Fire academics help with Stonehaven derailment investigation

The passenger train derailment at Carmont, near Stonehaven
The passenger train derailment at Carmont, near Stonehaven

Two fire safety engineering academics have worked on an accident investigation into the passenger train derailment at Carmont, near Stonehaven, in August 2020.

Dr Rory Hadden, Senior Lecturer in Fire Investigation, and Dr Ricky Carvel, Senior Lecturer in Fire Dynamics, were appointed by the UK Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) to work on the fire investigation aspects of the inquiry.

A fire was observed about an hour after the crash and eventually spread to engulf most of one of the coaches, which had come to rest on the embankment after being separated from the train. There were no people in this coach when the accident or subsequent fire occurred.

On Thursday 10 March, the RAIB published their final report into the accident. The fire investigation identified several issues in relation to the lack of fire protection in the battery compartment in the undercarriage, which was the cause and origin of the fire.

Following the researchers’ findings, the RAIB have made several recommendations to the rail industry on improving fire safety measures in their batteries.

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