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Collisions and derailments on Britain's rail network dropped by one-third last year, Robert Horton, the chairman of Railtrack, told the House of Commons Select Committee on Transport yesterday. He also said that accidents involving railway workers had declined. Last year, 89 workers were injured compared to 138 in 1991-92 and an average of 120 during the intervening period.

In a written submission to the committee, Railtrack said that its line management had failed to monitor its own activities and those of contractors properly and had failed to identify non-compliance with safety standards. The company promised to remedy this.