Appalling. Sincerest sympathies to the families of the dead and
injured. How are we expected to switch to public transport like trains
when one's safety isn't guaranteed?
Keith Griffin, UK
This 'Peoples' Government has spent millions on the Millennium Dome -
presumably as an advert for the U.K. What kind of message will this latest
rail disaster send to the rest of the world?
Stuart Burley, England
It is unbelievable that this accident has happened. Have Great Western
not learnt anything from Southall. My brother was on the scene moments
after the crash and said that he will be haunted forever by a tourist
trying to take photos of the bloodied injured people. My thoughts are will
all the families who are worried sick out there.
Marnie Enever, Great Britain
We need the government to fast track this and other rail investigations
in order to get results published quickly and recommendations enforced
without the long delays
Graham Jest, UK
Appalled by the story - heartfelt sympathy for those involved. Will
there be a request for blood donors?
Lesley Watson, England
I think it's a disgrace that the BBC feels it needs to bolster its page
views by putting up such a Talking Point. If you don't print this, then
that shows you are merely acting as censor again. What other reaction is
there apart from one of great loss and sympathy for the victims and their
friends/families? We do not know the circumstances of this accident yet,
and until further evidence is revealed, it's disgraceful that people
should come here and 'postulate'. The BBC is an honourable company, but
such glorification and hunting for reaction is a disgrace.
Angela Thorpington, UK
John Prescott should resign; the UK transport system is a dangerous and
a national disgrace.
J Dale, Germany
The rail crash is truly shocking but what is perhaps more shocking is
reading on BBC News Online that the installation of a safety system
recommended after the Clapham crash was considered too expensive, based on
a cost of £14m per life saved. This is a peculiar and perhaps heartless
way to evaluate the cost. In reality it would be us - the passengers - who
would pay for such a system, and I reckon that that most of us would be
happy to pay few extra pounds each year for the assurance that they and
their loved ones can travel safely. Surely safety must now be the number
one priority for the rail companies.
Dom Sparks, London, UK
Tragedies like this don't mean trains are generally unsafe. It happens
so rarely. To blame it on privatisation is moronic.
Until commuters just plain refuse to use trains of dubious safety,
which are continuously late and overcrowded, I can't see anything
happening to change the way the railways are run. Railtrack continually
shirks the issue and the rail companies are unwilling to invest because of
the short term nature of their contracts. I dream of the day when
commuters stay at home rather than put up with the indignities of London
rail travel, forcing their companies to intercede rather than lose money.
But what with us being English and being used to being pushed around and
ripped off, it's just not going to happen.
Louise Tolman, UK
Big Shame on politicians in this country. When it gets to the stage
that you only close down facilities after the event (eg. escalator safety
in tube stations) for you to realize these facilities aren't safe then
what do you expect? With dated rail infrastructure of course you will lose
lives, but you need a tragedy to pull your fingers out.
Gladys Udeh, UK
Some of the comments already on your site demonstrate the typical
over-reaction to accidents like this. Tragic as it is, there are still
more people killed on the roads every week than die in train crashes in a
year! For contributors to say that they will use cars because rail travel
is "dangerous" is frankly ridiculous. We shouldn't be complacent about
safety on the railway, Railtrack and the operating companies have a lot of
responsibility for the fact that the railways are not as safe as they
could be, but the train is still THE SAFEST form of transport.
Tony Green, England
My friend works for Railtrack and says that the rail systems in England
are accidents waiting to happen - it seems he was right. How many more
crashes do we need to have before something is done.
Maybe the government should start investing some of the money they
currently waste on ludicrous traffic calming schemes and the proliferation
of unnecessary speed cameras into some decent public transport
Steve Evans, UK
They still won't invest in an automatic braking system because it costs
so many millions of pound per life saved. With rail companies announcing
massive profits and most commuters paying out hundreds of pounds per year
to travel like cattle to work and back every day.
Mike , UK
I regularly travel from Reading to London Paddington. By the time
trains get to Reading they are already full. Most days I an many others
are forced to stand. No wonder casualties are so high. These trains can
reach 125mph. In an age of anti-car where speed is a supposed killer and
heavy fines face a motorist for travelling at 31mph. What about the train
companies that then heard commuters in to over crowded carriages more akin
to a third world country. The government and their failed transport policy
must share the blame here. Tax people off the roads in to death-trap
trains. John Prescott should resign immediately.
Steve Watts, UK
And you know what the final irony is, with these two trains out of
action they'll be even more overcrowding!
Will we have to wait another 2 years for an enquiry? Likely.
Will it become a political football? Almost certainly.
Will anything be done to make it safer? Only if it costs nothing.
Will this encourage people to use public transport? No chance.
Stuart Ward, England
This could have been my train (I was on the one behind it today) - they
are always crowded, often with not even enough room to sit on the floor.
How can people standing in between carriages stand a chance in a crash
We are a technically advanced country and yet everyday we risk our
lives just getting to work, and pay thousands for the privilege!!!
