Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, today paid tribute to those who died – and were injured – in the Hatfield rail crash 19 years ago.

Four people died, and more than 70 people were injured, when a GNER InterCity 225 travelling from London to Leeds was derailed, just south of Hatfield station in Hertfordshire, on 17 October 2000.

Mick said: ‘Hatfield exposed the serious shortcomings of the privatised infrastructure company Railtrack. The subsequent inquiry revealed that the company – which put profit before safety – had failed in its duty of care to passengers and workers. As some people talk about privatising Network Rail - and reforming the rail industry - we should reflect on what that means and where it goes.

'Private companies put profit – and their dividends to shareholders –before safety and take short cuts which result in accidents, injuries and deaths. In a safety-critical industry there is no room for a company, or chief executive, who wants his managers to take short cuts at the expense of fare-paying passengers, and those of us who work in the industry, and put safety, delivery, and public service first.’

News & Media

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The Prime Minister and Parliament

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ASLEF, the train drivers trade union, has condemned Boris Johnson's decision to try to sideline Parliament in the run up to Brexit.   Mick Whelan, general secretary, said: 'Whatever your views on Brexit, the democratic process must underpin what is done in all our names – or civil unrest will...

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The Tories' HS2 review is another betrayal of Britain's railway

21 August 2019

ASLEF, the train drivers' union, has condemned the government's decision to launch a review of HS2 - with a "go or no-go" decision to be made by the end of the year.   The Tories' decision to consider scrapping HS2, despite having already spent £7bn on the project,...

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Mick slams rail fare rise

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ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has slammed proposed above-inflation rail fare rises for hard-pressed passengers of 2.7%.   ‘The Tories want people to pay more for a poorer service,’ said ASLEF’s general secretary, Mick Whelan. ‘That’s not a great offer, is it? For passengers – or for voters at the...

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Grayling’s delayed departure welcomed, but ASLEF will put the celebrations on hold for now

25 July 2019

Three years after becoming Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling has finally departed. About three years too late.   Mick Whelan, General Secretary of ASLEF,  the train drivers' union, commented, "Chris Grayling won't just go down as one of the worst transport secretaries of all time, but one of...

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The State of Freight

24 July 2019

                NIGEL GIBSON, District 5 Organiser, and lead officer for Freightliner Heavy Haul, Freightliner Intermodal, and GB Railfreight, reflects on a rail sector red in tooth and claw.    More and more we are having to deal with the effects of freight...

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