Operators punished for derailment accident


Britain's railway stations and track operator Network Rail has today been fined £200,000 at the Old Bailey for its part in a derailment accident.

Judge Robert Hone QC also fined rail services company Amey £300,000 for its part in the incident, which saw one coach in a Wales-bound train derail while travelling at 120mph in west London.

Both companies had pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety rules over the case, in which passengers in the derailed carriage were forced to endure an anxious wait as the train slowly came to a stop over a two-mile stretch of track.

"The culpability which I have identified is certainly not the worst of its kind,' Judge Hone said as he passed sentence on the two firms.

"It does, however, illustrate that what might be considered quite small failures can aggregate into something much more serious."

Network Rail's punishment is a fraction of the £3.5 million fine its privatised predecessor, Railtrack, received for its part in the Hatfield crash of October 2000, in which four people died.

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