Balcombe Tunnel repair failures ‘could have been fatal’
by Philip Carr-Gomm
Up to 2,500 trains pass through Balcombe Tunnel in West Sussex every week
Passengers on the London to Brighton line could have been killed because of years of maintenance work failures in a Victorian tunnel, a whistle-blowing rail engineer has claimed. Balcombe Tunnel, near Crawley, West Sussex, was shut for 22 hours in September 2011 after workers discovered the partial collapse of a metal ceiling platform. A report into the incident highlighted Network Rail failures that left large girders hanging inches above trains. The Network Rail engineer, who does not want to be named, told BBC Inside Out South East if one of the steel beams had hit a carriage passengers would have died. He said: “You’re looking at a fatality if that steel bar would have come down. “God forbid if it had gone down between two trains. Then it would have gone through both, ripped the train, [the] whole carriage, half a carriage – but there would have been fatalities.” Read full entry on BBC site
This happened before the Cuadrilla drilling. But could fracking or drilling contribute to issues such as this – at Balcombe or anywhere else?
I am sure we can all relax and not worry about this – their experts must have thought of this risk (I don’t think!)