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Paddington Smash: Signal Warnings In March Ignored

Authorities investigating London's rail crash have given Railtrack managers one month to improve signalling systems but independent advisors had already told Railtrack in March of the dangerous system but no action was taken. John Howard reports.

Railtrack managers were formally warned to improve signal 109 at Ladbroke Grove twice before a novice driver missed the danger signal and caused Tuesday's disaster in which, from revised figures, up to 94 people may have died.

The figures have been revised downwards because people thought missing or dead have now contacted authorities.

In March Railtrack was warned the signal, long criticised as dangerous because it was difficult to see, needed low level lights to make it more visible.

Great Western, whose service from Cheltenham was involved in the crash, even wanted their trains to be taken off the line controlled by signal 109 unless safety was stepped up. The demands came after the signal had been missed by drivers eight times in five years, including one case in which a Great Western narrowly avoided a head-on collision.

Two New Zealander's were killed in the rail crash but it is not known how many, in any, were injured.

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