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Railhub Archive
1999-04-29 ORR-001
Office of the Rail Regulator


Statement from Chris Bolt, the Rail Regulator, on safety concerns in the Severn Tunnel

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Office of the Rail Regulator

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Office of the Rail Regulator

Statement from Chris Bolt, the Rail Regulator, on safety concerns in the Severn Tunnel

29 April 1999
source Office of the Rail Regulator
type Press release

note ORR/99/14

The Rail Regulator, Chris Bolt, commented on today’s announcement from the Health and Safety Executive that a speed restriction of 20 mph will be imposed on trains in both directions through the Severn Tunnel with effect from 1800 hrs this evening because of fears that cracked rails in the Tunnel may break.

Chris Bolt said: "I have today called for an urgent report from Gerald Corbett, Chief Executive of Railtrack, on why its maintenance procedures have not been sufficient to avoid this enforcement action by the HSE. I have also asked Railtrack to explain its plans to put this matter right in a way that mimimises the impact on rail users. I will want to ensure that Railtrack is taking all reasonably practicable steps to meet its obligations."

The speed restriction imposed on trains using the Severn Tunnel will mainly affect passengers between South Wales, Bristol and London but services to and from Westbury, Salisbury, Southampton, Portsmouth, Brighton, Crewe and Manchester may also be subject to delay. Trains diverted via Gloucester will incur an extra hour’s journey time for passengers.

Note for Editors:

Condition 7 of Railtrack’s Licence (relating to stewardship of its network) requires Railtrack to maintain the railway infrastructure in a condition that meets the reasonable requirements of train operators and funders to the greatest extent possible having regard to all relevant circumstances.

ORR Press Office - 0171 282 2007/2002
Out of office hours - Pager 0941 148521

Railhub Archive ::: 1999-04-29 ORR-001


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