A train was travelling at 84mph when it hit a tree in Broughty Ferry, crash investigators have revealed.
The ScotRail service was travelling past Orchar Park on December 27 when a tree that had fallen onto the railway line during Storm Gerrit smashed into the driver’s cabin.
The driver had a lucky escape – putting on the brakes and then diving behind his seat just before the tree smashed through the windscreen.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is investigating the incident, which left the driver with only minor injuries.
Driver hid behind seat ‘immediately before impact’ of Broughty Ferry train crash
The RAIB has now summarised the circumstances of the Broughty Ferry crash while setting out the scope of its investigation.
A statement said: “The train was travelling at 84mph (135 km/h) when the collision occurred.
“The driver of the train made an emergency brake application and took shelter behind the driving seat immediately before the impact.
“The driver received minor injuries as a result of the accident and the driving cab of the train was heavily damaged, disabling the train and requiring its passengers to be evacuated.”
The RAIB says its investigation will seek to identify the sequence of events that led to the accident.
RAIB to consider crashworthiness of train and ‘underlying management factors’
The probe will also consider:
- The management of train operations during adverse weather conditions
- The arrangements in place to manage and control the risks from trees falling onto the railway
- How information received from members of the public relating to railway safety is handled
- The crashworthiness of the train
- Any underlying management factors
Following the crash, drivers’ union Aslef claimed the type of train involved in the incident was “outdated” amid safety concerns.
But ScotRail defended the train, saying it had a “good safety record” and had all the necessary legal and safety authorisations.