The press has made much of the part played by seemingly tough Pendolino trains in reducing the death rate at the Cumbria derailment (NCE 8 March).
Engineers will be more sceptical, knowing it is virtually impossible to design anything to withstand heavy masses travelling at high speeds.
The survival rate of soft humans coming to a very rapid halt inside a metal box (such as a falling lift) is also not improved by the rigidity of the box.
Unbreakable indows may be given credit, but in a different scenario could have impeded escape from re.
Accidents, by denition, are random events and casualties depend largely on what immoveable objects the vehicle hits before coming to a halt.
Hopefully the points problems can be sorted out before such a grisly theory can be tested in less fortunate terrain.
Dr Stuart Nisbet (M), stuart. nisbet@paisley. ac. uk