Train services at Edinburgh Waverley back to normal as derailed train moved at last

RAIL services out of Edinburgh's Waverley station were finally due to return to normal today after a train was derailed on Wednesday.

The train was removed from the tracks close to Princes Street Gardens last night after the Rail Accident Investigation Branch concluded its on-site investigation amid claims a points failure had been to blame for the incident.

It was suggested that a malfunction of an automated system had caused points on the line to change as the final carriage of the derailed train was passing over. However, railway insiders denied a points failure had been to blame.

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Some early trains were still disrupted today, but ScotRail said all services were due to return to normal later.

Thousands of commuters saw their travel plans disrupted after the derailment, which happened around 6pm on Wednesday. And there was anger that the situation had not returned to normal sooner.

Masters student Jane Smith, 27, who lives in Bruntsfield and was hoping to travel to an interview in Carlisle yesterday, was among those delayed.

She said: "I think they have to be better prepared. I wish there were replacement buses running and then it wouldn't be ruining my whole day."

In 2007, another derailment disrupted services in and out of Edinburgh for more than three days as recovery and investigations took place.

One rail source, who did not want to be named, speculated that the points may have been to blame. He said: "Almost all of the train had passed over the points - there was no fault on the driver's part.

"There's an automated system that's supposed to do that when the train is completely passed over. It's extremely lucky nothing more serious happened."

No services operated in or out of Waverley via Princes Street Gardens after 9pm last night as engineers worked to remove the derailed train.

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Services to the west and north of Edinburgh started or terminated at Haymarket, with shuttle buses taking passengers on to the city centre.

Earlier, trains heading south to Carlisle were diverted via the South Suburban line through Newington and Morningside which has not been used for regular services for 50 years.

ScotRail apologised to customers for the inconvenience suffered since Wednesday evening. The company initially said services were not expected to be back to normal until tomorrow, but removal of the train was completed earlier than expected.

A ScotRail spokeswoman said: "We are pleased to be able to fully re-open all four affected rail lines a day earlier than originally advised. As a result most services are planned to run normally today."

A spokesman for the Office of Rail Regulation added: "We are working closely with Network Rail and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch to quickly establish the cause of the derailment to ensure a similar incident does not happen again."