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Twenty years ago, on 17 October 2000, a train derailed just south of Hatfield station while travelling at around 115mph. Four people died, 70 were injured. The accident was caused by rolling-contact fatigue (metal fatigue) of the left-hand rail, which broke as the train passed over it.
Railtrack (the private infrastructure operator) and Balfour Beatty (the contractor responsible for track maintenance on that line) were found guilty of breaching health and safety laws. Railtrack was forced by the government into administration, and publicly owned Network Rail was established.
(Permalink) Balfour Beatty Hatfield crash Network Rail Railtrack

Around 60 people attended a ceremony at Kilmarnock station on the morning of 14 December 2009 to celebrate the introduction of a new half-hourly First ScotRail service between Kilmarnock and Glasgow. Participants included representatives of the Scottish Government, local councillors, Transport Scotland, Railtrack, First Scotrail and general well-wishers... with musical entertainment provided courtesy of Cumnock Academy. The 0927 First ScotRail service to Glasgow Central, formed by 156431, left carrying many of the participants - see accompanying photographs. [With thanks to Colin Martin]

(Permalink) Railtrack ScotRail

Kilmarnock: Part of the group of special guests and well-wishers at Kilmarnock station on 14 December 2009 to mark the introduction of a half-hourly service to Glasgow Central.
Colin Martin 14/12/2009

Kilmarnock: First Scotrail unit 156431 about to leave Kilmarnock for Glasgow on the morning of 14 December 2009 marking the introduction of the new half-hourly service.
Colin Martin 14/12/2009

Former rail regulator Tom Winsor accuses the government of paying "scant regard" to the legal implications of its actions in the lead up to Railtrack's collapse.
(Permalink) Railtrack

Shareholders of failed rail firm Railtrack are in court pressing their case for 157m in compensation.
(Permalink) Railtrack

The Highland Main Line will be closed between Inverness and Aviemore throughout the week commencing 27 October while Railtrack build a modern structure within the timber Allt na Slanaich Viaduct, just north of Moy, which will eliminate the speed restriction there. The bridge will be retained as a timber viaduct.

The viaduct is the last remaining timber viaduct on the railway network.

(Permalink) Highland Main Line Railtrack

To celebrate the installation of the 1000th TPWS loop in Scotland John Arnitt, Railtrack Chief Executive, visited an installation site at Polmadie near Glasgow in July.
(Permalink) Railtrack

The meeting started on the evening of the 19th to discuss ScotRail matters and continued on the 20th. On the 19th a number of members of the public expressed their dis-satisfaction with services on the Glasgow to Ayr line which mostly refered to train capacity and difficulties during the introduction of the class 334s. On the 20th Railtrack announced re-signalling of the Forth Bridge to allow two trains on the bridge at the one time in the same direction and electrifcation of the 'Burma' road which runs from Shields Junction to Larkfield Junction.

(Permalink) Railtrack ScotRail

Scottish Coal is expected to receive a freight facilities grant of 9.75m to re-build seven miles of the railway between Auchinleck and Cronberry (part of the former line to Muirkirk.) The line is to be re-opened in connection with the opencast mine at Cronberry and will replace an estimated 37m lorry loads over 11 years. Scottish Coal will find the extra 4m to complete the project which will provide coal for the rail served Longannet power station.

The track and trackbed are expected to cost $4m, additional structures 3.8m and the loading terminal at Cronberry 2m. Railtrack is not the preferred bidder for building the at this stage as it has a track record of having problems sourcing signalling.

(Permalink) Railtrack

The Strategic Rail Authority has set out its priorities in Scotland for the next ten years. Edinburgh Waverley is to be re-built with further through platforms at a cost of £400 million. This work will involve connecting the bay platforms 8&9 and 12&13, raising the glass roof and providing another platform to the south of the station. The work is required as the station will reach capacity in the next year. Stirling to Alloa is to be re-opened to passengers within 5 years. It is also hoped that Stirling to Kincardine will also re-open to freight. Hamilton to Larkhall is to be re-opened and a Milngavie to Larkhall service to be introduced within 5 years. This may also include the re-opening of the Anniesland to Maryhill curve. Platforms will be extended on the Fife Circle which will allow longer trains to run, increasing passenger capacity. Platforms will also be extended on the Glasgow to Ayr line. Platforms will be extended on the East Kilbride Branch. Platforms will be extended on the Bathgate Branch. TPWS will be fully implemented by 2003. Increased capacity will be provided between Glasgow and Paisley. This could be re-signalling or re-quadrupling the line. Increased capacity will be provided between Glasgow and Kilmarnock. This will probably be through adding a new dynamic loop on the single track section between Barrhead and Kilmarnock which is currently only broken at Lugton. 140 stations are to be modernised. Construction of new interchange stations or re-building of existing stations will include Gourock, Markinch and Partick. Refurbishment for 318s and reliability improvements to 170s. Extension of Sunday services on the Shotts and East Kilbride Lines. A new national test track to be established. As a result of various schemes 6 new stations will open; Alloa, Newcraighall, Brunstane, Gartcosh, Larkhall and Beauly. Longer term plans include East Coast Main Line upgrading (to complete by 2010) and lines to Glasgow Airport and Edinburgh Airport. There is an element of uncertainty as the ScotRail franchise is due for renewal and the future of Railtrack is not clear at this stage. The West Coast Main Line enhancements to allow 140mph running may not go ahead.

