Network Rail faces fines over Ladbrook Grove rail crash after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches

Network Rail is facing an unlimited fine after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches relating to the 1999 Ladbroke Grove rail crash, in which 31 people died.

The company, formerly Railtrack, admitted in Blackfriars Crown Court today that it had failed to ensure the safe visibility of a rail signal before the accident, and also had not conducted adequate risk assessments. The train crash, which injured over 400 people, happened after a train passed a red signal and hit another train.

Sentencing has now been adjourned until 18 December, when Network Rail will indicate the full basis of its guilty plea.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “The Ladbroke Grove tragedy was a terrible event for everyone involved. Lessons have been learnt and the rail industry has changed enormously for the better over the past seven years.”