*DEVELOPING STORY – This is a developing story updates will appear as new information becomes available*.
On the 12th of August 2020 Scot rail’s 1T08, the 0638 Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street derailed near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire. The train involved was Scotrail HST set HA22 in a 2+4 formation (2 power cars and 4 MK3 carriages) consisting of 43140–40622–42007–42564–42145–43030. The train was carrying nine people in a total of six passengers and three crew.
Overnight the area was hit by a storm, which brought high winds and heavy rain to the area. The next morning Network Rail released a video showing flooding near to the location where the train derailed. This part of the network has been suffering from mudslide as far back as 2002. It is on a “watch list” of sites which had been greatly affected by earth slips. The train was travelling southbound towards Glasgow when the driver saw a landslip which he reported before turning back north and crossing over from the Southbound to the Northbound line at Carmont.
At around 08:40GMT (09:40 Local time) 1T08 is believed to of encountered another landslip. Which resulted in all but the rear power car 43030 derailing.
Images show what looks to be the remains of 43140 the leading power car almost wholly burned out due to a fire which broke out after the incident.
The MK3 carriages were scattered all over the line with one laying on its side down the embankment. Another laying across the tracks inverted. The last two carriages laying on top of the inverted one across the tracks. One of the carriages which were on top of the carriage laying across the track also ended up inverted.
A major incident was declared by the British Transport Police who were informed at 0843GMT (09:43 local time). In total, around 30 emergency service vehicles were involved in the rescue operation, 12 of which were fire engines and the rest made up of ambulances helicopters and other specialist teams who attended the scene.
In total there were 6 injuries onboard which were treated in hospital sadly three people passed away this included both the driver and the conductor and one passenger.
Lewis Macdonald Labour MSP for North East Scotland said he is a regular user of the service and that “It’s difficult to second guess judgements. But it’s going to be relevant to everyone affected to know why decisions were made and when.
The RMT union’s Mick Lynch said: “The facts behind this incident will need to be established in due course. However, at this stage, we are focused on support and assistance. Our thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragedy.”
Kevin Lindsay, Scotland organiser for the Aslef train drivers union, said: “Our thoughts tonight are with all those who died, and who were injured, in the tragic accident.
“While it is too early to speculate about the causes of the crash, it would seem that the appalling weather conditions in the area. – The torrential rain – resulted in a landslip which, in turn, caused the train to derail.”
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is now on-site and have opened an investigation into the incident. They are working alongside the British Transport Police, the Office of Rail and Road and Scotrails own investigation team to find the cause of the derailment as soon as possible.
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