During the 1800s, Britain's rail network absolutely flourished. As this mode of transport generally delivered items faster than alternatives such as stagecoaches and canal boats, businesses greatly benefited from these locomotives. Moreover, as this service was largely inexpensive, many working and middle-class families could afford to go on day trips to locations including beaches and the countryside – something which they might have previously been unable to do.
By the 1860s, British rail companies employed more than 100,000 individuals and, although there were a number of problems along the way – such as economic austerity during World War II and the arrival of the motor vehicle – the industry continued to flourish until it resembled the system we have today.
These days, numerous commuters, individuals and tourists use Britain's train network. For example, between 2011 and 2012, 94,045,510 people passed through Waterloo station, while 76,231,290 entered or exited through Victoria's doors.
The train network in Britain shows no sign of slowing down, possessing a colourful history which is still being written. However, although it has benefited many people in the past, it also has a damaging legacy – asbestos.
Asbestos and trains
Extensively used throughout the 20th century, asbestos was a widely popular building material often utilised for its heat-resistant and insulating properties. Sadly, many individuals did not realise it posed a risk to human health. For example, if asbestos is disturbed or damaged, this action may cause fibres to be released into the air. Once these are inhaled, individuals could go on to develop a number of conditions, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis.
Although steam locomotives were largely phased out during 1968, manufacturers often used asbestos during the construction process. Typically, this material could be found amongst:
- Brake or piston cylinders
- Floor tiles
- Ceiling parts
- Electrical panels
While those who worked on these trains might have been exposed to asbestos fibres, it has been claimed that steam locomotives in museums could also present a danger. Potentially, these machines might be on display with their original components in place – with asbestos still inside.
Individuals have since been prohibited from using, supplying, or importing this material. However, as asbestos-related diseases can become apparent up to 60 years after a person's initial exposure, those who previously worked for the train network could suffer adverse affects later in life.
Claiming asbestos compensation through Seth Lovis & Co
If you have developed an asbestos-related disease while working for the rail industry, you may be entitled to claim asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma compensation through Seth Lovis & Co.
Our team of solicitors possess a substantial amount of experience in this subject area and should be able to confirm whether or not your claim is likely to be successful.
Please complete an online enquiry form or call us today on 0370 218 4025 to find out more information about obtaining asbestos compensation.