I don't think we can blame Prescott for this tragedy - after all, he's
just as clueless as everyone else on how to solve the problems of public
transport. Until anyone comes up with a more valid reason of improving
things rather than throwing lots of money in ill-advised schemes, everyone
will still end up in overcrowded trains, be stuck in long traffic jams and
innocent people will still die ....
Rik Dryden, UK
Instead of the railway workers striking its about time we had a
"Commuter Strike" in favor of improved safety and accountability!
Keith Harris, England
Now is not the time for recriminations and finger-pointing. We should
all just take a moment to remember the dead, the injured and the rescue
workers involved and pray for their safety and return to good health. We
should also pray for the families of the dead. And thank God for the
dedication of the rescue workers who will free everyone from the wreckage
and will not stop working until everyone is out. Then we must pray for the
mental state of the rescue workers. How do you think they are going to
feel tomorrow morning? The time for recriminations will come and then we
can bellow (not just voice) our concerns over the safety of public
Mark Gurney, UK
I can't believe that buses have capacity rules and yet a train, which
is heavier and travels a lot faster seems to be a free for all. It should
be known from ticket sales how many people are going to be on the train.
This would help to minimise the hurt/dead in such incidents.
Steve Morgan, England
As a foreigner living in England I had the chance to compare the public
transport system to my country of origin (Netherlands), and though we moan
there about trains showing up late (usually just a few minutes) the system
proves to be sufficient and is owned by one company who is still
supervised by the government. The lines are safe, and we've had no major
accidents in the last few years. The looking at the British system I can't
get rid of the feeling that the British people are being abused by
companies and government, and not only when it comes to public transport
Richard Eradus, UK
Today my thoughts are with the friends and family of those who died and
were injured. Tomorrow, I will be angry that I could have been one of
Paul Fortmann, London
A tragedy and a waste of life. But I will still use the trains because
a similar carnage occurs on our roads throughout the year (about 900
killed or injured every day.)
Neill Cooper, UK
I am utterly appalled that this has happened again. No doubt the
drivers will be scapegoated again. The people who are responsible are the
executives of the railway companies, especially Railtrack, which put
profits before lives. The Tories foisted privatisation on us and Labour
are intent on doing the same to the Tube. The despicable face of
James Rees, UK
Again and again we are told that the Governments wants an integrated
transport system and take us out of our cars. I traveled to work today on
an overcrowded (normal), late (normal) train that runs at times that do
not suit commuters (too infrequent). Now we have a situation where a train
crash can occur on a stretch of line that has already claimed lives less
than 3 years ago. Railtrack and the train companies say that they are
investing huge sums of money? To what end? This still happens.
Overcrowding undoubtedly added to the injuries and yet nobody will do
anything to ease or help the situation in the future. What will not help
the relatives is the sure knowledge that what led to these casualties was
inaction. A terrible waste of life to be killed by apathy.
Jason Williams, UK
We see the Government taking little action over the Rail industry and
now this happens. Pull your finger out Mr Blair, make them accountable!!
And while you are at it make Prescott accountable too... He talks a good
fight - but doesn't follow it through.
Concerned of the UK
Another First Great Western accident. With a £1.5m fine and the
Southall inquiry not even closed, you'd think that GWT would at last be
putting passengers' safety before profits. If the APT was installed, this
accident and tragic loss of life may never have happened. At Reading
station, the last call this morning for this unfortunate train, passengers
are jam-packed onto services every day. Something has to be done, now. God
Bless those poor people and their families.
James Waight, UK
How ironic that at last week's Labour Party Conference, John Prescott
promised to invest in the railways. Too little too late. How many more
people must die before the politicians will do something to change this
country's public transport system?
Ellie Atkins, England
No doubt the cost of car ownership will continue to rise whilst poorly
managed "public" transport kills our citizens? Privitisation was a BAD
idea. How come the other civilised countries of Europe can get their rail
systems organised and we still have accidents like this? What an end to
the 20th century...
Iain Howe, England
I bet RailTrack are mighty proud to have spent that £40m on new
machines for the leaves. How about some of it on safety measures next
time? Enough is Enough. Two bad accidents on the same stretch of track,
it's time the Railways were bought back into public ownership so that the
managers are responsible to someone else other than the shareholders.
James Montgomery, UK
Lessons are just not being learned. With poor levels of funding and
cutbacks across the board, how are we to stop these tragedies happening.
Is this going to get any better when politicians seem to think that tax
cuts are the way forward. It is time to spend some of the so-called war
chest not only on our public transport infrastructure, but on the
homeless, child abuse victims and emergency services to mention just a few
Dave James, UK
I bet it doesn't affect the size of the manager's annual bonuses. A
quick rehash of all the old empty promises about how "we're getting there"
and the share price will recover enough to pro-vide the fat cat bosses
with a new Jag each year. Sack the lot of them, renationalise, invest, and
build a network like TGV or Thalys.
This is utterly appalling!!! What the hell does this country's train
system think it is up to. It is worse than a third world country.
Jeremy Cook, UK
Train safety needs to be taken back into the public domain. The rate of
reinvestment of funds by the deregulated market must be forced up as the
degradation of track can not be covered; in light of recent accidents
cannot be covered up by the purchase of shiny new rolling stock.
