THE train derailment which caused chaos to passengers between Dundee and Aberdeen may have been caused by an object deliberately placed on the tracks, British Transport Police (BTP) revealed today.
The incident shortly before 10am on Sunday, at Inverkeilor, between Arbroath and Montrose, caused two days of disruption, with the driver of the CrossCountry train involved suffering a minor head injury.
BTP said officers had found an obstruction at the scene - that they declined to identify - which they believed had been placed there deliberately.
Detective Inspector Kevin McCormack said: “Fortunately, no-one was seriously injured during the incident and we now believe that the object found at the scene of the derailment must have been put there intentionally by someone.
“I am therefore anxious to speak with anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area of Inverkeilor between Saturday night and Sunday morning.”
The front carriage of the 8:04am Edinburgh to Aberdeen train came off the tracks but remained upright. None of the 36 passengers were injured.
Kevin Lindsay, Scottish officer of the train drivers’ union Aslef, condemned the “callous and cowardly” attack on the train.
He said: “It was only good fortune that the train remained upright. We could have been talking about a common vandal deliberately inflicting a major loss of life.”
Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said rail safety should be taught in all schools.
He described trespass on the track and hurling missiles at trains, causing the risk of murdering train drivers and passengers, as “an endemic sickness in our society”.
Mr Whelan said: “An understanding of the dangers and potential tragedies on railway lines at a young age is vital. It needs to be embedded in our young people.
“We can’t simply say that whoever did this is a wicked person and leave it at that. It is not one person. It is not an isolated accident, and it would be wrong to treat it as such.”
“Whoever did this must be tracked down and punished. But that is not enough. We need to educate to prevent as well.”
Network Rail Scotland route managing director David Simpson said he is “shocked and angry” the derailment may have been a deliberate act.