Stonehaven derailment scene. Photo: Network Rail

Railway line reopens after fatal derailment near Stonehaven

Stonehaven derailment scene. Photo: Network Rail
Photo: Network Rail

The railway line between Aberdeen and Dundee has reopened almost three months after a crash near Stonehaven which claimed three lives.

It had been shut since August 12, when a ScotRail service derailed near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire after striking a landslip following heavy rain.

Driver Brett McCullough, 45, conductor Donald Dinnie, 58, and passenger Christopher Stuchbury, 62, died in the crash.

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

The incident caused extensive damage to the track, a bridge, embankments and drainage systems.

Network Rail engineers have been working round the clock since the crash, initially supporting accident investigators before beginning work in September to recover the derailed train carriages and repair and reopen the railway.

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On Tuesday morning, Network Rail tweeted: “We can confirm that the line between Aberdeen & Dundee has now reopened.

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“Thank you to all passengers and lineside neighbours for the understanding you’ve shown during this time.”

Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, tweeted: “A poignant day today as we remember Brett, Donald and Christopher.”

The repair work included replacing more than 500 metres of damaged track and 70 metres of bridge parapets, and re-laying 400 metres of telecoms cables.

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Drainage systems and flood defences have been repaired and enhanced, while the railway embankment beneath the crash site has been rebuilt.

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Sam Hewitt

Let off some steam...