Andrew Allison

Rail crash

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2007 at 9:21 pm

The fact that only one person has been killed after the rail crash in Cumbria is quite simply amazing. I know one life is one too many and I don’t want to offend the family of the lady who died, however – and use the word advisedly – Sir Richard Branson’s trains have truly proved themselves when it comes to safety. The windows didn’t break and the lights stayed on, therefore passengers were not thrown from the train and were not left in the dark. Anyone who watches crashes in motor racing knows the best chance of survival is if you stay with the vehicle. That is why seat belts are so important. In this instance the passengers stayed with the vehicle and I am sure that is why the fatality count is so low. I was also impressed with Sir Richard. He cut a family holiday short and showed some ‘hands-on’ leadership. How many other chairmen would have done the same so quickly?

There is another question though. If a road junction is perceived as dangerous, millions of pounds with be spent redesigning the junction to make it safer. Why does the government not invest the same amount of money making sure our rail infrastructure benefits in the same way? It is a simple matter of manpower. Get the lines checked more regularly; make sure safety is the number one priority and make sure Network Rail has the necessary resources to achieve those goals. There isn’t a comprehensive rail network in Europe that runs at a profit, however the likes of France and Germany know how important their rail networks are to the running of their economies. If you are going to be involved in a rail accident then be lucky enough to do it on those Virgin Trains. Perhaps the rest of us will not be that lucky.

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