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– Latest incident on the Glasgow-Oban line branded “predictable therefore preventable” following an earlier derailment

Patrick McGuire, PartnerAn Oban-bound train carrying 66 passengers and three crew struck a landslip causing severe disruption to services.

The 12.56pm train from Glasgow Queen Street hit a landslip between Oban and Crianlarich at around 1.30pm on Wednesday.

Worryingly, the incident occurred on the same stretch of line which saw a Scotrail train derail and burst into flames in 2010.

Lawyers state that this is no mere coincidence, and that the presence of soil and boulders on the line should have been identified and removed by Network Rail.

Thompsons Solicitors put the blame firmly at Network Rail’s door. Patrick McGuire, partner at Thompsons, comments:

“This latest incident shows that lessons still haven’t been learned despite the terrifying ordeal endured by passengers and crew during the 2010 accident.

“Network Rail has responsibility for maintaining a robust system to ensure their tracks are safe from foreseeable hazards. What happened on Wednesday was predictable therefore preventable.

“The accident happened as a result of ongoing failures in the way Network Rail discharge their duties. This can’t continue.”

The two-carriage train was carrying 64 passengers en route to Oban from Glasgow Queen Street on Sunday 6 June 2010 when it struck two large boulders which had come loose from the steep hillside next to the track shortly before 9pm, just west of Falls of Cruachan station in Argyll.

As the front carriage perched precariously over the A85 road below, battered and bruised passengers rushed to exit the train. A fire broke out and spread quickly along the carriages but was soon extinguished by those still aboard.

The Pass of Brander at Loch Awe was identified as a site of potential rock fall as far back as 1882, when a warning device was installed on the track to prevent trains from being struck.

The Victorian early-warning system was originally installed 20ft above where the rockslide occurred. Crucially, Network Rail did not consider extending the device’s coverage to the 50ft area below the device as they did not deem that area to be at risk of landslip.

A number of passengers have instructed Thompsons Solicitors following the accident to pursue Network Rail for their alleged negligence.

Network Rail had instructed de-vegetation and scaling works at the site, and these are due to complete in 2013/2014 at cost of £7m. The company claim that these works may not have identified or prevented the boulder from falling onto the line.

Network Rail’s insurers deny liability on the basis that the boulders dislodged as a result of natural processes.

Thompsons Solicitors represent a number of victims from the 2010 accident and have set up a helpline for anyone affected by the derailment: 0800 0891 331. 


NOTES TO EDITORS:To arrange comments from victims of the 2010 accident, or for further comments from Patrick McGuire, contact Tim Weir on 07974 262 997 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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