RMT marks 20 years since Tebay disaster

RMT marks 20 years since Tebay disaster

14 February 2024

Railway union, RMT will remember and pay tribute to workers who lost their lives in the Tebay disaster 20 years ago, at ceremony on Thursday.

During a night shift, an out of control 16-tonne steel wagon rolled down the West Coast Main Line reaching speeds of 40 mph before colliding with several track workers.

Four RMT members tragically died and another 5 were injured in the collision.

Following the incident, Mark Connolly, the boss of the rail maintenance company, MAC Machinery Services, and crane operator Roy Kennett, were tried at Newcastle Crown Court on charges of manslaughter caused by gross negligence. Connolly was also prosecuted for breaches of health and safety law. Both men were found guilty by majority verdicts; Connolly was sentenced to nine years imprisonment and Kennett to two years.

The union has always been clear that fragmentation and privatisation are to blame for these tragic events and RMT is resolved to fight, protect and improve safety standards on the network.

Wreaths will be laid and a few brief words spoken at the memorial stone, south of Tebay village.

A buffet with speeches from general secretary Mick Lynch and others will follow a private memorial service. 

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "The Tebay disaster is a stark reminder of the calamity of privatisation and fragmentation of the railways.

"Our brothers who were lost in this avoidable disaster are never far from our thoughts and today we pay tribute to them and their families.

"The union will always be at the forefront of fighting for good safety standards in every workplace and we will vigorously oppose any employer who tries to undermine that."



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