Rail accidents at Carrbridge

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There have been two rail accidents at Carrbridge, Scotland. One occurred in 1914, and the second in 2010.

1914 bridge collapse[edit]

On the afternoon of 18 June 1914, a tremendous thunderstorm struck the mountains to the north of the Highland Main Line. The road bridge carrying the road from Carrbridge to Inverness across the Baddengorm Burn was swept away, while further down the valley the burn entered a narrow gorge, crossed by the railway by means of a narrow arch span of only 15 feet. The water was at rail level when the six-carriage 11.50 Perth to Inverness train, 9 minutes late leaving Carrbridge Station at 15:24, crossed the bridge. The first two carriages reached the other side but the bridge then gave way, its foundations having been undermined by a vortex of water. The third carriage was left on the north bank of the burn but the next was plunged into the torrent which soon demolished the carriage, drowning five passengers; remarkably four survived.

The enquiry laid no blame on the designers of the bridge as they could not have foreseen such a volume and force of water, which had never before occurred in the area. The bridge was rebuilt with a longer, concrete, span.

2010 freight train derailment[edit]

Derailed Class 66 locomotive 66 048 at Carrbridge

On 4 January 2010, a freight train from Inverness to Grangemouth, hauled by a DB Schenker Class 66 for Stobart Rail, derailed on the 1 in 60 (1.67%) gradient down from Slochd Summit at the run out or catch points at the northern end of the station, and ran down an embankment. The driver and technician on the train suffered minor injuries. The line was not reopened until 13 January.[1][2][3]

The RAIB report found the cause was found to be snow and ice that worked its way into the space between the wheels' brake blocks. This may have also interfered with other parts of the brake mechanisms on the freight wagons. It was also found that the way the driver performed running brake tests while on the trip contributed to the outcome. Other possible contributing factors were that ploughed snow may have been allowed to accumulate too close to the tracks, thus the train passing these snowbanks at speed may have pulled snow into the brake mechanisms.[4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Rail disruption as train derails". BBC News. BBC. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Snow derailment problems continue". BBC News. BBC. 5 January 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  3. ^ Pigott, Nick, ed. (March 2010). "Runaway freight derails in the big freeze". The Railway Magazine. London: IPC Media. 156 (1307): 7. ISSN 0033-8923. 
  4. ^ "Derailment of a freight train at Carrbridge, Badenoch and Strathspey 4 January 2010" (PDF). Rail Accident Investigation Branch. February 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 

Coordinates: 57°17′13″N 3°50′26″W / 57.28688°N 3.84045°W / 57.28688; -3.84045