Rail union blames cost-cutting for Cumbrian viaduct accident
Last updated at 16:08, Wednesday, 17 November 2010
The RMT is blaming cost-cutting for an incident on the Cumbrian coast railway, which the trade union says could have ended in catastrophe.
It claims that Network Rail failed to replace worn-out wooden panels on the Eskmeals Viaduct, immediately south of Ravenglass.
A panel blew off last Friday and hit an early morning Barrow-to-Carlisle train. The union says that the train, which was carrying Sellafield workers, could have come off the tracks and plunged into the tidal waters below.
Nobody was hurt but the rail service was suspended for several hours.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “It appears that the vigilance and training of rail staff has helped avoid what could have been a major and tragic incident.
“A train running into the timbers blown onto the track could very easily have derailed and ended up in the river with lethal consequences.”
The union says that some wooden panels on the viaduct were replaced following a fire in May 2008.
Others were not replaced and it is one of these that became detached.
The RMT is demanding that Network Rail carries out permanent repairs to the viaduct.
It also wants “a major programme of investment in upgrading works” along the coastal route “in light of evidence that cost-cutting has created a culture of short-term patching up of infrastructure”.
Mr Crow added: “It appears that work should have been undertaken to replace all the wooden panels on the Eskmeals viaduct at the time of the fire. We have reason to believe those works weren’t carried out due to cost. That requires an urgent investigation.”
Network Rail denies the claims. Spokesman Keith Lumley said: “The last 10 years have seen significant investment and further schemes are proposed within the current financial-control period, ending in 2014.”
He said Harrington Viaduct was completely rebuilt in 2003, renewals were carried out on the Leven Viaduct in 2006 and repairs have been done at the Eskmeals, Drigg, Ravenglass and Calder viaducts.
He also denied that renewals at Eskmeals were not carried out because of cost.
First published at 11:36, Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
- Police call handling shake-up could cut demand on officers (29 comments)
- Cumbrian council set to axe chief executive job (14 comments)
- Former Carlisle hotel one of England's most at risk buildings (21 comments)
- Thirty new Cumbrian entries in Camra's latest 'beer bible' (5 comments)
- Parents furious as children kept out of lessons for flouting uniform rules (85 comments)
- 'Rude' Cumbrian town name banned at national WI fair (43 comments)
- Carlisle's Toni & Guy hair salon shuts (39 comments)
- Plans unveiled to revamp Carlisle's Castle Way (138 comments)
Court & crime
- Carlisle man who had nearly two million child porn images on computer jailed
- Driver lost control and crashed through Carlisle charity shop window
- Carlisle man jailed for lying for cocaine trafficker dad
- Cumbrian man convicted of raid on Dartmouth gift shop
- Men who turned Cumbrian mansion into cannabis farm jailed for total of almost 40 years
|NEWS & STAR ON:|
- Cumbria police crackdown on drivers using mobile phones (6 comments)
- Ex-Lookaround newsreader begins life as woman she always wanted to be (16 comments)
- Reays brings back City Hopper service; pledges more room for buggies (34 comments)
- Parents will be fined if caught smoking in cars carrying children (21 comments)
- Tweet made Austin look a proper Charlie (1 comment)