UK: Derailment Shuts Main Line : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Friday, 2 March, 2001, 12:19 GMT Derailment shuts main line

The train derailed near to Torness Power Station The main railway line between Edinburgh and London has been closed at Dunbar after a freight train carrying empty nuclear fuel flasks derailed.

British Nuclear Fuels said the train was involved in a "low speed minor derailment" at the Torness Power Station, in East Lothian, at 0945GMT and no-one was injured.

The company said the Direct Rail Services train was travelling at 5mph and had been carrying three empty nuclear fuel flasks.

The East Coast Main Line has been plagued with problems following last year's Hatfield disaster which was blamed on cracked rails.

Two of the wagons on the train derailed and BNFL said one of these was carrying a nuclear flask.

The company said the emergency services had been called and the area was being monitored as a precautionary measure.

A spokesman said there was "absolutely no damage" to the flask.

Janine Claber, spokeswoman for freight company Direct Rail Services, said all used nuclear fuel is transported in heavily shielded, purpose-built containers known as flasks, each weighing more than 50 tonnes.

Railtrack had been informed about the incident and said it would be dealing with any disruption caused to the network.

Two London to Edinburgh trains have already been delayed by the closure.

A spokesman for British Transport Police said the train was travelling at a low speed north from Carlisle.

It had been used to take spent nuclear fuel to the Sellafield plant in Cumbria.

Travel problems

The derailment happened next to the East Coast Main Line, which has been subject to disruption in recent days because of the rail tragedy at Selby.

Recent problems caused by severe weather in Scotland and northern England have also added to the misery for cross-border rail travellers.

The incident comes amid continued concern over the safety of the railways.

A major programme of track inspections and re-railing was undertaken in Scotland and England after the Hatfield crash which resulted in four deaths.

-- Rachel Gibson (, March 02, 2001

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