Railtrack set to lose its safety powers

Railtrack’s safety powers could be withdrawn following the Paddington rail crash, which killed between 30 and 40 people. Speaking in the House of Lords on Tuesday, transport minister Lord Macdonald said the Government is `minded’ to transfer Railtrack’s main safety functions to an independent body. A preliminary Health and Safety Executive report says the Thames […]

Railtrack’s safety powers could be withdrawn following the Paddington rail crash, which killed between 30 and 40 people.

Speaking in the House of Lords on Tuesday, transport minister Lord Macdonald said the Government is `minded’ to transfer Railtrack’s main safety functions to an independent body.

A preliminary Health and Safety Executive report says the Thames Trains service passed a danger signal before colliding with an incoming First Great Western high-speed train. The report does not blame Railtrack but has ordered it to improve 22 signals identified as most often passed at danger.

Railtrack and the two train operators involved may also face fines or licence withdrawals by rail regulator Tom Winsor, if he finds the crash was caused by a breach in operating rules.