Flying Scotsman: More disruption after collision at Scottish Highland station
Flying Scotsman passengers are facing further disruption following a slow moving collision at a Highland train station that left two people needing hospital treatment.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is now reviewing evidence of the “shunting incident” on the Strathspey Railway at Aviemore on Friday night. The collision came during an attempt to couple the Flying Scotsman locomotive with the carriages of the Royal Scotsman, which is operated by luxury travel firm Belmond.
A timetabled Royal Scotsman journey from Edinburgh yesterday was cancelled, with a carriage from the train loaded on to the back of a lorry at Aviemore in the morning.
Meanwhile, the National Railway Museum (NRM) in York, which owns the Flying Scotsman locomotive, regularly hailed as the world’s most famous locomotive and this year celebrating its centenary year, said further announcements about its operating calendar would be made once investigations were complete.
A statement from the museum said: “Following the shunting incident involving Flying Scotsman and the Royal Scotsman train carriages at Strathspey Railway on Friday, September 29, immediate action was taken by teams on the ground to alert the emergency services and prepare for a full investigation of the incident.
"Standard procedures are being followed to assess what happened during the incident and inspections are taking place by an independent investigator on behalf of Strathspey Railway, and the NRM’s collections and rail operations teams. In addition, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has been notified.
“The museum’s aim is to understand what happened and to determine if there is any damage to Flying Scotsman as its owner. We will make further announcements about Flying Scotsman’s operating calendar and future dates, once investigations are complete.
“The National Railway Museum wishes to thank the emergency services who attended the scene on Friday for their prompt response and to the staff and crew of the Strathspey Railway and the Royal Scotsman train.”
Flying Scotsman was scheduled to run passenger trips over the weekend, but the locomotive was withdrawn from service and will now undergo a full mechanical inspection.
Meanwhile, the Strathspey Railway, which operates the stretch of track where the collision occurred, said it was “reviewing its position” on its popular festive events given the “unfortunate” incident.
A man and a woman were taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness following the incident on Friday, but were later released following treatment for minor injuries.
A statement from Belmond said: “Our team of engineers conducted a preliminary assessment of the damage sustained to our carriages and following this assessment, we regret to inform that today’s journey of The Royal Scotsman, which was due to depart from Edinburgh, has been cancelled. All guests travelling on this journey have been contacted and offered alternative travel options.
“Our team is conducting a full review to understand the impact this may have on upcoming journeys, and we will be keeping our guests informed should there be the need for further cancellations.”
A spokesperson for the Rail Accident Investigation Branch said: “The RAIB is aware of the accident at Aviemore that occurred last week. We are reviewing available evidence and deciding what further action to take.”
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