A specialist operation to clear the scene of the tragic Stonehaven train derailment has begun.
A 600-tonne crawler crane is lifting the first stricken locomotive from the line, which has been closed since the incident at Carmont on August 12.
Driver Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and passenger Christopher Stuchbury died after the train derailed in bad weather.
A minute’s silence was held to remember the three men before work started with workers on scene taking a moments reflection.
Large orange strops have been carefully fashioned around the carriage to hoist it from the tracks with around a dozen workers in full PPE ensuring the operation is carried out safely.
The first car has been lifted from its perch with the crane lifting the carriage away from the rail line.
Depending on the weather, it is expected to last several days to lift the four carriages and two cars. Engineers are on hand to conduct specialist investigations to establish what repairs are required on the track.
A road spanning half-a-mile and temporary bridges have been created to assist machinery to the remote site.
Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, previously said: “August 12 was a devastating day with the loss of Brett, Donald and Christopher in this tragic accident.
“While we will now begin the process of recovering the carriages and repairing the railway, we do so with a heavy heart.
“We will continue to work closely with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB throughout this recovery process so we can learn from this terrible event and help prevent similar accidents.”
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has said that the investigation being conducted by the RAIB will ensure any safety lessons are “learned quickly” adding: “I will be interested to hear what comes of this and how Network Rail can take these forward in the future.”