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[Resource] BBC 25/11/02
Page first written 26 November 2002
Last updated 26 November 2002

Derailment at West Ealing, Great Western Main Line

On Sunday, an express train travelling from Swansea to London Paddington derailed near West Ealing station of Great Western Main Line at around 20:05 GMT. The train, with HST trainset, had 9 cars (including 7 passenger coaches), and one bogie on Coach D came off the track. No one was injured, although some were taken to hospital because of shock. This report says that Network Rail admitted that "a fishplate failure was the cause of the accident". The permitted maximum speed at the particular section of the line was 125mph (201km/h) and the train was actually running at this speed when it came off the rail, and First Great Western's comment that "it was fortunate the incident was not serious" is quite fair. The Guardian quotes Mr Roger Ford of Modern Railways, who said: "Broken rails such as this are very rare but they do happen from time to time." The past similar accidents include 1967 accident in Hither Green in the south east of London, which killed 49. I have not heard of a similar accident in Japan, neither in Shinkansen and other lines, in the recent 20 years or so. What a lack of "tension" towards the operation at 200km/h!

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