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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 January 2007, 23:59 GMT
Station safety queried at inquest
Elsenham station
Jurors visited the site where the two girls were killed
A signal engineer has told an inquest he had "concerns about the layout" of a rail station where two girls were killed by a train at a level crossing.

Friends Charlotte Thompson, 13, and Olivia Bazlinton, 14, died after they stepped in front of an 80mph train at Elsenham in Essex on 3 December, 2005.

When asked if Elsenham station was safe, rail worker Gary Ruff replied: "Obviously I had concerns about it."

Earlier jurors at the Chelmsford inquest visited the level crossing.

They spent an hour examining the railway station where the accident happened

'Ignored warnings'

Mr Ruff qualified his worries about the station by saying: "It fulfils all the necessary requirements and certainly it was working to design."

Charlotte Thompson and Olivia Bazlinton
The teenagers were killed on their way to catch a train

Jonathan Harvey, an area signaller manager for Network Rail, estimated people crossed the line when a red warning light was showing about once a week.

The girls, who both lived near the station, ignored warning lights and audible alarms as they rushed to catch a train which had stopped on the opposite platform, the inquest heard.

The jury was told that a train driver had tried to warn the girls not to cross the track moments before they were struck by the train, which was travelling from Birmingham to Stansted Airport.

The inquest continues.


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