top of page

Passenger train derailment near Carmont, UK

An investigation into a passenger train derailment near Carmont, Aberdeenshire.


Photograph of derailment site, Carmont
Aerial photograph of derailment site

August 21, Carmont: The RAIB is investigating a fatal accident that occurred near Carmont on the national rail network in Scotland.


At around 09:38 hrs on Wednesday 12 August 2020, all six vehicles of a passenger train derailed after striking a landslip around 1.4 miles (2.25 km) north-east of Carmont, Aberdeenshire. There were nine people on the train at the time of the accident - three train crew (the driver, conductor and a second conductor travelling as a passenger on this train) and six passengers. Tragically, the driver of the train, the train’s conductor and one passenger suffered fatal injuries in the accident. The remaining passengers and member of the train crew were taken to hospital.


On the morning of 12 August, there were thunderstorms with associated heavy rain in southern Aberdeenshire. Weather records indicate that between 05:00 hrs and 09:00 hrs, around 52 mm of rain fell in the Carmont area. This is almost 75% of the total monthly rainfall (70 mm) for Aberdeenshire in an average August.


The site of the accident was approximately four miles (6.4 km) south-west of Stonehaven and 20 miles (32 km) north of Montrose, on the double-track mainline which runs between Dundee and Aberdeen. The train, which was operated by Abellio (trading as ScotRail), was a High-Speed Train set with a leading power car, four Mark 3 passenger coaches and a rear power car. It had originally been operating as train reporting number 1T08, the 06:38 hrs service from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street. Train 1T08 had departed on time from Aberdeen and then from Stonehaven, it's next scheduled stop.


After departing from Stonehaven, train 1T08 continued past Carmont on the up (southbound) line until it was stopped by the signaller at Carmont at 06:59 hrs, using a radio message. This was because the signaller had just received a report from the driver of train 2B13, which was on the down (northbound) line, that a landslip was obstructing the up line between Carmont and Laurencekirk.

Carmont Figure, Passenger train derailment near Carmont
Google Earth image showing locations

Train 1T08 stood south of Carmont for over two hours. Soon after 09:00 hrs, after the rain stopped, the skies cleared and by 09:30 hrs there was bright sunshine.


The northbound train (2B13) which had reported the landslip had been held at Stonehaven station because of reports of flooding between Stonehaven and Aberdeen. At 09:10 hrs, after its passengers had alighted, train 2B13 was moved a short distance forward to create space in the platform at Stonehaven. It was apparent that train 1T08 could not continue its journey south, and the decision was taken to run it to Stonehaven, to enable onward travel for the passengers. At 09:25 hrs train 1T08 was given permission to start moving north and was routed over a crossover at Carmont onto the down line. The signaller at Carmont cleared the signal for the train to proceed to Stonehaven, and the train continued north, passing over the crossover at 5 mph (8 km/h) at 09:36 hrs. Its speed increased, reaching 72.8 mph (117.1 km/h) after it had travelled for approximately 1.4 miles (2.25 km), which is within the maximum permitted speed for HSTs of 75 mph (120 km/h) on this stretch of line.


At around 09:38 hrs, the train struck a landslip covering the down line and derailed. As the track curved to the right, the train continued in a roughly straight line for around 77 yards (70 metres) until it struck a section of bridge parapet, which was destroyed. The leading power car continued most of the way over the bridge and fell from the railway down a wooded embankment, as did the third passenger carriage. The first passenger carriage came to rest on its roof, having rotated to be almost at right angles to the track. The second passenger carriage also overturned onto its roof and came to rest on the first carriage. The fourth passenger carriage remained upright and attached to the rear power car; it also came to rest on the first carriage. All wheelsets of the rear power car derailed, but it remained upright.

Investigation into a passenger train derailment near Carmont, Aberdeenshire, 12 August 2020
Aerial photograph of derailment site

In the area where the derailment occurred, on the left-hand side of the railway (in the direction of travel of the train) a slope rises steeply to a field which then slopes gently upwards away from the railway. A drain runs northwards along the lower edge of the field until it reaches an access chamber about 50 metres south of the landslip area, from where it runs diagonally down the steep slope, passing through two more access chambers until it reaches an outfall structure at a track level ditch which takes water northwards towards Carron Water. The drain running diagonally consists of a 450 millimetre (18 inches) diameter plastic pipe laid at the bottom of a trench. After the drain was installed, the trench was filled with gravel. Water flowing from the land above the railway washed some of this gravel onto the railway, together with some larger pieces of rock which had formed part of soil eroded from the sides of the trench.

