Latest Rail News

03.12.12

Track damage ‘caused by efficiency drive’ – RMT

Recommendations from the McNulty review are causing significant safety risks, rail union RMT has argued, following damage to a section of rail on the East Coast Main Line.

A crack was discovered on the rail at Colton Junction, south of York, which developed into a five-inch gap. The union has published a picture of the crack taken at the beginning of last week. It states that it took Network Rail four days to replace the track after the initial damage was identified.

The normal speeds on that line are 125mph, but were reduced to 90mph. Network Rail has stated that once the hole was discovered no trains were allowed to run over the track.

The RMT believes that recommendations for Network Rail to cut its operating costs by 40% are putting safety at risk.

General secretary Bob Crow said: “This shocking picture highlights the reality on Britain's railways today, staffing and inspections have been cuts in the dash to save money and there is massive pressure right from the top of Government to keep services running at all costs regardless of the potential human cost.

“This is exactly the same set of poisonous conditions that lead us to the Hatfield disaster and as this picture shows we are dicing with death and risking another major rail tragedy. RMT is demanding action before it is too late.”

A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “Some wear was noticed and the rail was due to be replaced last weekend. When the hole was discovered a temporary fix was put in place within 30 minutes and permanent repair was completed at 7.40pm that day.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Image: RMT

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