A series of health and safety breaches that saw a train passing a signal at danger back in March last year has resulted in a train operator being fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £64,000.
An investigation by the Office of Rail and Road found that the incident – which took place near Wootton Bassett – involved a steam locomotive stopping nearly 700m after the signal across a junction of a main line.
The train driver – who had 40 years’ experience in his job – was handed a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
The investigation also found that the company had failed to train or monitor staff to stop intentional misuse of the Train Protection and Warning System equipment, as well as not implementing appropriate procedures.
HM chief inspector of railways Ian Prosser said: “This prosecution has led to the business taking significant steps to improve its management of safety, with support from the regulator. Rail safety remains one of the regulator’s key priorities and we will always take action against companies or individuals if failings are found.”
This comes as the organisation found that Network Rail showed good leadership of safety between 2015 and 2016, with no worker fatalities or industry-caused passenger deaths taking place on the company’s infrastructure or stations.
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