27 December 2007

Railway accidents

Writing, as I was, of railway accidents, others come to mind. Of course, the West Country/South Wales line has not been a happy piece of track, though I had forgotten the Ealing crash, the causes of which were bizarre. It pre-dates my career as a commuter, so my ignorance of it can be excused.

Not so the Southall and Ladbroke Grove crashes, just a couple of years apart. Thank goodness, there hasn't been anything like them on the line since: but on the other hand journey times have increased, presumably to increase tolerances in the system. And it's not as if there are no crashes on the railway network at all - only the other day a sleeper came off the tracks in Scotland, having hit debris on the line. It's clearly impossible to survey every part of the network to ensure there is nothing on the lines to cause an accident, but appallingly easy for an obstacle to be left somewhere.

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