The U.K. rail inspectorate’s first official report has indicated that Britain’s deadliest train crash in a decade could have been prevented by a modern automatic train protection system that would have stopped one of the trains in the crash from proceeding past a red signal light. Already 30 have been confirmed dead in the wake of the accident and others reported missing are still being investigated.
In addition, the report prompted the U.K. Health and Safety Executive to order Railtrak, the owners of the country’s rail network, to improve visibility at the signal involved in the incident, which has been the source of complains before. The Executive also required stepped-up safety measures at that signal as well as 22 others around the country. Ironically, Railtrak had already scheduled an installation of ATP at the signal where the accident occurred by 2003.
Meanwhile, Railtrak and the UK's Association of Train Operating Companies
(ATOC), the trade group representing all of the country’s franchisees in the wake of British Rail’s deregulation, have established a joint safety task force to oversee coordination of the industry’s steps toward a safer system. Authorities have also recently re-opened London’s Paddington Station, the busy commuter station near where the collision occurred last summer.