New date for Potters Bar rail crash hearing

NETWORK Rail and a maintenance company will now appear in court in February to face health and safety charges over the Potters Bar rail crash.

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) case had been due to be heard by magistrates on 7 January.

But the ORR said that proceedings would now start at Watford magistrates’ court on February 21.

The crash, on the London to King’s Lynn train, which derailed on May 10 2002 claimed the lives of seven people – six passengers and a pedestrian.

Maintenance firm Jarvis Rail, which was the contractor for the section of track where the train derailed after a points failure, went into administration in March 2010.

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But the ORR said it would go ahead criminal proceedings against the company.

Overall responsibility for the track rested with Railtrack, whose functions were taken over by Network Rail (NR) in October 2002.

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Following an inquest into the disaster which took place earlier this year, the ORR announced in November that it was prosecuting Network Rail and Jarvis under a section of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act.

The case is being brought over alleged safety breaches.

In 2005, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was no realistic prospect of conviction for gross negligence manslaughter against any individual or corporation in relation to the crash.

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