A three-day railway closure between Aberdeen and Dundee finally finally ended last night after a major investigation and repair effort.
An empty passenger train derailed at Stonehaven on Wednesday afternoon, and all services between Aberdeen and the central belt were cancelled, resulting in serious delays for hundreds of passengers.
Although nobody was injured, the incident resulted in severe damage to both train tracks at the station, and an inquiry was launched by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch.
On Thursday evening, a Network Rail spokesman said the line would be closed until at least 3pm yesterday while experts worked through the night – and the rainy, windy weather – to get the train back on track and assess the situation.
Once RAIB investigators recorded all the information they required and left the scene yesterday, teams from Network Rail took to the tracks to remove, replace and repair any damaged sleepers, points and rails that were damaged.
But it wasn’t until just before 6pm when the damaged train was safely lifted back on the rails and removed from the scene.
The first service to operate normally through the scene of the incident was the 4.30pm Edinburgh to Inverurie service, followed by the 6.28pm Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street train – although with a 20mph speed limit in place through the area as a precaution.
During the closure, replacement buses were organised between Aberdeen and Dundee.
AS well as disruption to ScotRail services, other train lines were affected by the derailment, including the Caledonian Sleeper between Aberdeen and London Euston, and LNER services between Aberdeen and Leeds.
Some passengers who were hoping to travel from Dundee to Aberdeen were even offered the opportunity to continue their journey by train via Inverness, although a spokesman from ScotRail acknowledged this diversion would add “significant” time to their journeys.
Normal service is expected to completely resume this morning, although the forecast is for more heavy rain across the region.