During a visit to Stonehaven, Michael Matheson said: “I think it would be reasonable to presume, without unduly speculating, that weather had an impact in this particular incident.”
He added that adverse weather was increasingly having an impact on routes and a probe would reveal whether more mitigation works were needed.
He said: “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.”
How will it be investigated?
A joint investigation is being carried out by Police Scotland, British Transport Police and the Office of Rail and Road.
They will be under the direction of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
In parallel, an independent safety investigation is being carried out by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB).
The branch said it has sent a team of inspectors to the site of a derailment near Stonehaven.
He said: “Full investigations tend to take up to a year or more because they’ll want to be very careful to make sure that they reach the right conclusions but there might be some very quick lessons learnt from this.”
Timeline of tragedy
6.38am: The Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street service departs on time.
6.53am: The service calls at Stonehaven railway station.
7am: The train stops for a landslip between Stonehaven and Carmont railway stations.
9.30am: The train is held up for more than two-and-a-half hours before being moved onto the northbound track to be sent back to Stonehaven.
Shortly after this, the train hit a landslide.
9.38am: A member of the public dials 999 to alert the emergency services.
9.43am: Police Scotland are notified.
11.15am: The multi-agency response – including the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), Scottish Ambulance Service, Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance and HM Coastguard – are pictured working at the scene.
3.30pm: NHS Grampian sets up a help centre at Midstocket Parish Church in Aberdeen for family and friends impacted by the crash.
4.15pm: British Transport Police (BTP) confirm three people died. It was later revealed the fatalities included the train driver and conductor, named locally as Brett McCullough and Donald Dinnie.
8.17pm: The Queen sends a message of condolence, following on from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s statements.
8am: The investigation into the fatal crash begins.
8.29am: The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service reveals four firefighters were injured while dealing with the incident.
9.20am: Colleagues pay tribute to train driver Mr McCullough.
12pm: Network Rail confirms it is to carry out detailed inspections of high-risk trackside slopes with similar characteristics to that of the crash site.
12.30pm: Network Rail boss Andrew Haines visits the scene, following on from Scottish Government transport secretary Michael Matheson’s visit. Mr Haines pledges immediate action over the derailment.
12.35pm: The Crown Office confirms a joint investigation by Police Scotland, BTP and the Office of Rail and Road is under way – in parallel to an independent probe by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB).
1pm: Transport secretary Grant Shapps meets with emergency workers at the site of the derailment.
4.59pm: NHS Grampian confirms four patients have been discharged from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Two others remain in hospital, but in a stable condition.
6.20pm: Police Scotland confirm the name of the third victim as 62-year-old train passenger Chris Stuchbury.
The First Minister has paid tribute to all those who died during the Second World War on the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.
Nicola Sturgeon said people should be inspired by the “idealism” of those who fought in the war and commit to creating a “better, fairer and more peaceful world”.
Saturday marks 75 years since Japan surrendered to the Allied forces on August 15 1945, ending hostilities.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are due to take part in a private service of remembrance and thanksgiving and then lead a national two-minute silence at 11am in honour of those who lost their lives in the war.
The Red Arrows are also due to fly over Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London – the first time such a flight has taken place since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Scotland’s Veterans Minister Graeme Dey will join a number of former and serving members of the armed forces to observe a two-minute silence on the steps of St Andrews House, the Scottish Government building in Edinburgh.
Legion Scotland is holding an online service of remembrance and a concert.
Ahead of the anniversary commemorations, the First Minister said: “It was on this date in 1945 that the conflict in the Far East ended and World War Two came to a close.
“In marking the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, we remember everyone – the soldiers and civilians on all sides – who paid the ultimate price during the conflict.
“We think of those who served in the armed forces – from across Scotland, the UK, the Commonwealth and the other allied nations.
“We remember the pain and suffering of those who spent years in prisoner of war camps.
“And we reflect on all those who contributed to the war effort on the home front – and the sacrifices they made.
“So on this 75th anniversary, let us pay tribute to our World War Two generation.”
Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack added: “Today marks the 75th anniversary of VJ day, and our thoughts are with all those who made such huge sacrifices to secure our country’s freedom. Finally, the war was really over.
“The courage of those who fought and endured, so we are able to live freely, must never be forgotten.
“Today, we remember them, we honour them, and we thank them.”
Legion Scotland will be issuing medallions in honour of those who made a contribution to the war effort.
How soon is too soon? Just as Joe Aribo put Rangers 3-0 ahead against St Johnstone last weekend, fans on Twitter started talking about racking up the goal difference.
They weren’t talking about going top of the league on goal difference on Saturday night (though the score was enough to do that). Midway through matchday three supporters were already looking towards the end of 38 games and one team needing to better the other on goals scored.
Nobody really needs to reiterate how high the stakes are this season. Celtic is aiming for a record tenth successive title and Rangers are desperate to stop them.
One side will fail to hit their target and if it’s because they weren’t clinical enough then there will be no forgiveness from the stands. Maybe that’s why the Glasgow sides have spent upwards of £10m combined on three forwards in the last two weeks.
Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten have arrived at Ibrox and both have had a brief taste of action with a chance of more when Steven Gerrard’s side face Livingston on Sunday. Celtic’s new signing Albian Ajeti has a little time to settle in and get used to new surroundings as Celtic sit another game out.
Ajeti’s arrival brings another indication that Celtic will stop at nothing to continue their trophy run and it shows that Neil Lennon is intent on bringing fierce competition to every part of his team.
It also brings a neat symmetry to the front lines on either side of the battle that’s likely to determine the league winners.
Roofe and Itten come into Rangers squad to be weighed against the contributions of Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe. Ajeti will be introduced to fellow Celtic forwards Odsonne Edouard, Leigh Griffiths and Patryk Klimala, who joined in January and has played so few minutes he’s almost a new signing himself.
