule 43 report in order to raise concerns with authorities with a view to preventing similar incidents in the future.

Georgina Sheldon, a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell who acted for a number of those injured in the crash at Grayrigg, said: “Through our work we saw first-hand the terrible consequences of the incident, leading one woman to lose her life and leaving many others with serious physical and psychological trauma.

“Lessons undoubtedly need to be learned following this inquest and it is welcome to see that the coroner is likely to state his concerns to the relevant authorities.

“The same terrible events seen at Grayrigg should never be repeated and we hope that every effort can be made to ensure that safety is always made a fundamental priority on the railways. Mistakes like those seen in this case must simply not be allowed to happen ever again.”