The Sunday Post (Inverness)

Cross-country services cancelled after train derails in Highlands

- By Craig Mcdonald cmcdonald@sundaypost.com The derailed train at Dalwhinnie

Cross-country rail services were cancelled yesterday after a train on an overnight test run derailed in the Highlands.

The line between Perth and Inverness was closed after the accident involving High Speed Train (HST) rolling stock near Dalwhinnie station at 3am yesterday.

Crash investigat­ors were deployed to the scene and it is understood the line is not expected to fully reopen until later today at the earliest. Services from Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street to Inverness terminated at Pitlochry and restarted at Aviemore as a result. Scotrail said passengers should use Citylink buses if travelling between Perth and Inverness.

The affected train was not in passenger service and no injuries were reported. Scotrail declined to say if anyone other than the driver was onboard at the time.

An image posted online showed what appeared to be the stranded train stuck on ballast between the two sets of rails of the double line track. The rails appeared to be damaged a short distance away at a pedestrian crossing point. Scotrail has operated a fleet of HSTS, originally built between the late 1970s and early 1980s, under the name Inter7city after acquiring 26 refurbishe­d sets of the trains around three years ago. They have been in use on services from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Aberdeen and Inverness, as well as between Aberdeen and Inverness. An Inter7city HST was involved in the Stonehaven derailment in which three people died last year. HST sets comprise a power car at either end with passenger carriages in between.

The Rail Accident Investigat­ion Branch said yesterday: “We are deploying inspectors to gather evidence following the derailment of a test train at Dalwhinnie on the Highland Line in Scotland. The train consisted of a short-form HST that was travelling south when the last two vehicles derailed in proximity to points.”

Scotrail said: “Due to an overnight issue at Dalwhinnie, we’re currently unable to run services between Perth and Inverness, in both directions. There will be replacemen­t bus services for those making essential journeys. Customers should check our website, app and social media channels for the latest arrangemen­ts before they travel.”

A spokespers­on for National Rail said: “A train derailed at Dalwhinnie resulting in all lines being closed between Perth and Inverness. Disruption is expected until the end of tomorrow, Sunday. Trains are unable to run between Perth and Inverness and LNER trains will not run between Edinburgh and Inverness.”

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