Aberdeen-Dundee rail line will reopen Tuesday

Scotlands Railway has announced that the Stonehaven railway line between Aberdeen and Dundee will be open again on Tuesday. The railway line has been shut since the derailment accident that occurred on August 12.

Carmont, near Stonehaven, was the location where the ScotRail Aberdeen-Glascw service had a landslip. The accident caused damage to the track, bridge, embankments and drainage systems, Sadly, there was the loss of the driver, conductor and one passenger. The accident investigation lasted till September.

Repair Rebuilt Replace

From September until the reopening the engineers have been working on the repair of the railway. They have built a new 900-metre road and temporary bridges. A replacement of over 500 metres of the damaged track and 70 metres of bridge parapets were carried out. 400 metres of telecoms cables have been relayed. The railway embankment beneath the accident site has been rebuilt. Furthermore, the drainage systems and flood defences were repaired and enhanced.

In order to keep passengers moving, ScotRail offered a replacement bus shuttle service between Aberdeen and Stonehaven and between Montrose and Edinburgh. A bus service was also included to operate between Aberdeen and Edinburgh in linking cross-border trains.

There was also an introduction of additional safety measures that were placed as a precautionary. An inspection was set to be carried out on hundreds of sites nationwide with higher-risk trackside slopes. Both in-house engineers and specialists contractors, with the help of helicopters, carried out surveys through-out the inspections.

Future Changes

There was also a launch of two taskforces, which were led by independent experts. Infrastructure manager Network Rail wants to find long-term responses to climate change and the challenges of maintaining earthworks (embankments and cuttings), which date back from the Victorian era. They already have invested in earthworks and drainage systems. So far the investment has increased from 550 million pounds between 2009 and 2014 to 1.3 billion pounds between 2019 and 2024.

Expert climatologist, Dame Julia Slingo FRS, has advised Network rail to better equip the infrastructure in case of rainfall with the latest developments in monitors, real-time observations and weather forecasting. The earthworks management taskforce led by Lord Robert Mair, CBE FREng, has been focusing on the improvement of Network Rail’s earthworks portfolio. The task force is studying the past incidents, the latest technologies/innovations and best practices that can be adapted from across the globe.

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Author: Sarah Chebaro

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