Rail report to expose "catalogue of failings"

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A forthcoming report into the fatal Cumbria rail crash earlier this year will expose a 'culture of safety shortcuts'.

One person died and dozens were wounded when the London to Glasgow Virgin Trains service derailed at Grayrigg on February 23rd.

A preliminary report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) found that the Pendolino train came off the tracks due to faulty stretcher bars.

And now the Guardian claims that a further probe by the British Transport police (BTP) will unveil a "catalogue of failings" in a damning indictment of safety on the UK's rail network.

A senior industry source quoted by the newspaper suggests that rail bosses have learned no lessons from the Potters Bar crash of 2002 in which seven people died.

"We should be nervous as an industry. Have we learned everything from Potters Bar? Will it happen again? Now it has happened twice in similar circumstances," the source said.

According to the Guardian, the forthcoming BTP report will reveal unclear engineering maintenance records, trackside checks frequently not being carried out and inaccurate track inspections.

BTP said they were not in a position to comment on the Guardian report due to the nature of the ongoing investigation.

A Network Rail spokesperson meanwhile referred to an official statement made in light of the RAIB report, saying it would be "unfair" to comment before BTP investigators filed their report.

"Network Rail is devastated to conclude that the condition of the set of points at Grayrigg caused this terrible accident," chief executive John Armitt said earlier this year in response to the RAIB probe.

"We accept the RAIB report in all respects. We would like to apologise to all the people affected by the failure of the infrastructure."

Margaret Masson, 84, died when the 17:15 train derailed in February.

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