HeadLine: PASSENGERS WON’T GET BACK ON TRACK FOR DAYS
The Mirror, 19/06/2002, p4
by SHAUN MILNE
SCOTS rail passengers must wait until at least Monday before train
services are back to normal after a major freight crash.
Rail bosses had to scrap all services on the busy West Coast Main Line
– the main route between Scotland and England – after fourteen wagons
laden with tonnes of timber derailed near the Borders town of Gretna
two days ago.
The driver escaped injury and urgent recovery work to remove wagons and
their loads went on late into last night.
But engineers and safety experts, who have still to assess damage to
tracks, warned it will take most of the weekend to complete the
Railtrack and train operators English Welsh and Scottish Railways
(EWS), have already admitted joint liability for the accident at
Railtrack said the line and an overhead bridge had been “badly damaged”
in the incident, blamed on a failed axle bearing.
Virgin Rail services have been worst hit by the incident.
ScotRail said they have been forced to suspend their Sleeper services
completely, and are taking no more bookings.
A spokesman said: “It’s going to affect Virgin far more than us.
“But the Glasgow to London sleeper service will be affected.
“The southbound sleeper is running around two hours late and the
northbound service around two and half hours late.
“It is regrettable, but we have done all we can to reduce delays. It
will certainly continue like this until the end of the week.”
Virgin said it was operating a special timetable and trains were being
diverted via alternate routes.
A spokesman said: “We are operating a shuttle service between Glasgow
“When passengers get to Lockerbie there will be a bus service taking
them to Carlisle. After Carlisle the service should run as normal.”
Passengers faced huge disruption yesterday, many being forced to find
alternative routes while others had to endure huge delays as they were
transported by coaches.
Politicians have already called on new Transport Secretary Alistair
Darling to act to improve safety.
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