Speed limit on fast trains

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THE HEALTH and Safety Executive has imposed speed restrictions on Britain's fastest trains after an accident saw an express service leave railway tracks earlier this week.

Great North Eastern Railway (GNER), which links London to Scotland, has been forced to implement an emergency timetable after the Railway Inspectorate,which oversees safety on the network, ordered a speed limit of 80mph on the trains - which are capable of 125mph.

The move will lengthen many journeys. A trip to York from the capital usually takes two hours, but with the speed restriction in force the train will take an extra 60 minutes.

"It is a precautionary measure," said a spokesman for GNER. "We expect to start to clear up the problem tomorrow and have full services running by the weekend."

The HSE acted after a high-speed service derailed just 20 minutes into its journey on Tuesday. Nine people were hurt and crash investigators suspected that a cracked wheel caused the train to leave the tracks.