Tunnel safety go-slow

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The Independent Online
TRAIN DRIVERS were ordered to go at no more than 20mph last night through one of Britain's busiest rail routes to prevent a disaster. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) banned Railtrack from running trains through the Severn Tunnel at the normal 70mph because of the state of the track. The ruling will cause delays over the holiday weekend.

The HSE said there was a "serious risk of derailment" on the line connecting England and Wales under the Severn Channel near Bristol. Railtrack said 11 minutes would be added to journey times and apologised to passengers.

Vic Coleman, the Chief Inspector of Railways, said there were four broken rails in the tunnel in seven months - 20 times the national average.