Stonehaven rail line reopens today three months after fatal crash

ScotRail reopens the train line between Aberdeen and Dundee today after the completion of major track repairs following a derailment in August which killed three people.

Repairs at the crash site included 500m of new track. Picture: Network Rail
Repairs at the crash site included 500m of new track. Picture: Network Rail

After the deadly crash, Network Rail undertook a ‘complex’ repair operation working ‘around the clock’ to get the line back up and running.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has thanked all those involved in the recovery and repair operations.

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The driver, a conductor and a passenger died when the Aberdeen to Glasgow service derailed near Stonehaven on August 12 after heavy rain.

Train derailment near Stonehaven.

An update from the UK Department for Transport’s rail accidents investigation branch (RAIB) said the train was at a standstill at Carmont, four miles south of Stonehaven, for more than two hours after being halted by a signaller at 6:59am. After being given permission to travel, the service hit a landslip about 1.4 miles north-east of Carmont.

The wrecked train was not moved for a month until detailed examination of the carriages by police and the RAIB was complete.

Repairs to the site involved replacing more than 500m of damaged track, 70m of bridge parapet and relaying 400m of telecommunication cables.

The rail embankment was rebuilt with drainage and flood defences improved above and below the line.

A 900m road and temporary bridges were built over farmland to provide access for a 600 tonne crane to lift the carriages.

An interim report by the RAIB said a drain carrying water from land above the line had washed rocks and gravel onto the tracks.

It said the train was travelling at nearly 73mph, close to the 75mph speed limit for that stretch of line, when it derailed.

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