NYMR reaction to verdict

THE MANAGER of the North York Moors Railway says there is no ill-feeling between the organisation and the widow of a volunteer killed while working on the railway - despite suggestions a compensation claim is being launched.

Phil Benham told the Gazette: “We will deal with it if and when it happens. I have a huge deal of sympathy for Mrs Lund and understand where they are in relation to that. There is no ill feeling on our part.

“If they choose to make a claim it will be discussed with the insurers and we will take it from there but there is no reason to believe that would put the railway at risk.”

Mr Benham said the outcome of last week’s inquest which recorded a verdict that Mr Lund’s death was an accident was a “satisfactory” outcome and had brought “an element of closure” for many people.

He added: “The first thing is to underline the fact that this was a huge tragedy, particularly and obviously for Bob’s family and nothing can compare with what they have had to suffer.

“From the railway’s point of view it was the biggest tragedy that the railway has ever experienced in its 40 years and it has had a huge impact on the railway family.”

While the Rail Accident Investigation Branch’s (RAIB) report found there was no fault with the railway’s procedures it did make some recommendations for changes which NYMR has already started to implement.

Mr Benham added: “We were reassured that there was no suggestion that our procedures contributed or led to the accident. We are always trying to predict what may go wrong and put measures in place. In this case we are trying to predict something that nobody had any experience of occurring. Now we have established it can, we have made sure everyone is aware of that possibility, however remote.

“If any good comes from a tragedy like this is that we can improve our overall safety.”