Passengers 'raised alarm' before derailment

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Two passengers tried to raise concerns the night before the train was derailed by defective points, the inquest heard.

Jurors were told that two people - one a rail worker - made three separate reports about "rough rides" on the northbound approach to the station at Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.

A judge, sitting as a coroner, heard that one report had been "forgotten", one misinterpreted and on one occasion a passenger received no response.

Judge Michael Findlay Baker QC said safety checks had been carried out hours before the crash - but on the southbound line.

Passenger Terence Moore - a rail worker - became concerned about "movement" as a train crossed points on the approach to Potters Bar at around 9pm on May 9 2002 - about 16 hours before the crash, the inquest heard.

Mr Moore - a station announcer travelling north from King's Cross to Stevenage, Hertfordshire - reported his concerns to a member of staff at the ticket office when he arrived at Stevenage.

The judge said the member of staff had been "busy" and had not logged the report.

The judge said Mr Moore had also reported his concerns to a manager in the King's Cross signal box.

But the manager had thought that Mr Moore was talking about the southbound track - not the northbound, said the judge.

Safety checks had been carried out on the southbound line and nothing untoward was noticed, jurors were told.

Judge Baker said Peter Prime - a passenger travelling north through Potters Bar at around 8.30pm on May 9 - had also experienced a "rough ride" on the approach to the station.

Mr Prime, who was on the King's Cross to Leeds train, had been "sufficiently alarmed" to speak to a buffet car steward, said the judge.

The steward promised to pass the report to a train manager but Mr Prime had no response.