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EDITIONS
Friday, 21 June, 2002, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Rail crisis turned into BBC drama
Paddington crash site
The Paddington crash shocked the nation
The BBC is making a factual drama about the Paddington and Hatfield train crashes, which will examine whether privatisation jeopardised safety.

The Paddington disaster in October 1999 claimed 31 lives, while the derailment at Hatfield a year later killed four and plunged the rail network into crisis.

Hatfield rail crash
The Hatfield crash sparked a massive repair programme
Provisionally entitled Derailed, the programme will be the first time BBC departments Drama and News and Current Affairs have worked together.

The proposed 90-minute film will tell the story of the inquiries into Paddington and Hatfield.

It will explore why the tragic accidents happened, and examine whether the privatised rail industry allowed commercial interest to override passenger safety.

Rail campaigners say the conflict inherent in the privatised system has been highlighted by the recent Potters Bar accident, where they believe poor maintenance was to blame for the deaths of seven people.

Stephen Greenhorn will be writing Derailed, which is likely to be broadcast on BBC One.

Jane Tranter, controller of Drama Commissioning, said: "We are developing this project in the light of a real appetite to tackle dramas relating to current affairs, real events and real people.

Passengers
Commuters have become used to poor service
"The state of Britain's railways - and the issues of passenger safety which it raises - is a subject that touches us all."

Peter Horrocks, head of BBC Current Affairs, added: "It is exciting to be combining the best of the BBC's investigative journalism with its strongest drama talent.

"We hope to bring audiences vivid and thoroughly researched accounts of key topical events through this new partnership."

BBC News Online's in-depth coverage on the state of the UK's railways


10 year rail plan

1,000 MILE RAIL TRIP
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24 Aug 01 | Entertainment
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