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Monday, 20 May, 2002, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
Rail crash station reopens
Potters Bar station
The first train for ten days pulled in a few minutes late
Potters Bar train station has reopened 10 days after the crash which killed seven people.

The first train - the 0401 BST service from Peterborough to Kings Cross - stopped at the station at 0508 BST.

But the resumption of service comes on the day a new report claims a 10-mile stretch of railway still has 30 faults which have been reported - but lie unfixed.

An anonymous rail worker told the Daily Mirror: "If you knew as much as I do about the state of the track, you'd think twice about taking the train."

Agnes Quinlivan
The funeral of victim Agnes Quinlivan is on Monday

The report features photographs of railway track between London's Liverpool Street station and Colchester in Essex.

The pictures claim to highlight problems ranging from a missing bolt to severe cracking of the type that caused the Hatfield rail crash.

Under-fire Transport Secretary Stephen Byers was due to speak to members of the rail workers' union Aslef on Monday.

Its secretary general, Mick Rix, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he hoped the minister would give assurances about the state of Britain's railways.

He added: "If this report (in the Daily Mirror) is true, then I have concerns.

"There does appear to still be a culture of 'sweating the assets' to give them longer use while not repairing or maintaining them."

Dominic Booth, managing director of WAGN - the train operator involved in the Potters Bar crash - told the programme if the newspaper report was correct, it was something that should be "taken up immediately".

Life has to go on

Commuter Nick Collings

He added: "I will be seeking reassurances from Railtrack that there are no problems similar to those mentioned in the report on my lines.

"We are all concerned by the report and we want to make sure proper action is taken to correct any defects."

The funeral of a crash victim, district nurse Agnes Quinlivan, will be held on Monday.

Commuters waiting at Potters Bar for a service to Kings Cross said despite the tragedy, life had to return to normal.

Investment banker Nick Collings, 50, from Potters Bar said: "You just have to get on with it.

"It's a major tragedy, but life has to go on."

Speed restrictions

In addition to work to repair damage to the station, engineers have made safe a nearby bridge.

Parts of the track and the suspect set of points had to be replaced after being removed for detailed forensic examination.

A Railtrack spokesman said temporary speed restrictions would be in place while the new track "beds in".

The first trains through Potters Bar were the 1905 BST Leeds to King's Cross service and the 2130 BST from King's Cross to Leeds.

Following the crash, which also left more than 70 people injured, the line was closed between New Barnet and Welwyn Garden City.

The line is also used by other operators and passengers were advised to check with companies about schedules.

On Sunday survivors of the Potters Bar crash joined a special church service in the town, to remember those killed when the train derailed at 100 mph.

Railtrack chief executive John Armitt and members of the emergency services were among the congregation of 700.

The BBC's Samantha Simmonds
"There were few early morning commuters"
WAGN managing director Dominic Booth
"We do want to understand exactly what did happen"
Mick Rix, Aslef Secretary General
"The supervision of maintenance should be re-introduced into the railway industry"

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19 May 02 | England
18 May 02 | England
14 May 02 | England
14 May 02 | England
14 May 02 | England
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