Dominic Hicklin, England
Disbelief. How could something like this happen during the enquiry into
the Southall disaster. Do they not learn or care??
Matthew Lyddall, England
Surely now John Prescott's position as Transport Minister is untenable?
John O'Connell, UK
The loss of life and injury is of course very sad and newsworthy
because of the localised nature of the accident. How many people were
killed on the roads this morning during the rush hour and not reported?
Ken Westgate, UK
It seems pretty obvious that despite the legal wranglings of blame
after each and every crash, the fact that you have for-profit operators
cutting costs to the absolute minimum to maximise profit, in competition
with each other and with the infrastructure operators as "adversarial"
partners, that these incidents are going to get more, not less frequent.
My heart goes out to the families of those lost in yet another avoidable
Elliot Renton, UK
What a shameful waste of life. Now is the time to put aside party
politics and urgently invest in the rail infrastructure in this country.
Enough is enough - how many more have got to die before safety is brought
up to an acceptable standard ?
Shane Whelan, UK
My first reaction is one of shock and then worry as I commute to London
Liverpool Street every day. Have we still not learnt from previous
Daniel Halter, England
This is a terrible, tragic event. Maybe now the government will realise
that the people of London would rather have a safe, affordable,
integrated, modern transport system for the millennium rather than a giant
temporary Dome that benefits no-one in the long run. Some how I doubt they
Dan Murphy, England
When a good rail service is so important to the people of the UK, how
is it that politicians can tinker with the country's travel policy in the
same stop-go way that it used to with industry (culminating in the 3-day
week). I would like to see a nationally agreed travel policy, thought
through by the best brains on the subject, irrespective of political
orientation. That way we really be able to call incidents such as these
accidents, rather than the result of somebody trying to save or make
Mick Dowling, UK
Privatisation of the railways was supposed to have brought us lots of
benefits. Punctuality is worse, and Railtrack seems completely unable to
do anything about rail safety. Rail transport if far too important to be
left in the hand of the present lot. The Government should immediately
assume responsibility for it by whatever means.
Jeff Lewis, uk
I think that it is about time that the senior managers at the Railway
companies begin to take responsibility for the almost regular railway
crashes that keep occurring. Innocent people are dying and nothing seems
to happen to stop it happening again. Criminal prosecutions should be
brought against the people responsible AND their managers all the way up
to the most senior level. Then maybe they would be more interested in
people's safety than their profit margins!!!
The only way to ensure that the privatised rail companies do not put
profit before passenger safety is to send out clear signals that this will
not be tolerated. If train companies are found to be guilty of
jeopardising passenger safety they should have their operating licences
revoked. Perhaps making an example of one company would encourage
shareholders to put pressure on their boards to comply with health and
London still pretends to be the main financial centre in Europe -
meanwhile, its "poor" transportation network kills people every year...
You have to ask how many deaths and injuries are attributable not only
to lax safety standards but also to gross overcrowding.
Daniel Minns, England
Doesn't the train company's comment on not knowing how many people were
on board bring to the forefront the MAJOR HAZARD that is overcrowding.
Joe Green, England
How the hell do these train accidents still happen with all the
anti-collision technologies that are now in place?
How often must this kind of thing happen before the UK wakes up to the
fact that, however bad BR was, incidents like this were never the regular
feature of life that they have become. A free market in rail transport is
chaos and the chaos of so many more tragic deaths and injuries could be so
David Parry, UK
Typical John Redwood, trying to make some political capital when the
dead aren't even cold yet!!!
Mike Smith, England
Great Western jam pack trains, allowing passengers to stand in
corridors when no seats are available. This is madness, I take this train
on a weekly basis and this is seems to be customary. Safety should be a
primary concern on Great Western!!!!!!
Connie Hickling, UK
Yet more blood on the hands of the Privatisation Brigade.
Concerned of Telford, UK
When will Railtrack and the other Train companies learn that safety
comes hand in hand with new equipment. The sooner they spend money on
servicing and buying new equipment the sooner these incidents will stop
Laura Barnsley, England
Time for Re-nationalization of the railways
How many people have to die to make the government/RailTrack/Train
companies get their act together. Public Transport in this country is a
sick joke which isn't funny. PRESCOTT: Invest or see more innocent people
S Smith, UK
Was it head on or was it a bomb? Strange that it was reported a
glancing head on blow. And the fire as well?
This is my train journey to work. This morning, I flew to Paris. It
seems that the privatised rail operators have blood on their hands again.
Manuel Lozano, UK
How I ask can 2 trains be on the same line going in different
directions? This is the London network. Still they don't believe in
systems that prevent train collision and we are nearly in the 20th C.
Iain Millett, UK
Says it all about public transport, I for one will stick to using my
car. No amount of Government attempts to get me to leave my car at home
I'm horrified. Don't understand how this type of accident can happen.
Makes me even less happy travelling on public transport. The Tube is just
Clare Jordan, UK
More money must be spent on safety. There should be no need for
incidents of this nature with the technology that is available.
Tony Miles, UK