Scots derailment: Union calls for action

06 November 2012

Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, today called for rail safety modules to be introduced into UK schools as it was confirmed that last Sunday’s train derailment in Inverkeilor was the result of vandalism. British Transport Police officers found an obstruction at the scene which they said today they believed to have been placed there deliberately.

‘An understanding of the dangers and potential tragedies on railway lines at a young age is vital,’ he says. ‘It needs to be embedded in our young people. We can’t simply say that whoever did this is a wicked person and leave it at that. It is not one person. It is not an isolated accident, and it would be wrong to treat it as such.’

Trespass on the track and hurling missiles at trains, causing the risk of murdering train drivers and passengers, is, he says ‘an endemic sickness in our society’. ‘Whoever did this must be tracked down and punished. But that is not enough. We need to educate to prevent as well. ’

The union’s Scottish officer Kevin Lindsay said it was ‘a miracle’ that no one was killed in what he called a ‘callous and cowardly’ attack on the 08:04 CrossCountry service from Edinburgh to Aberdeen which came off the tracks at about 09:45 at Inverkeilor in Angus with 36 passengers on board. ‘It was only good fortune that the train remained upright,’ Kevin said. ‘We could have been talking about a common vandal deliberately inflicting a major loss of life.’

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