There’s a similar pecking order at both clubs, a similar striving for minutes and the possibility of a surfeit of choice for Gerrard and Lennon.
Both managers have shown a strong preference for a system with only one central striker and the position is occupied as it stands. Edouard is the jewel in Celtic’s crown, a generously gifted player who showed his value again and again and again with an opening day hat trick against Hamilton.
Over at Ibrox, Morelos had risen to fame as a prolific scorer and a talismanic presence since arriving from HJK Helsinki. A barren spell and criticism from his manager may have had some question his commitment and contribution but he showed again and again that he remains a dangerous and dependable finisher with a double against St Mirren.
Both seem assured of their place ahead of the new recruits barring a huge drop in form, a major change of system from the managers or a move to another club. Of the three, the latter seems most likely if not imminent.
Morelos has been linked with many sides and Lille reportedly made offers in recent weeks but Rangers insist he’ll go nowhere without a specific price being met. Celtic have shown no indication they want to part with Edouard at the start of a huge season but it’s inconceivable that his form hasn’t caught the attention of the scouts and analysts at Europe’s bigger clubs.
While the August signings might not cause sleepless nights for the main men in either side, their appearance writes a new future for Defoe and Griffiths. A veteran at 37 years old, Defoe arrived at Ibrox knowing he wouldn’t be first choice and the striker, currently injured, will probably have to accept fewer minutes even if he did show his enduring class at every opportunity last season.
Griffiths has had a troubled time, making a comeback from mental health problems to chip in with vital goals in the second half of last season, only to miss out on the start of this one with Lennon criticising him for his condition at one point. Both players have slipped from a position of alternate starter to likely fourth choice in a matter of months.
Klimala joined Celtic in January but was restricted to cameos as an experienced squad bore down on the title. He’s off the mark already with a goal against Hamilton and looks to have bulked up over summer but his fight to make a mark is now complicated with Ajeti on the scene.
All eight have different styles and qualities and Lennon and Gerrard will be happy to have a set of picks to choose from when they face the stubborn locks the Premiership can put in their way. But equally, each will have their own expectations and demands and a busy schedule still doesn’t provide enough minutes to keep everyone happy, even with five subs allowed per game now.
Every twist and turn in the title race will see the managers’ decisions scrutinised and none will be more visible than the way they deploy their attacking players.
The questions for each team’s front line mirror each other right now but things could change quickly. An irresistible bid for Morelos or Edouard before the transfer deadline could see players fighting to be second choice suddenly thrust into a position of prime responsibility.
Ajeti arrived this week as pure potential, able to find his place while Edouard take the spotlight. Roofe and Itten settle at Ibrox while Morelos continues to dominate headlines.
Edouard and Morelos may remain in place to take a starring role through to the conclusion of the season. But if Lennon and Gerrard’s new signings make their mark as best supporting actors then could have significant bearing on where the title goes.
A Red Arrows flypast over Edinburgh for VJ Day was cancelled due to cloudy weather.
The commemorations to mark 75 years since VJ Day were supposed to include the Red Arrows flying over Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London for the first time since the 2012 Olympic Games.
Hundreds of spectators were gathered in anticipation of the flypast that had been scheduled for approximately 11.30am.
However “low cloud outside of safety limits” in Edinburgh meant the pilots diverted to fly over Prestwick Airport, where they landed to refuel and met three veterans of WWII.
The Red Arrow’s Twitter account said: “Our aircraft have safely landed @GPAPassenger but, unfortunately, due to low cloud outside of safety limits at #Edinburgh, we could not carry out the flypast over the city.
“Weather particularly challenging in parts of the UK today – meaning this could impact plans.”
The three veterans who were greeted by the Red Arrows were 96-year-old Whitson Johnson, Albert Lamond, 94, and 93-year-old Bernard “Barney” Roberts.
Mr Johnson served in the RAF from 1942 to 1947, deciphering codes in support of the Fourteenth Army in the Far East and also spent time in Bombay, Calcutta, Chittagong, Hmawbi and Burma.
Royal Navy serviceman Mr Lamond served from 1943 to 1947 as a signalman.
He fought at Sword Beach during the D-Day campaign and was later attached to the Pacific fleet that joined with the American navy under the command of Admiral Halsey in the Far East.
Mr Roberts also served in the Royal Navy, from 1942 to 1947, initially serving on a minelayer to protect the Arctic convoys from German U-boats before fighting in Italy and North Africa.
A Scottish version of a classic David Bowie hit will be beamed up to astronauts on the International Space Station from the Mull of Kintyre music festival.
Space Oddity was performed by Slainte Davaar Allstars and recorded on a runway at Machrihanish Airbase, which is aiming to become the UK’s first spaceport.
With the help of Nasa, the performance is due to be broadcast to the astronauts as they orbit the earth.
Commander of the International Space Station (ISS) Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner have confirmed they will listen to the transmission on Saturday evening, according to the festival’s organiser.
Iain Johnston of JIG Events said: “The Mull of Kintyre music festival has encouraged people to visit Kintyre from all parts of the globe since its inception 28 years ago and we were naturally disappointed, like every other event organiser up and down the country, to have to cancel this year.
“However, what better way to turn it into a positive than to take our music interstellar?
“We hope the ISS astronauts enjoy their Scottish welcome just as much as we enjoyed making it.”
Another rendition of Space Oddity was famously recorded onboard the ISS itself by Commander Chris Hadfield in 2013, making history as the first music video to be created in space.
At the time, Bowie said it was “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created”.
Referencing the video, Mr Johnston said “as far as stage backdrops go, (Machrihanish Airbase) might not be quite as impressive as Chris Hadfield’s, but it’s still pretty unique.”