Six railway workers and the two companies they work for made their first court appearance yesterday to face charges of manslaughter following the Hatfield rail crash.
Six more people were also in court to face allegations of breaking health and safety laws.
The six charged with manslaughter are Charles Pollard, 45, director of Railtrack's north-east London zone; Alistair Cook, 50, infrastructure contracts manager for Railtrack in the same region; Sean Fugill, 50, the area asset manager for Railtrack; Anthony Walker, 46, regional director for Balfour Beatty; Nicholas Jeffries, 53, civil engineer for Balfour Beatty; and Keith Lea, 53, a track engineer for Railtrack.
They appeared before magistrates in St Albans, Hertfordshire, and are due to reappear in a week.
Railtrack and Balfour Beatty Rail Infrastructure Services, the rail maintenance firm in charge of the upkeep of track, face charges of corporate manslaughter.