Crash report expected to criticise firms

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The rail industry is bracing itself for some harsh criticism today when the official report into the Paddington rail crash is published.

Railtrack, Thames Trains and successive governments are all going to be blamed in Lord Cullen's report into the accident at Ladbroke Grove, near Paddington station in west London.

31 died in the tragedy on October 1999, after a Thames train passed through a red signal and hit a London-bound Great Western express head-on.

Railtrack is likely to be critiscised for not heeding warnings that the signal involved was difficult to see, while Thames Trains is expected to be be accused of not giving drivers adequate training.

The report will be shown to families of the vicims at 9.30am today, before being released to the public.