Derailed train to be lifted from tracks in coming days

Three people died when the train left the rails in Aberdeenshire.

Derailed train to be lifted from tracks in coming days STV News

The train which derailed near Stonehaven – killing three people – will be lifted from the tracks in the coming days.

Network Rail’s work to reopen the railway will begin this week, as it begins to recover the carriages involved in the crash.

ScotRail driver Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and passenger Christopher Stuchbury died after the train struck a landslip and derailed on Wednesday, August 12.

Engineers will use a 600-tonne crawler crane to carefully lift the carriages over several days.

Once this stage is complete, they will be able to assess the extent of repairs needed for the tracks and bridge.

Until those inspections are complete, they won’t know when the line can reopen.

Crash: The train derailed near Stonehaven on August 12.Newsline

A 900-metre road and temporary bridges have been built over the surrounding farmland to take the specialist lifting equipment to the site.

Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, said: “August 12 was a devastating day with the loss of Brett, Donald and Christopher in this tragic accident.

“While we will now begin the process of recovering the carriages and repairing the railway, we do so with a heavy heart.

“We will continue to work closely with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) throughout this recovery process so we can learn from this terrible event and help prevent similar accidents.”

Transport secretary Michael Matheson visited the site on Monday.

He said: “My thoughts continue to remain with the family and friends of those affected by this tragic incident.

‘August 12 was a devastating day with the loss of Brett, Donald and Christopher in this tragic accident.’

Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway.

“I’m here today to understand the scale of the work being undertaken and to show my, and the Scottish Government’s, continued support for those involved in the investigation, recovery and service restoration.

“The RAIB investigation will ensure that any safety lessons are learned quickly and I will be interested to hear what comes of this and how Network Rail can take these forward in the future.

“An investigation of this type is so comprehensive and it will now take time to restore the site of the incident so rail services can be reintroduced as soon as possible.

“As we move towards the recovery phase and given the scale of this enormous challenge I would like to thank all those involved for their efforts undertaken at the site.”

ScotRail is operating a shuttle service between Aberdeen and Stonehaven to keep customers in the north east moving.

The service calls at Aberdeen, Portlethen and Stonehaven, with some services extended to start or terminate at Inverurie or Dyce. A replacement bus service remains in place between Dundee and Stonehaven.

Cross-border operators are also running a replacement bus service between Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

After the incident on August 12, Network Rail introduced a range of additional safety measures.

Hundreds of sites nationwide with higher-risk trackside slopes, similar to that of the one near Stonehaven, were inspected.

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