Network Rail has been fined #4 million for "systemic and unacceptable" safety failures leading to the Paddington train crash which killed 31 people and injured more than 400.
The disaster, likened to a "senseless and unnecessary" terrorist attack, occurred against a background of what the judge described as "incompetent management and inadequate process".
Its "catalogue of failures" spanned several years and flowed from "the culture at the top" of the company, London’s Blackfriars Crown Court heard.
They culminated in the tragedy early one autumn morning in 1999.
Shortly after leaving Paddington station, a local Thames train passed a partially-obscured red light and smashed head-on with a closing speed of 130mph into a London-bound First Great Western express near Ladbroke Grove.
The first carriage of the intercity express, in which six passengers died, burst into flames almost immediately.
Twenty-four others - on the Thames Train - were also killed.
The two drivers were among the deaths.
The many injured included author Jilly Cooper - who had to be pulled from the wreckage - and badly-burned Pam Warren, whose masked face became a symbol of the crash.
Network Rail, successor to Railtrack and the body in existence at the time, admitted breaching the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act between January 1 1995 and October 5 1999.