(Permalink) Anniesland Beauly Brunstane Class 170 Class 318 Edinburgh Airport Edinburgh Waverley Gartcosh Glasgow Airport Gourock Kincardine Larkhall Markinch Maryhill New station Newcraighall Partick Railtrack SRA ScotRail Stirling Alloa TPWS

Railtrack announced that due to shortage of signalling resources (which
must be put onto higher priority tasks - notably TPWS and the WCML upgrade) they are unable to maintain any involvement in four projects;

- Hamilton to Larkhall

- Stirling to Alloa

- Relocating Gourock station

- Aberdeen Crossrail
(Permalink) Railtrack

A mudslide on the Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness line blocks the line and damages a train. The section between Strathcarron and Kyle of Lochalsh has been closed while Railtrack plan a new causeway to circumvent the danger. A replacement bus service is operating.
(Permalink) Kyle Line Railtrack landslide mudslide

Railtrack is placed in administration following refusal of a request for further Government funding which would prevent the compnay from becoming insolvent.

The future is not clear at the time of writing. Railtrack Group owns a number of businesses, including Railtrack PLC, some of which is may be allowed to retain. Compensation for shareholders is proving complicated to arrange.
(Permalink) Railtrack


Post Hatfield Crash repairs

On the 15th there were three locations affected by Gauge Corner Cracking.

200 points and 75,000 yards of track have been renewed.

Junction remodeling

40 junctions which are known to be bottlenecks are to be remodeled.

Speed restrictions

As of the 15th 53 speed restrictions existed in Scotland.

New station facilities and station regeneration

81 stations have been identified for new toilets.

New Information Systems (CIS) will be installed at Hyndland, Partick and Queen Street Low Level.

Partick station is to be refurbished and platforms resurfaced.

Gourock station is due to be rebuilt and Railtrack is in discussion with developers.

Perth station is to be regenerated with footbridges and canopies renewed.

Broughty Ferry has been rebuilt at the cost of £1,000,000.

Train Protection Warning System

Installation of Train Protection Warning System on Scotland's railways and trains continues and is expected to be complete by December 2002.

Edinburgh Crossrail

The contracts for the Edinburgh Crossrail scheme (reopening of freight only route from Portobello to Brunstane and Newcraighall to passengers) have been signed with the council and contractors.

Stirling to Alloa and Dunfermline

The details of reopening the closed but mostly extant line from Stirling to Alloa and on to Kincardine have not yet been resolved.

Larkhall to Milngavie

Although there have been some doubts about the reopening of the closed line between Larkhall and Hamilton, Railtrack and Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive are continuing discussions.

Aberdeen to Inverness improvements

Railtrack is considering its options for improving capacity of the Aberdeen to Inverness line.

A loop may be opened at Orton.

Forres loop may be altered to run by the Forres goods loop and a two platform station opened on the loop.

Signalboxes between Elgin and Nairn may be closed.

Proposals will be drawn up to 'level 4' (complete design) and given to the Strategic Rail Authority by the end of the year. Actual changes will be delayed as work on signaling is being focused on installing Train Protection Warning System until December 2002.

Members of the RPC and public suggested that perhaps a section of double track at the beginning of the route in Aberdeen and Inverness would help - such as that which the Inverness and Perth has. It was also commented that the station at Keith can be a bottleneck as the loop is located to the east of the station - a train at the station has to occupy the Keith to Elgin section and consequently trains have to be held at Keith loop or Elgin loop when there is a train at the station.

Cornton Level Crossing

Cornton Level crossing, by Stirling, is fitted with cameras which photograph every road vehicle which passes through the lights at red. 250 vehicles were photographed between January and May this year, many belonging to local people. The crossing has been checked and complies to safety standards. The council and Railtrack are considering further traffic calming options including permanent closure of the road.


The council in Dundee is considering opening a station at Ninewells which would serve new developments in the area, the airport and Ninewells Hospital.

Tay Bridge repair

Repairs to the Tay Bridge are due to be complete in 2003 and will allow higher speed running on the bridge and freight to pass over it.

Edinburgh Park

Railtrack and New Edinburgh Ltd have resolved difficulties and a station at Edinburgh Park can now be built. It could be open by 2003.
(Permalink) Alloa Brunstane Cornton Level Crossing Crash Edinburgh Crossrail Elgin Forres Glasgow Queen Street Hatfield Hyndland Larkhall Nairn New station Newcraighall Ninewells Partick Perth Portobello Railtrack TPWS Tay Bridge

- 318s for the North Berwick service, but not yet

- DMUs borrowed from 'sister' National Express companies to cover for aged 305s on the North Berwick service if necessary

- North Berwick route to be re-railed in September

- New stop to pick up passengers on ScotRail sleepers at Carstairs

- Stirling to Alloa to Kincardine line to be progressed but not clear yet whether freight only, or passenger only between Stirling and Alloa

- Railtrack keen to alter Edinburgh Waverley layout for further capacity

(Permalink) Alloa Class 305 Class 318 Edinburgh Waverley Kincardine Railtrack ScotRail Stirling

A GNER train travelling at nearly 115mph, carrying approximately 200 passengers de-rails at Hatfield killing 4 passengers and injuring 35. 3 carriages land on their sides, 4 more carriages derail and 2 are left on the track. The train was running to Leeds from London.

A broken rail is identified as the cause of the crash. Following this Railtrack begins a program to check its track for similar problems. This leads to a major disruption of all train services in the UK while track is checked and speed restrictions instituted where track is suspect or similar to that at Hatfield.

(Permalink) Crash Railtrack

The last mainline lower quadrant signal will be removed and presented to the Scottish Railway Preservation Society by Railtrack. This wooden arm with finial is redundant because of the neighbouring Forthside development. Freight at Stirling is re-locating to Stirling south. The signal is at the eastern end of a bracket near the former Motorail terminal.
(Permalink) Railtrack

ScotRail and Railtrack Scotland have won the National Rail Award for the Best Route with the Edinburgh and Glasgow 15-minute interval service.
(Permalink) Railtrack ScotRail

KML version