Carmont Report ‘damning’ and must be ‘Watershed Moment for Rail Safety’ say Drivers Union ASLEF

This report is damning and makes for difficult reading, not least for the families of those who died and were injured.
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ASLEF's organiser in Scotland, Kevin Lindsay, said:

"This report is damning and makes for difficult reading, not least for the families of those who died and were injured.

"The failures identified in this report are so bad that we believe this must be a watershed moment in the way we ensure rail safety is adhered to. ASLEF has made a number of recommendations and demands (see notes below).

"Never again should our drivers be on trains where crashworthiness is not fit for purpose and on track and infrastructure not designed to withstand the consequences from climate change and where repeated warnings were not acted upon.

"Action must be taken urgently, if not then this tragedy could happen again and again.

"Network Rail and Abellio ScotRail failed the staff and passengers who were on the train that crashed at Carmont and they must be held to account.  This should start with Alex Hynes, given his involvement in both Network Rail and Abellio ScotRail, his position is untenable, and he must resign with immediate effect.

"Network Rail and Abellio ScotRail must also be pursued in the courts. Carmont represents endemic corporate failure and for justice to prevail corporate homicide/manslaughter laws should be used to pursue Network Rail and Abellio ScotRail. Using the laws of the land and we implore the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to act and ensure that their litany of failure is heard in court."


Notes to editors

  • ASLEF demands ORR begins the immediate process of withdrawal of HST’s from service across the entire rail network by 12th of August 2023.
  • ASLEF demands the ORR conduct an immediate industry review of crashworthiness standards of all rolling stock in service today and insist that classes of train or locomotive that do not meet minimum standards of crashworthiness be modified or be given a timescale for withdrawal.
  • ASLEF demands the ORR to ensure that going forward there are regular reviews of the crashworthiness of legacy rolling stock to take into account the “state of the art” at the time of the review, and the introduction of any new cab equipment.
  • The RSSB initiate research on the design, specification and effectiveness of lifeguards with a view to specifying a new standard that would prevent the derailment of trains in scenarios such as the one experienced at Carmont.
  • In line with the RAIB report ASLEF calls for the RSSB to review its previous research on the fitting of secondary impact protection devices for train drivers (including seatbelts) in the light of the circumstances of Carmont, future train accident risk (including derailment) and the capabilities of current technology.
  • In consultation with relevant stakeholders the RSSB evaluates the case for fitting specific secondary impact protection devices into new and existing trains; and where justified and incorporate requirements for improved protection measures into standards for train driving cabs.
  • A Public Inquiry into the events at Carmont and the awarding of the franchise to Abellio with regards bringing HSTs to Scotland