Work is under way to build a temporary road across the Aberdeenshire farmland to allow recovery of the train involved in this month’s fatal derailment.
The ScotRail Inter7City service, which had been travelling between Aberdeen and Glasgow Queen Street, came off the track at Carmont near Stonehaven after hitting a landslip on August 12.
Three men – driver Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and passenger Christopher Stuchbury – died, while several other people were hurt.
An investigation is currently being carried out by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB).
But with access to the crash site difficult, rail chiefs have authorised the construction of a temporary road to get the necessary equipment in place.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: “We are currently constructing an access road across farmland next to the incident site to allow us to bring in specialist equipment.
“The site itself is being inspected by the RAIB and we won’t confirm timescales for the recovery of the carriages until those on-site investigations are complete.”
Network Rail said it was unable to say when work to recover the train from the site would begin.
However, last week the Scottish Government’s transport minister Michael Matheson warned it could be a number of weeks before the line is reopened.
The efforts of those working at the scene, both at the time of the incident and in the weeks following, have been praised.
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie said: “A lot has been said, rightly, about the superlative efforts of the responders to this tragic accident.
“It was only on the site visit that myself and others realised how inaccessible it was to a major rescue operation. The recovery was dangerous in itself.
“Just because of where it is, getting the line open again is a huge challenge and I take my hat off to the engineers solving that puzzle.”
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald urged the authorities to use the incident to improve rail infrastructure across the country.
He said: “Finding out the cause of the crash is absolutely essential, even if that means building a new road in order to recover the evidence.
“The perils of that stretch of track played their part in the tragedy, with such poor access and no reception for mobile phones.
“When we get our railway line back, there will clearly be a case for investment to bring the whole route up to modern standards.”