Passenger train derailment near Carmont
Lineside features in the area of the landslip

We are currently collecting the evidence needed to identify factors relevant to the cause of the accident and its consequences. The scope of the investigation is likely to include:

  • the sequence of events and the actions of those involved

  • the operating procedures applied

  • the management of earthworks and drainage in this area, including recent inspections and risk assessments

  • the general management of earthworks and drainage and associated procedures designed to manage the risk of extreme weather events

  • the behaviour of the train during, and following the derailment

  • the consequences of the derailment and a review of the damage caused to the rolling stock

  • underlying management factors

  • actions are taken in response to previous safety recommendations

We will publish our findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of our investigation. This report will be available on our website.


The RAIB’s investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry, and of the joint investigation instructed by the Lord Advocate to be carried out by British Transport Police, Police Scotland and by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.

15 views0 comments
Planner 5D- Interior design app

Planner 5D- Interior design app

Flipkart Online Shopping App

Flipkart Online Shopping App

World population to reach 8 billion this year, as the growth rate slows

July 12, 2022 at 6:57:56 AM

15 November 2022 is predicted to be the day that the global population reaches eight billion. The projection is revealed in the UN’s World Population Prospects 2022 report, which also shows that India is on course to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023.

World population to reach 8 billion this year, as the growth rate slows

WHO: Nearly one billion people have a mental disorder

June 22, 2022 at 7:20:50 AM

Nearly one billion people worldwide suffer from some form of mental disorder, according to the latest UN data – a staggering figure that is even more worrying if you consider that it includes around one in seven teenagers.

WHO: Nearly one billion people have a mental disorder

What can the UN do? Check the top 5 questions answered

April 6, 2022 at 10:51:48 AM

The current war in Ukraine, following the Russian invasion, has sparked all sorts of questions about the United Nations, particularly the role of the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Secretary-General.

What can the UN do? Check the top 5 questions answered

Ukraine: UN’s Guterres joins call for Bucha war crimes probe

April 6, 2022 at 8:22:29 AM

UN chief António Guterres on Tuesday added his voice to the growing international calls for a war crimes investigation into the killing of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

Ukraine: UN’s Guterres joins call for Bucha war crimes probe

Recent terrorist attacks in Israel undermine ‘prospects for peace’: Guterres

March 31, 2022 at 8:29:57 AM

Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday night condemned recent terrorist attacks in Israel that have claimed the lives of at least 11 Israeli citizens.

Recent terrorist attacks in Israel undermine ‘prospects for peace’: Guterres

China's BYD ceases to produce gasoline-powered vehicles

4/4/22, 7:00 AM

Chinese auto manufacturer BYD announced Sunday that it has already ceased the production of traditional gasoline-powered vehicles starting from March.

China's BYD ceases to produce gasoline-powered vehicles

Performance-oriented all-new ŠKODA SLAVIA 1.5 TSI Launched creates a segment of its own

3/27/22, 10:42 AM

All new ŠKODA SLAVIA 1.5 TSI starts at ₹ 16.19 lacs

Performance-oriented all-new ŠKODA SLAVIA 1.5 TSI Launched creates a segment of its own

CARS24 Raises $450 Million, Nearly Doubles Its Valuation To $1.84 Billion

9/25/21, 6:16 AM

CARS24, India’s leading e-commerce platform for pre-owned vehicles, announced today the closing of a $450M round of funding including a $340M Series F equity round alongside $110M debt from diversified financial institutions.

CARS24 Raises $450 Million, Nearly Doubles Its Valuation To $1.84 Billion

Tata Motors launches the ‘XPRES’ brand for fleet customers

7/18/21, 6:13 PM

Tata Motors, one of India’s leading automobile manufacturers, today announced the launch of a new brand ‘XPRES,’ exclusively for fleet customers.

Tata Motors launches the ‘XPRES’ brand for fleet customers

Audi India announces curated ownership plans for Audi e-tron and Audi e-tron Sportback customers

7/18/21, 5:56 PM

Special Service Plans, Extended Warranty and Buyback for a hassle-free ownership experience

Audi India announces curated ownership plans for Audi e-tron and Audi e-tron Sportback customers

TikTok hits 1 billion global active users

9/28/21, 8:56 AM

TikTok mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy.

TikTok hits 1 billion global active users

FACT CHECK: Crypto is increasingly being used for criminal activity and is a haven for illicit finance

6/23/21, 6:11 AM

Because cryptocurrency is still new, we are often asked about the biggest myths surrounding it. It’s common for a new market or product to confuse people until they get familiar with it. Think about Airbnb: the idea of staying in a stranger’s home seemed crazy until it didn’t.

FACT CHECK: Crypto is increasingly being used for criminal activity and is a haven for illicit finance

PUBG: NEW STATE surpasses 17 Million Google play store PRE-REGISTRATIONS following its recent ALPHA TEST

6/19/21, 4:40 AM

KRAFTON, Inc. to open pre-registration for the game on Apple’s App Store in Q3 2021

PUBG: NEW STATE surpasses 17 Million Google play store PRE-REGISTRATIONS following its recent ALPHA TEST
bottom of page