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Network Rail Fined £4m Over Grayrigg Crash Safety Failings

Expert Hopes Lessons Have Been Learned From 2007 Derailment Crash


A lawyer who acted for passengers injured in the Grayrigg train crash in 2007 has revealed she hopes that lessons have been learned from the incident, after Network Rail was fined £4 million in relation to safety failings leading up to the derailment.

The company admitted a breach of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act last month in relation to the incident involving a Virgin Pendolino train travelling from London to Glasgow which led to the death of passenger Margaret Masson and left 86 others injured.

Following the sentencing, Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins stated that the organisation was determined to “prevent such an accident ever happening again”.

Georgina Sheldon, a serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, successfully acted for a number of passengers who suffered physical and psychological trauma in the Grayrigg derailment in 2007.

Commenting on the sentencing, she said: “It has been a long wait for justice for all of those caught up in the terrible events in Cumbria, but we hope that this sentencing will allow everyone affected by the horrific crash the opportunity to move on with their lives.

“While we were able to help a number of people in their search for answers following the incident, the tremendous, lasting impact it has on those involved simply cannot be underestimated. The trauma of what happened five years ago will likely be something that lives with them for the rest of their lives.

“However, we know from speaking to clients that, following last year’s inquest into the death of Margaret Masson in the crash and the hearing today, they hope significant lessons have been learned in relation to train safety which will ensure that nothing like this ever happens again on the railways.

“We would also urge authorities to use the opportunity to demonstrate the steps they have taken to provide better protection to all passengers and workers who regularly make use of the rail network across the UK.”