MORE than 100 passengers and crew escaped injury when two trains hit landslides in separate incidents as torrential rain soaked parts of Scotland earlier today.
The conditions brought disruption for drivers from flooded roads. An amber severe weather warning was issued for the Central Belt, with Fife and Stirling among areas worst affected. However, forecasters offered the prospect of better conditions ahead, and organisers of this weekend’s Big Tent and Wickerman festivals were optimistic they would escape downpours.
In the first landslide, an Oban-Glasgow train carrying 66 passengers and three crew hit a small landslip at “low speed” beside Loch Awe in Argyll, between Oban and Crianlarich, at about 1:30pm, Network Rail said.
The four-carriage ScotRail train was not derailed, but the single-track line was blocked, a mile east of Falls of Cruachan station. The passengers were moved to rear half of the train, which returned to Oban.
The crash happened near where a boulder derailed a train two years ago. In both incidents, the landslides happened below the level of a tripwire system designed to warn of rockfalls.
Less than three hours later, the front carriage of an Edinburgh-bound ScotRail train carrying 30 passengers and two crew derailed but remained upright when it hit a landslide between Dunfermline and Rosyth in Fife at 4:10pm. The incident happened just west of the Pitreavie Business Park.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “Engineers are on site at both locations and will work to restore services for passengers as quickly as possible.
“Sustained and heavy rainfall can change local ground conditions very quickly, causing this type of incident.”