From Judge Bright's comments: "In reality...every pound of any fine will be one pound that cannot be spent on railway safety." http://www.thelawpages.com/cou...ructure-Ltd-6822-1.law
If Network Rail had put no measures in place to prevent deaths like this happening again then the situation would be very different. But hopefully anyone who has been anywhere near NR maintenance (since this incident in particular) will know that massive changes have been put in place. (I do not work for Network Rail, but I do work with their maintenance regimes, and I am far happier travelling by train now than I was in 2002.)
That is not to say that there were not individuals or organisations who some may consider more culpable in this case. However, they were not the ones in the dock.
So to answer the question: the fine means that a particular organisation was shown to have inherited responsibility from its predecessor for a series of senior organisational failings that occured 9 years ago with an almost or totally completely different senior management team.
Personally I would be far more interested in findings that show whether it is likely to happen again. Whether I would feel the same if I had lost a relative or friend in the crash is impossible to know for sure, I can only hope that I would.
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMIhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy
"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert