Network Rail fined 6.7 million pounds for fatal failings in connection with Stonehaven rail crash

Network Rail’s been fined £6.7 million after they pleaded guilty into fatal failings in connection with the Stonehaven rail crash.

The fine was reduced from £10 million due to an early plea, mitigations have been put in place by the organisation and due to the fact they are a publicly-funded body. 

Train driver Brett McCullough, 45, conductor Donald Dinnie, 58, and passenger Christopher Stuchbury, 62, died in the derailment at Carmont, on August 12, 2020.

The organisation pled guilty to a number of fatal failings which led the the derailment after the 06:38am from Aberdeen to Glasgow hit a landslip. 

It occurred due to heavy rainfall overnight in the region. 

Sentencing Network Rail on Friday, Judge Lord Matthews said: “Very few people in the north east of Scotland will ever forget the images of the carriages at Carmont. 

“No penalty I can impose will come close to compensating those whose lives have been touched by this tragedy. The only disposal I have is a fine.”

The judge gave Network Rail a period of three months to pay the fee. 

In the defence statement today, Peter Grant stated how the tragic events of August 12 2020 "shook Network Rail to its core". 

He added: “On behalf of Network Rail, I offer the deepest and most profound sympathies to the families. And to the injured, the deepest and heartfelt regret.”

Mr Grant also asked the judge to take into consideration the action of climate change when deliberating his sentence. 

Prosectuor Alex Prentice KC told the court on Thursday Network Rail had failed to maintain or inspect a drainage asset built in 2011 prior to the derailment.

He also explained on the day driver Mr McCullough had called into the Carmont signaller to asked if a speed restriction should be imposed on their return to Stonehaven. 

In March 2022, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch issued a report detailing 20 recommendations need to be made in order to make Scotland's railways safe and to ensure an incident such as August 12 doesn't happen again. 

Earlier this year, it was revealed only two of the 20 have been implemented. 

Network Rail said it is determined to build upon the “significant changes” it has made since the incident is committed to introducing the safety measures. 



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