About The Paddington Survivors Group

The Paddington Survivors Group (PSG) was set up by survivors for survivors of the Ladbroke Grove train crash. The PSG’s main role is to provide help and advice to the survivors and, most importantly, emotional support for each other.

Our secondary role is to campaign to stop trains going through red signals and improve the UK’s rail network. The survivors run the PSG on a voluntary basis because we do not want anyone else going through the nightmare we have had to, and continue to live with in the aftermath.

PSG History

At 8.09am on the morning of Tuesday 5th October 1999, a Great Western Train from Cheltenham to Paddington crashed into the Paddington to Bedwyn Thames Train at Ladbroke Grove in West London. The resulting collision left 31 people dead and over 400 hundred injured.

One of the survivors, Pam Warren was released from hospital in December 1999. In January 2000 Pam wrote a letter to all the survivors, and from the responses she received, a meeting of survivors was set up in April 2000. At the meeting people spoke about their experiences, for example when someone said about the smell at the scene, all the other survivors knew exactly what that smell was without describing it. There was a common and strong bond between all the people at the meeting, they were and are survivors.

It was decided that it would be good to meet again, so another meeting was set up and The Paddington Survivors Group was formed.

The first meetings were about giving each other emotional support and trying to figure out what had happened to change our lives so dramatically. After a time a sense of anger grew as more and more was discovered about how the rail industry operated and why the crash had come to be. From our discoveries and research we all felt that this was no ‘accident’ and have never referred to it as such. Our crash was a direct consequence of industry fragmentation, lack of responsibility and a general feeling that “it is cheaper to pay compensation than to put right what is wrong”.

From this anger the members wanted to do 'something' constructive to try to prevent what happened to us happening again. The PSG carried on providing emotional support, but also incorporated the campaigning side into the meetings using Lord Cullen’s Inquiry as the basis of campaign issues.

PSG Campaigning

Following the crash the deputy Prime Minister - John Prescott stated that 'Money is no object'; subsequently an inquiry was set up to be chaired by Lord Cullen. The inquiry was going to take over a year, so the PSG worked on their own campaign, keeping in mind what Lord Cullen was going to recommend.

The PSG came up with the 10 point plan for rail safety. Bear in mind that this 10 point plan was drawn from our own research and application of common sense prior to any evidence being given by rail industry experts:

Following the publishing of Lord Cullen's recommendations, the PSG set about thinking how we could get the rail industry and the government to implement these recommendations. On 11th December 2001, the PSG set up an event where the rail industry signed our Rail Summit Document. (132k pdf)

Stephen Byers, Opposition Politicians, Railtrack, SRA, Train Operating Companies and the Trade Unions all signed up to the declaration.

The PSG are monitoring the progress of the recommendations as set out in the summit document, and we will issue press releases to inform the public how the industry is doing, good and bad, regularly.

  • We very much see ourselves as informed members of the public.
  • We are well informed as we have experienced the horrible experience of a train crash – something that only those directly involved can really understand.
  • We take care to research any statement we make and we look at issues as to what we feel is fair and reasonable.
  • We are all members of the public – brought together because we caught a particular train.
  • We have no political affiliations, we do not want to become rail industry experts.
  • We simply want to see what is right being done and look at the ensuing issues with a more open minded and common sense attitude – something that may be hard for those directly involved in the railway system to do.
This site is designed and maintained by a survivor.
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