Network Rail has been fined £1m after admitting health and safety breaches following the deaths of Olivia Bazlinton and Charlotte Thompson at an Essex level crossing.

Friends Olivia, 14, and Charlotte, 13, were hit by a train as they crossed the railway line at Elsenham station on 3 December 2005.

Judge David Turner QC also ordered Network Rail to pay £60,000 costs.

The company pleaded guilty to three charges of breaching health and safety laws at Chelmsford crown court in January.

Olivia's father, Chris Bazlinton, said that the admission by Network Rail proved his family "have been lied to over the years".

David Higgins, chief executive for Network Rail, said at the original hearing: "On behalf of Network Rail I apologise for the mistakes made by us in this tragic case that contributed to the deaths of Olivia and Charlotte.

"Nothing we can say or do will lessen the pain felt by Olivia and Charlotte's families but I have promised the families that we will make level crossings safer, and we will deliver on that promise

"Fundamental changes to the way we manage and look after the country's 6,500 level crossings have, and are being made. In recent years we have reassessed all of our crossings and closed over 500. There is still much to do and we are committed to doing what is necessary to improve our level crossings."

Higgins waived his right to a bonus in February insisting the money would go on to improve rail safety.