Stonehaven train crash: Taskforces to probe weather impact on railways

Network Rail has launched two independent task forces in response to the Stonehaven crash.

Emergency services inspect the scene following the derailment of the ScotRail train which cost the lives of three people. Picture: Ben Birchall WPA Pool/Getty Images
Emergency services inspect the scene following the derailment of the ScotRail train which cost the lives of three people. Picture: Ben Birchall WPA Pool/Getty Images

Former Met Office chief scientist Dame Julia Slingo will lead a review into the impact of heavy rainfall on the railway.

This will consider how data can be used to ensure future engineering decisions take local weather factors into account, as well as Network Rail’s use of forecasting and weather monitoring technology.

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The review will also examine the extent to which the Government-owned rail infrastructure management company has explored real-time weather recording.

Lord Robert Mair, emeritus professor of civil engineering at the University of Cambridge, will meanwhile spearhead an earthworks taskforce investigating the management of railway cuttings and embankments.

This will look at past incidents, latest technologies and best practice from across the globe.

Driver Brett McCullough, 45, conductor Donald Dinnie, 58, and passenger Christopher Stuchbury, 62, died when the 6:38am Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street train crashed into a landslide across the tracks near Stonehaven on 12 August following heavy rain. Six other people were injured.

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: “This is a stark reminder that we must never take running a safe railway for granted.”

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