§ Mr. Forth
I have been asked to reply.
The three men had been called out at 03.40 to repair faulty points at Edge Hill. They had telephoned the signalman, who had reported the fault, to inform him that they were on the way, but he heard no more from them. Later, the fault cleared and the signalman set a route over the points for an empty train bound for Liverpool Lime Street station.
From the evidence available, it seems most likely that the men had started work on site and were struck by the empty train. The crew of a track maintenance machine that passed over the same line shortly afterwards were the first to notice that an accident had occurred. They alerted the signalman who called the emergency services.
An inspector from the Health and Safety Executive's railway inspectorate visited the site later in the day to carry out an investigation. British Rail's internal inquiry began on Monday 21 January. The inspectorate will, on receipt of British Rail's report, decide whether any further action is necessary.