£4m Grayrigg crash fine

Network Rail was has been fined £4 million for health and safety breaches which caused the fatal Grayrigg train derailment in February 2007.

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Judge: Fine cannot account for life lost

The Judge in the Grayrigg case said that "both individual and systemic" failures led to the derailment, and emphasised that Network Rail should have learned lessons from an earlier derailment at Potters' Bar in 2002. Mrs Justice Swift DBE said:

I am acutely conscious that no fine, however large, can put a value on the life lost as a result of the Grayrigg derailment or the pain and suffering of those who were injured on that day. That is not its purpose. The fine is imposed in order to mark the seriousness of the offence and to emphasise the fact that those who bear the responsibility...must exercise proper care.

Grayrigg rail fine sets a new record

The fine for £4m that Network Rail received today is the largest health and safety fine ever handed down since the regulator's records began.

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) told ITV News that the size of the fine is set by a judge, but that Grayrigg is the largest to date. The other top five prosecutions for rail accidents are:

  • Network Rail fined for maintenance failures at Potter's Bar, Herfordshire which resulted in the deaths of seven people - £3m (May 2011)
  • Network Rail fined for breaches over the level crossing at Elsenham station, Essex which led to the deaths of two teenage girls - £1m (March 2012)
  • Serco Ltd. fined for failing to ensure that trains on the Dockland Light Railway did not hit people who were on the tracks - £450,000 (April 2010)
  • Amey Rail Ltd. fined for a derailment in south-west London caused by a lack of maintenance - £300,000 (September 2006)
  • LH Access Technology and Border Rail and Plant fined over death of a worker outside Edinburgh Waverley Station - £240,000 each (May 2008)


Regulator: Network Rail has been slow to improve safety

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has released this statement regarding National Rail's fine over the Grayrigg accident:

The [Grayrigg] train derailment...was a devastating and preventable incident which has had long-term consequences for all involved...Network Rail is focussed on driving safety measures and I welcome the company’s progress on implementing safety recommendations made after this incident. But the pace of carrying out improvements has, at times, been too slow and the rail regulator has had to repeatedly push the company to bring about change.

– Ian Prosser, Director of Railway Safety, ORR

Grayrigg was 'a devastating and preventable incident'

The scene of the Grayrigg rail crash

Ian Prosser, director of railway safety at the Office of Rail Regulation, said: "The derailment near Grayrigg was a devastating and preventable incident which has had long-term consequences for all involved.

"It tragically caused the death of Mrs Masson, and shattered the lives of others. My thoughts are with Mrs Masson's family and all those injured and affected by this horrific incident."

Network Rail: It is right we have been fined

Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins said: "The Grayrigg derailment in 2007 resulting in the tragic death of Mrs Masson was a terrible event. Within hours it was clear that the infrastructure was at fault and we accepted responsibility, so it is right that we have been fined.

"Nothing we can say or do will lessen the pain felt by Mrs Masson's family but we will make the railways safer and strive to prevent such an accident ever happening again.

"We have learnt from the accident, determined to recognise what we got wrong and put it right. An event like this affects everyone in the company, and especially those with responsibility for the track."


Network Rail faces death crash fine

Network Rail is facing a big fine in court over the fatal Grayrigg train crash in Cumbria.

The firm, responsible for the up-keep of the railways, has admitted safety failures in the lead-up to the derailment on February 23, 2007.

The 300-tonne locomotive derailed at 95mph after hitting a badly maintained and faulty set of points, with all nine carriages of the Class 390 tilting train coming off the tracks.

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