The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Drivers not told of speed limit at train crash site
Two trains were clocked speeding at 100mph on tracks where a 40mph emergency limit had been put in place in the wake of the Carmont crash.
The drivers who were at the helm when trains raced through the same area four months later, had not been told about the need to slow down by their superiors.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) launched an investigation into the incidents on December 4, between Portlethen and Laurencekirk.
A temporary maximum speed of 40mph had been enforced on the line over fears forecast rain may have caused a landslip.
Despite this, the two morning services – heading from Dundee to Inverness and Inverness to Edinburgh – hit speeds of 100mph.
Signs on the affected stretch were not used to inform drivers of the change, whose only brief was a printed notice as they booked in for work.
Carmont was within the stretch covered by the emergency limit.
The RAIB found that neither train driver on December 4 was aware of the emergency speed restriction and the speeding was only identified after a Network Rail signaller noticed “the relatively short time” trains took to pass through.
The report read: “Neither of the train drivers was aware of the emergency speed restriction at the time they drove their trains over the affected section.
“Lineside signage was not provided by Network Rail processes applicable to this type of speed restriction.
“After the overspeed, the method of working was changed so trains were stopped shortly before reaching the restricted area while signallers reminded drivers about the reduced maximum permitted speed.”
A Network Rail spokesman said they were working closely with the RAIB. He added: “We and ScotRail have looked into these incidents and have changed and strengthened our approach to implementing and keeping to speed restrictions.”