Class 156 derailed by landslide on West Highland

SCOTRAIL Class 156 DMU No. 156458 was derailed as a result of a landside above Loch Eilt on the West Highland line extension on January 22.

The unit was working the 06.03 Mallaig-Glasgow Queen St when it came to grief, but remained upright as the slurry from the landslide lifted it off its wheels.

Unit No. 156458 off the rails between Lochailort and Glenfinnan, with Loch Eilt in the background. NETWORK RAIL

There were no injuries to crew or the five passengers, who were rescued by special road-rail Land Rovers.

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The incident followed days of snow, ice and rain that caused many problems to road and rail. More than 1,000 tons of soil and debris was in the slip.

A view from a Network Rail drone that shows the scarring of the hillside left by the landslip that derailed the 06.03 Mallaig-Glasgow Queen Street train on January 22. NETWORK RAIL

Network Rail used a drone to assess the slope above the line for further instability. It plans to install additional drainage at the site as well as undertake extra work to reduce the possibility of further slips.

The isolated location on the south side of Loch Eilt, seven miles east of Lochailort and two miles west of Glenfinnan station, made recovery of the train difficult and protracted for Network Rail and ScotRail staff. There is no nearby road access – see map.

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