Letter: Railways face uphill task

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The Independent Online
Sir: The coverage given to the Eurotunnel fire has once again demonstrated the uneven playing field on which railway companies have to operate.

The safety commissioners are reported to be demanding a "cast-iron" guarantee that the accident will not be repeated, before passenger trains will be allowed through the tunnel. If the same approach were taken to road safety, the impact on car design and speed limits can only be guessed. Would our motorways be closed until the Department of Transport and the car manufacturers gave a cast-iron guarantee on safety?

Rail travel remains one of the safest modes of transport. Despite the failure of the first two safety procedures in the present incident, the third was successful in preserving human life. Surely, the question to be answered is why the lorry caught fire.