Investigation launched into Flying Scotsman crash

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An investigation has been launched into the Flying Scotsman crash which left two people in hospital last month.

60103 Flying Scotsman was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and was built in 1923. This was the first Steam Locomotive in the UK to reach 100mph. In 2023 Flying Scotsman is celebrating its centenary. Photo taken at the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex in August 2023.

RAIB has launched an investigation into the crash, which saw the locomotive collide with a set of stationary Belmond’s Royal Scotsman passenger carriages at Aviemore Station in the Highlands on the evening of September 29.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said the crash happened at about 7mph and injured “a number of passengers and staff”, with one passenger and one staff member being taken to hospital.

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Inspectors said there was no derailment, but the some damage was caused to the rail vehicles involved.

Heritage company Strathspey Railway owns the section of the station on which the crash happened.

Police Scotland said previously the two people were taken to hospital as a “precaution” and, as no criminality was established, it had referred the matter to the RAIB.

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Flying Scotsman tours were cancelled for a week following the crash and resumed on Saturday October 7, after the locomotive was passed as fit for main line operation following a mechanical inspection.

The RAIB said in a statement: “Our investigation will seek to identify the sequence of events leading up to the accident.”

The extent and type of any injuries and damage caused, and how this occurred, will be examined, as will the actions of those involved and the “training and competence” of the railway management staff.

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Investigators will also consider the type of operation in use when the crash happened and the policies and procedures in place for managing this as well as any underlying management factors.

The statement continued: “Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry or by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.

“We will publish our findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of our investigation.”

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Police Scotland said previously the two people were taken to hospital as a “precaution” and, as no criminality was established, it had referred the matter to the RAIB.

Flying Scotsman tours were cancelled for a week following the crash and resumed on Saturday October 7, after the locomotive was passed as fit for main line operation following a mechanical inspection.


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