I think what this helps to highlight is the lack of understanding by the public of the principles of railway signalling. Most people think it's like a road trffic light where you can be approaching a green signal which changes to amber/red in front of you.
I am not for one moment reducing the effect the (Cat B SPAD) event had on the driver but I'm not sure it's realistic to expect the general public to be interested in how signaling works. I think if you tried to explain the principles of it to alot of travellers their eyes would just glaze over!
Trains are however driven by drivers who do
understand the principles of railway signalling and allowance has to be made for events like this. Getting a red signal in your face at 125mph is quite a start to the system. Many things pass through the mind in the minute or so it takes the train to grind to a halt with the brake in emergency and possibly the emergency plunger operated as well. Better for the passengers to arrive a little late while the driver is met, assessed and if neccessary replaced instead of having the driver fidgeting their way to London at 125mph thinking about the incident and possibly distracting themselves to the extent where much greater issues arise. I do get a little weary when people say that 'This is so when I am driving my car around the town, it should be so on the railway' to be honest.
“People were surprised that the train was delayed further at Swindon, because we’d been told the train should be able to move forward at normal speed from there.
“Some of us were astonished to hear that the driver had to be assessed to see whether he was fit to continue. It sounded as if there was concern he could have been traumatised by the delay.
What a bunch of clarts....