Carmont report reaction: 'more needs to be done'

THE Scottish Government has responded to the Carmont accident report by urging all concerned to learn the lessons it contains. Transport minister Jenny Gilruth said: 'While the RAIB report is very clear there was nothing about the way the train was driven which caused the accident, the primary cause – that Network Rail's contractor did not construct the drainage system correctly – will add to families' pain and sorrow. Three people dying as a result of the Carmont derailment was three people too many. The report makes a series of recommendations in relation to water management and climate adaptation. Some of these have already been implemented but there is recognition more must be done. While rail remains the safest form of transport, we must seek to learn the lessons from this incident, to improve further the safety of all who work and travel on the railways of Scotland.’

The RMT welcomed her statement. General secretary Mick Lynch said: 'RMT has been leading the calls for an urgent safety summit to prevent future rail tragedies, so we welcome the Scottish transport minister’s commitment today to convene a rail safety steering group and that the trade unions will be fully involved in this process. RMT is calling for the minister to ensure this group meets as a matter of urgency so that lessons can be learned from this tragedy.'

Meanwhile, it has emerged that health and safety documents are missing from many files in Network Rail's asset registers. RAIB chief inspector Simon French said Network Rail had already started checking its records, and that there was no direct link between missing documents and the Carmont derailment. He added: 'However, we see an issue of great concern and have made recommendations accordingly.'

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines has said there are 'fundamental lessons to be learnt by Network Rail and the wider industry', and that similar locations around the country have been inspected since the Carmont accident. He added that two independent taskforces have also been commissioned 'to help us better understand extreme railfall and to better manage our cuttings, embankments and their drainage systems'.

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