Network Rail has been fined £3 million for the Potters Bar Train crash for Health and Safety Failures. The accident killed 6 rail passengers and one pedestrian walking near the station when the train was derailed.
The company admitted breaching safety regulations over the accident which occurred in May 2002.
Investigations revealed that faulty points were to blame for the crash. After the court hearing Network Rail said it was “truly sorry”.
Last year the Office of Rail Regulation raised court proceedings against maintenance firm Jarvis and Network Rail under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Both companies were accused of failings over the installation, maintenance of key equipment such as adjustable stretcher bars which ensure that the moveable section of track points are kept at the correct width for train wheels.
The Judge at the court hearing said that Railtrack’s procedures and standards were “seriously inadequate” and that the serious faults with the points “could and should have been identified sooner”. He further added that the company’s failures had put the public and the train crews at risk of serious injury.
Railtrack collapsed in October 2001 and the firm was put into administration. Network Rail has no shareholders and its debt is guaranteed by the government so it would seem that the fine will in fact be met by the public purse.