Stonehaven incident statement

13 August 2020



Following the tragic Stonehaven incident, Network Rail has announced it is to inspect high-risk trackside slopes across Britain and the government has also asked Network Rail to review its resilience to, and management of, extreme weather. The Office of Rail and Road has issued this statement:

"Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of those who lost their lives and those impacted by yesterday’s tragic incident.

"Britain’s railways have an excellent safety record and incidents like yesterday are thankfully rare. There are increasing risks from extreme weather which are well known in the industry and our recent annual health and safety report showed that there have been six times more flooding events and a trebling of earthworks failures on Britain’s railways in the last year.

"We look forward to receiving the outcome of the review, in addition to plans from Network Rail responding to the requirement we set out last month for improvements to the monitoring of assets and more sophisticated responses to forecast adverse weather."


  • The Office of Rail and Road published its Annual Report on Health and Safety Performance on Britain’s Railways 2019/20 in July. Full report published.
  • The Lord Advocate has instructed a joint investigation by Police Scotland, British Transport Police and the Office of Rail and Road. The investigation will be carried out under the direction of the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service and we will investigate all of the circumstances surrounding this tragic accident using our powers under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.