Railways: Landslips

Department for Transport written question – answered on 9th September 2020.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps he has taken to help prevent landslips occurring on the UK's railways.

Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps he has taken to prevent incidents similar to the Stonehaven derailment.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The House will be aware of the tragic derailment of a passenger train at Carmont near Stonehaven in Scotland on 12 August 2020, which led to the deaths of driver Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and passenger Christopher Stuchbury, and caused injuries to six other passengers. I would like to express my sincerest condolences to the families affected by this incident.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is currently investigating the circumstances that led to the derailment. The RAIB’s safety investigation will be undertaken in parallel with the industry’s own investigation and with the investigation instructed by the Lord Advocate, which will be carried out by Police Scotland, the British Transport Police and the Office of Rail and Road.

The RAIB will be working to identify the immediate and underlying causes of the incident as part of its ongoing safety investigation, and will be developing recommendations for the industry on how to reduce the risk of landslips and earthwork failures in the future, so that we can prevent harm coming to rail passengers and rail employees alike.

In conjunction with this investigation, the Secretary of State has commissioned Network Rail to carry out an immediate review into the resilience of assets on the national network. Network Rail’s report is expected to be published imminently.

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