Stonehaven derailment: Minute's silence marks a week since crash killed three

19 August 2020, 09:02

Silence observed in Glasgow for Stonehaven victims

By Megan White

A minute's silence has taken place this morning to remember those involved in the Stonehaven train derailment in which three people died.

The moment was marked at all train stations in Scotland and others across the UK at 9.43am – exactly one week since the incident.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Transport Secretary Michael Matheson attended the silence at Edinburgh Waverley station while at Queen Street station in Glasgow dozens of staff and passengers took part.

Driver Brett McCullough, 45, conductor Donald Dinnie, 58, and passenger Christopher Stuchbury, 62, died when the Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street train crashed into a landslide across the tracks.

Six more people were injured in the incident last Wednesday.

Investigators said the train derailed and slid approximately 90 metres before hitting and destroying a barrier on the edge of a bridge, leading the front power car and one carriage to fall down an embankment.

The ScotRail train came off the tracks last Wednesday morning
The ScotRail train came off the tracks last Wednesday morning. Picture: Getty

Network Rail's management team and Huw Merriman, chairman of the Transport Select Committee, were at Waterloo Station to mark the event.

Conservative MP Huw Merriman, chairman of the Commons Transport Select Committee, said "lessons really need to be learned" about using trains in bad weather.

Speaking after the minute's silence, he said: "We have looked, over my five years, at rail safety, and I'm very conscious that we have one of the safest railways in Europe.

"But I'm also of the view that we mustn't rest on our laurels, and there's always more that can be done.

"I think lessons really need to be learned about using the trains when the weather just isn't suitable.

"But, don't want to jump to conclusions, the investigation will commence, (and) we'll obviously be all over it."

Tributes paid to train driver and conductor killed in Stonehaven derailment

He added: "I'm looking forward to speaking to the chief executive of Network Rail on Monday to discuss where we are."

On Tuesday evening, fire crew members and Fire Brigades Union (FBU) officials laid three bouquets of flowers at Aberdeen railway station on Tuesday as a mark of respect to the victims.

ScotRail's managing director Alex Hynes said: "Scotland's railway, and the railway across much of Britain, will fall silent on Wednesday to mark the passing of Brett, Donald and Christopher.

"Our hearts remain broken and will do for a long time.

"We hope that by coming together as a railway family, along with the local community and people across the country, we can support one another through this horrendous time.

"The strength of support and offers of help from railway colleagues across the rest of Britain has been a real source of comfort."

Denise Christie, FBU Scotland regional secretary, said: "What happened at Stonehaven was heartbreaking and we send our heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of those lost.

"This was a tragic incident that never should have happened.

"We have laid flowers in memory of the victims and will join our comrades in Aslef and RMT observing a minute's silence."

She added: "No-one should lose their life through their work.

"We have offered our support and assistance to those involved in this traumatic incident and will continue to support firefighters for as long as it takes."

Train derailment near Stonehaven: What we know so far

Four firefighters were injured after being struck by an apparently uncontrolled vehicle while responding to the incident.

Two were treated by ambulance services at the scene and a further two were taken to hospital after suffering an impact injury to an ankle and a laceration to the shoulder and head.

Both have since been released and neither's injuries are considered life-altering.

The FBU has sent a letter of condolences and solidarity to the Scottish branches of the RMT and Aslef unions.

It has also encouraged its members to observe the minute's silence.