British Transport Police say that the CrossCountry train derailment in Inverkeilor was caused by an obstruction that they believe was deliberately placed on the track. The object caused the front wheels of the train to come off the track at 9:45am on Sunday, but none of the 36 passengers on board were injured. The 49-year-old train driver, however, was treated for a minor injury to the head.
The derailment resulted in a major disruption to services for nearly two days. During the clean-up and investigation, First ScotRail was forced to run alternative services on Sunday and Monday due to the incident. The company operates most of the trains in Scotland and many of its services to Aberdeen were terminating at Dundee and replaced with bus services.
British Transport Police are saying that they believe the obstruction which derailed the train was placed on the track on purpose, but they wouldn’t identify what the object was. Tayside Police also joined the investigation, and high-profile patrols are being conducted in the area.
Detective Inspector Kevin McCormack says that it’s fortunate that no-one suffered serious injured in the incident. They now believe that the object discovered at the scene of the derailment was intentionally put there by someone. He’s anxious to talk with anyone who saw somebody acting suspiciously around Inverkeilor between Saturday night and the time of the derailment.
The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF), the union that represents train drivers, has made a call for railway safety lessons to be taught in schools. Mick Whelan, the general secretary, says that it’s vital children understand the dangers and potential tragedies that can happen on rail tracks. This needs to be established in young people.
Whelan added that whoever did this can’t just be named a wicked person and then the issue be left alone. It’s not only a single person or an isolated accident, and it wouldn’t be right to treat it like that. Whoever is responsible for the derailment needs to be found and punished. However, as this isn’t enough, everyone needs to be educated on the matter to prevent something else like this from happening again.
Kevin Lindsay, the Scottish officer for ASELF, says that it’s a miracle no passengers were injured during the incident. It was very fortunate that the train stayed upright, as this could have been a different story altogether – like a common vandal being responsible for purposely inflicting a major loss of life.
Meanwhile, train services were able to return to normal from early Tuesday. ScotRail confirmed they were operating a normal schedule from midnight. An incident vehicle was still at the scene of the derailment on Tuesday so that members of the public could pass on any information they believe could be relevant to the investigation. The Office of Rail Regulation and Rail Accident Investigation Branch have also been notified and launched a probe into the incident.