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Train driver given suspended sentence for ignoring safety systems

A former First Capital Connect driver received a three-month suspended prison sentence on November 7, and was ordered to pay £500 costs after ignoring warnings and safety systems on the Cambridge-London train he was driving.

Scott Walford pleased guilty following a prosecution brought by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) for a breach in health and safety law in October 2013.

Walford was driving the 2040 Cambridge-London King’s Cross train on October 8 2013, when it passed a red signal at Hitchin. The train’s warning safety system applied automatic brakes, but Walford deliberately reset the system and continued on without seeking the required authorisation.

Prior to leaving Cambridge, Walford had also failed to set up his Cab Secure Radio, which prevented any direct contact from the signaller.

As a result of his actions Walford’s train ran “out of control” putting himself, passengers and train staff at risk of a serious incident, such as a collision with an oncoming train.

Sentencing took place at Stevenage Magistrates Court

  • For more, read RAIL 762, published on November 26

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