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Spanish minister announces root and branch review of rail safety

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Spanish minister announces root and branch review of rail safety


A Spanish parliamentary committee has been told the government will launch a review of safety measures across the country’s entire rail network.

The announcement comes in response to the deaths of 79 people last month when a speeding train came off the rails in Santiago de Compostela.

The communication system on board trains will also come under the microscope.

“We have to revise the rules on the use of mobile communication devices by the staff on board trains, to implement a single integrated system of communication. This will be when the driver can use a hands free device which is part of that one integrated system,” Public Works Minister Ana Pastor told the committee of MPs.

Eleven seconds before it flew off the tracks the driver of the train had been on the telephone to the on-board conductor.

The minister said the root and branch review would include an analysis of the speed limit across every stretch of the rail network.

The skills and knowledge which are required of train drivers will also be looked at.

The crash was Spain’s deadliest rail accident since 1944.

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