Simon French – 2020 Statement on Train Derailment in Scotland

The statement made by Simon French, the Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents, on 14 August 2020.

Following the tragic accident near to Carmont, my thoughts, and those of all of my colleagues at the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB), are with the families of the three people who lost their lives.

It’s the job of the RAIB, the UK’s independent rail accident investigation body, to identify the immediate and underlying causes of the accident, and to make safety recommendations to reduce the risk to the UK’s travelling public and rail employees alike.

Thankfully, fatal derailments are a rare occurrence on the UK’s national network. However, landslips and other earthworks failures remain a risk to trains that needs to be constantly managed – and this is becoming even more challenging for the rail industry due to the increasing incidence of extreme weather events.

We have an expert team at the site of the derailment who are gathering the evidence that is needed to understand what happened, and why. They share my determination to pursue every line of enquiry, to analyse the evidence, and to identify important safety learning.