Socialist Worker

Signal to blame at Paddington

Issue No. 1729

SIGNALS IN the area of the 1999 Paddington rail crash were 'exceptionally difficult' for drivers to see and did not comply with industry standards. That was the conclusion of the official Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inquiry into the Paddington disaster, in which 31 people were killed when two trains smashed into each other.

The HSE report says the poor visibility of the crucial signal meant the driver of the train that went through a red light at Paddington was deceived by a 'phantom aspect'-when a red light can appear amber. Most importantly the report insists that 'had Automatic Train Protection (ATP) been fitted and operational...there would not have been a collision.' Thames Trains, which owned the train that went through the red light, is refusing to spend the money needed to fit ATP. And the government has abandoned its promises to install it.

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Sat 6 Jan 2001, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1729
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