The former rail chief appears not to have read the UK Government’s Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) report on the above accident in August 2020:
A former rail company director has raised concerns over the continued use of the model of train involved in the Stonehaven crash, calling for speed limits to be introduced for the trains until they are removed from service. Former Network Rail maintenance director John Carson, who was also connected to the Paddington inquiry, has raised safety issues over the continued use of the High Speed Train locomotives and carriages like those in the Scottish derailment. He has linked it to the Paddington tragedy, a crash involving two trains including an HST at Ladbroke Grove in London in 1999, when 31 were killed and 417 injured.https://www.heraldscotland.com/business_hq/20155857.former-rail-chief-stonehaven-crash-train-call/
If true, his assessment places responsibility at the door of the Scottish Government and allows the opposition parties an easy scalp. But the RAIB report is clear:
Train 1T08 derailed because it struck debris washed out from a 15 metre length of steeply sloping drainage trench. This is evidenced by CCTV images from the train, grooves cut through the debris, the absence of derailment marks on the track on the approach to the debris and marks indicating that the leading wheelset had derailed immediately after the debris field.
The train that derailed at Carmont was a high speed train set (HST) with four coaches and two power cars. HSTs were first introduced into service in the mid-1970s and are generally seen as having a good safety record. Although they pre-date a number of modern standards that are relevant to train behaviour in derailments and collisions, they are authorised to operate on the UK’s mainline network. The coaches that formed this particular set had been recentlyhttps://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/62274faa8fa8f526def96f5c/R022022_220310_Carmont_Synopsis.pdf
furbished by Wabtec at its workshops. These works included the provision of power-operated doors.
So, the train bought by Scotrail was not to blame but the track inspection and maintenance, by Network Rail a UK Government responsibility, was. What was the Herald’s rail chief’s job before retiring?
He was Network Rail’s maintenance director!
At the time, Reporting Scotland attempted to pass the buck to the Scottish Government. Carson’s biased reporting will be snapped up by out MSM.
Carson is a rentagob who has commented in the MSM regularly, attacking the SNP Government on its infrastructure projects.
Here he is on the Edinburgh trams: https://www.insider.co.uk/news/edinburgh-tram-inquiry-john-carson-12295822
When he retired, he left behind the culture responsible for lowering inspection and maintenance standards as the UK Government squeezed their funds.