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Network Rail revokes West Coast Railways suspension

Network Rail has revoked the network-wide suspension of West Coast Railways’ track access contract. But the Office of Rail and Road continues to investigate the operator’s safety, and consultation to revoke its safety certificate continues.

Network Rail’s statement today (May 8) said: “Network Rail is now satisfied that West Coast Railways have addressed all of the actions set out in the suspension notice issued on Friday April 3.

“As a result, Network Rail has revoked the suspension as of 1201 on May 8.”

The full letter to WCR can be read here.

An ORR spokesman said: “Following ORR’s initial investigation, West Coast Railways has established improved safety procedures. ORR inspectors will be on site examining safety arrangements ahead of WCR running passenger services. These checks will ensure the company has introduced the necessary changes, such as improved safety procedures, enhanced management systems, and appropriate staff competence regimes.

“ORR will continue to monitor WCR services for assurance that they are operating safely.”

The ORR is also undertaking further assessments to determine whether health and safety laws were breached, and the appropriate enforcement action required following the near-miss SPAD (Signal Passed at Danger) on March 7. This could include revocation of their safety certificate.

In a statement on its Facebook page, West Coast said: “It’s full steam ahead! We are delighted to announce our 20th season running the world-famous Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig.”

The Jacobite is scheduled to begin on May 11.

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