Cancel High Speed Trains, reduce rail fares and invest in Network Rail jobs – prevent another Carmont tragedy

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On the second anniversary of the Carmont tragedy (12 August), TSSA has called for “museum pieces” High Speed Trains to be taken out of service, rail fares to be reduced, and an end to job cuts in Network Rail.

TSSA leader Manuel Cortes, said, “Our thoughts are with the three people who lost their lives in this tragic accident; Brett McCullough, Donald Dinnie and Chris Stuchbury, and their families.

“The sad truth is that the events of 12th August 2020 were entirely preventable. The best way that ScotRail and our government can remember them is to act now to ensure that such an accident never occurs again.

“Firstly, we must take the High Speed Train (HST) fleet out of service immediately and forever. The Rail Accident Investigation Branch made it clear that failings in the HST played a part in the tragedy, especially in the death of the driver, yet ScotRail continues to use these museum pieces. They were built in the 1970s and have no place in a 21st century rail network.

“Secondly, we need to increase our actions to prevent climate change. The heavy rain the night before, and morning of, the incident at Carmont played a significant role in causing the accident. These extreme weather events are becoming more common. We need to encourage people onto trains and off the roads to reduce the carbon cost of transport. We can start by cutting the ticket prices across the rail network – surely a popular move in this cost of living crisis!

“Thirdly, we need to put a stop to all talk of cutting Network Rail staffing. We know that the RAIB report blamed lack of staffing resources within Network Rail stating, “the railway has insufficient resource to entirely overcome the potential for infrastructure failure.” Yet Network Rail are still bent on recklessly cutting jobs and drastically reducing routine safety inspections through their “Modernising Maintenance” programme.”

“The events of 12 August 2020 were a tragedy. But the greater tragedy will be if we fail to learn the lessons of that day.”

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