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Friday, 24 May, 2002, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Rail line 'not safe', says commuter
Kevin O'Neill
Kevin O'Neill travelled as guest of Railtrack
A commuter who warned of track problems before the Potters Bar crash says he still does not feel comfortable or safe on the line.

Kevin O'Neill, 58, spoke out on Friday after travelling in the cab of a high-speed train as Railtrack's guest.

Mr O'Neill first wrote to Railtrack and to the Health and Safety Executive in March this year complaining of the state of the track between Peterborough and London.

He was invited onto a train on Friday to assess conditions for himself.


This is not being anti-Railtrack - it's more about not having another Hatfield or Potters Bar

Kevin O'Neill, commuter

Mr O'Neill was accompanied from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, to London's King's Cross station by Railtrack's top East Coast line engineer, Ian Kitching.

After passing through the Potters Bar area on a GNER East Coast train, he said: "I still don't feel comfortable and safe."

He was also unable to allay his fears about a stretch of track at Hitchin, Hertfordshire, as his train had to stop at that point because the signal was against the train.

After arriving in London, Mr O'Neill, from Market Deeping, Lincolnshire, said: "I shall continue to let Railtrack know every time I, or fellow commuters, sense a problem on the line.

'Impressive ride'

"I would rather write and be proved wrong than stay silent and there be another accident.

"This is not being anti-Railtrack. It's more about not having another Hatfield or Potters Bar," he said.

Mr O'Neill said he had "quite an impressive ride".

But he was disappointed there was no track-testing equipment available.


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19 May 02 | England
19 May 02 | England
18 May 02 | England
15 May 02 | England
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