UK News Flood-risked parts of rail network to be inspected after train derailment
Scotland: Investigators confirm derailed train hit landslide
LONDON (AP) — A passenger train hit a landslide before derailing in Scotland earlier this week, killing three people, U.K. rail investigators confirmed Friday. A train track obstruction had been suspected of playing a role in Wednesday’s derailment near the coastal town of Stonehaven, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of Edinburgh, because it happened after heavy rain and flooding in the area. “Thankfully, fatal derailments are a rare occurrence on the U.K.’s national network,″ Simon French, chief inspector of rail accidents, said.
Inspections are to be carried out across parts of the country’s rail network deemed at risk of flash flooding to avoid a repeat of Wednesday’s train derailment in Aberdeenshire.
Network Rail will inspect trackside slopes as part of a Government-ordered review after a landslip during heavy rain and flooding is suspected to have played a part in the incident near Stonehaven.
The move was announced as the family of Brett McCullough, who was one of three people to die in the derailment, paid tribute to the 45-year-old train driver.
Train driver and conductor dead and six injured in train derailment
The 6.38am Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service crashed on Wednesday morning amid heavy rain and flooding. BTP said those injured have been taken to hospital and are not thought to be seriously hurt, adding they believe all passengers have now been accounted for.Chief superintendent Eddie Wylie said: “This is a tragic incident and first and foremost our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have very sadly died this morning.“We remain on scene alongside our emergency service colleagues and a major incident operation has been under way.
In a statement, they said: “Words cannot describe the utterly devastating effect of Brett’s death on his family and friends.
“We have lost a wonderful husband, father and son in the most awful of circumstances.
“Brett was the most decent and loving human being we have ever known and his passing leaves a huge void in all our lives.”
The train’s conductor Donald Dinnie, 58, and 62-year-old passenger Christopher Stuchbury also died in the derailment with an inquiry into the causes of the crash launched by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch.
STONEHAVEN INCIDENT – UPDATE
The three people who died at the derailment incident have been formally identified and can be named as Brett McCullough (45) – Driver; Donald Dinnie (58) – Conductor; Christopher Stuchbury (62) – Passenger. More at:
UK engineers to examine slopes near tracks after derailment
LONDON (AP) — Britain's railway operator says inspectors will be examining track-side slopes after a passenger train derailed following heavy rain and flooding in Scotland, killing three people. Network Rail said Thursday that engineers, contractors and surveyors in helicopters are being dispatched to assess sites similar to the stretch of track where the train derailed near Stonehaven, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of Edinburgh and south of Aberdeen. © Provided by Associated Press Emergency services attend the scene of a derailed train in Stonehaven, Scotland, Wednesday Aug. 12, 2020.
— Police Scotland (@policescotland)
With dozens of emergency services still working at the scene – in better weather conditions – further evidence of the damage caused by the derailment could be seen, with one burned carriage strewn down the bank.
Fragments of a carriage could also be seen under another part of the train beside what appeared to be a carriage upside down.
Six other people were injured in the crash – four have since left Aberdeen Royal Infirmary while two remain in a stable condition.
Network Rail said it will use in-house engineers, specialist contractors and helicopter surveys to assess dozens of sites with “similar characteristics” to the stretch of railway near Stonehaven.
It will also work with meteorologists to strengthen the information it receives about flash flooding while its engineers are reviewing the remote monitoring of high-risk sites with motion sensors and CCTV to test whether it can be improved.
Stations fall silent a week on from Stonehaven rail tragedy
Three people died when the Aberdeen to Glasgow train crashed into a landslide across the tracks on Wednesday August 12. Six other people were injured.Stations fell silent at 9.43am on Wednesday, exactly one week after the derailment was reported. © Provided by PA Media The scene near Stonehaven after the derailment of the ScotRail train (Ben Birchall/PA) A wreath was laid at Aberdeen station, while Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Transport Secretary Michael Matheson attended the silence at Edinburgh Waverley station.
The measures are in response to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps ordering the rail infrastructure body to carry out an urgent resilience review of areas affected by recent poor weather, and issue a report this month.
The Cabinet minister, who travelled to Stonehaven on Thursday, has also requested a wider assessment of the impact of the weather on the entire rail network, resulting in an interim report by September 1 and a final analysis in the autumn.
Network Rail boss Andrew Haines joined Mr Shapps in a helicopter survey of the site on Thursday.
Mr Haines insisted he would “not pre-empt the outcome of the investigation” but said “it is clear the weather was appalling and there were floods and landslips in the area”.
He also said: “I have asked my teams to put extra measures in place, from immediate, heightened inspections, to medium-term work with meteorologists to improve information and forecasting.
“Our network was designed for a temperate climate and it’s challenged when we get extremes such as storms and floods.
“We’re seeing this more and more and although we can address them on the ground with precautionary measures, we are acutely aware we need a long-term resolution and we had already secured additional funding and resources to help achieve this.
'Reports of serious injuries' after passenger train derails in Aberdeenshire
The derailment of a passenger train in Aberdeenshire has seen a major incident declared following reports of serious injuries. Emergency services are responding to the "extremely serious" incident in Stonehaven after being called to the scene around 9.40am on Wednesday.Footage posted on social media showed smoke billowing above trees surrounding the railway line.A number of ambulances and a medical helicopter were pictured parked in a nearby field.The Scottish Ambulance Service said they had deployed six ambulances, special operations response teams, an air ambulance, and patient transport vehicles.
“Yesterday was a tragedy, a truly horrific event, and my thoughts remain with everyone affected.
“Understanding what happened is the key to making sure it never occurs again.”
A separate investigation will be carried out by Police Scotland, British Transport Police and rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, who also visited the crash site on Thursday, said: “They (Network Rail) are well aware of our views about the need to make sure that we are taking forward the right types of mitigations that help to manage a challenge of these types of localised, intense weather events.
“I think one of the things we will see what comes from the investigation is whether the pace of that type of mitigation work needs to be stepped up.
“That’s not just a challenge across Scotland, it’s across the whole of the UK.”
Crossrail hits the buffers AGAIN .
The new railway, from Berkshire to Essex via central London, was originally expected to open fully in December 2018, but repeated delays have pushed it back. The central section of Crossrail, running between Paddington and Abbey Wood, will be ready to open in the first half of 2022, its board has said.The further delay has been partly put down to the coronavirus pandemic, which saw construction paused on March 24 until it restarted on June 15. The update also confirmed that the construction may need up to £1.1billion more than the funding commitment made in December 2018.