Stonehaven Rail Disaster: ScotRail remembers three train victims on crash anniversary ahead of minute’s silence

ScotRail has pledged to send “love and support to everyone” affected by the Stonehaven rail disaster on the first anniversary of the crash.

Three people were killed, and six others injured, when the 6.38am Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street train crashed into a landslide across the tracks just outside the Aberdeenshire town at 9.37am on August 12, 2020.

In an online statement on Thursdat morning ScotRail said: “Today marks a year since train driver Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and passenger Christopher Stuchbury tragically lost their lives in the derailment near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire.

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“We will come together as Scotland’s Railway family to send our love and support to everyone, particularly the loved ones of the deceased, who have been affected by the tragedy.”

It added: “We will never forget.”

The statement came as the train drivers’ union Aslef announced its members would mark a year since the derailment with a minute’s silence.

The train drivers’ union Aslef said the ScotRail derailment, which claimed three lives on August 12 last year, would be silently reflected upon by workers on Thursday morning.

Further tributes include a private memorial service for their families being held at Stonehaven Station – the nearest to the crash site – where wreaths will be laid.

A carriage is lifted by a giant 600 tonne crane from the scene at the train derailment in September last year. (Photo by Derek Ironside - Pool/Getty Images)

Network Rail’s interim report on the crash found the train “struck a pile of washed-out rock and gravel before derailing”.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has said there was “near-continuous heavy rain” in the area between around 5.50am and 9am on the day of the crash, which caused “significant flooding”.

The 51.5mm of rain that fell in this period was almost 75 per cent of the monthly total in Aberdeenshire in an average August.

But it was “dry and sunny” when the derailment happened at 9.37am.

The 6.38am service from Aberdeen to Glasgow was returning towards Aberdeen at the time of the accident due to the railway being blocked.

It was travelling at around 73mph – below the maximum permitted speed of 75mph for that section of track – when it struck the debris and derailed to the left, destroying a bridge barrier.

A final RAIB report is expected in the autumn.

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