A north-east railway line will be closed this week after part of a bridge wall collapsed – close to the site of a fatal train crash.
It was less than a mile from the site of a fatal derailment which caused the deaths of Donald Dinnie, Brett McCullough and Christopher Stuchbury last August.
Network Rail said it was making good progress on the damage, which it had earlier described as “extensive”.
We're sorry about the disruption the closure of the line between Montrose and Stonehaven is causing. We're making good progress in assessing the damage to the bridge parapet, but the height of the structure and rural location make this a complex job to carry out safely. /1et pic.twitter.com/HhSGTS2Tjd
— Network Rail Scotland (@NetworkRailSCOT) January 17, 2021
However, engineers are facing a number of challenges getting access to the site, including the height and location of the bridge.
As a result, the line between Stonehaven and Montrose will be closed for at least the next week.
Liam Sumpter, Network Rail route director for Scotland, said: “We are sorry for the disruption the closure of the line between Montrose and Stonehaven is causing to some customers.
“Our engineers are continuing their structural assessment of the damage to the bridge parapet. These checks are progressing well, but the height of the structure and its rural location make this a complex project for our engineers to carry out safely.
“Our experts will continue their assessment over the coming days as our recovery teams on site make plans for its repair.
“The line between Stonehaven and Montrose will remain closed this week and we will provide updates when we know more about when the line can reopen.
“Our teams will be working around-the-clock to reopen the line quickly and safely for passengers and freight customers.
“ScotRail is providing train services either side of the line closure between Aberdeen and Stonehaven and between Montrose and Dundee to keep our passengers moving.”
Network Rail added it is working with transport providers, including ScotRail and LNER, which operate services on the line.
Replacement bus services will operate between Stonehaven and Montrose while the line is shut.
Following Friday’s incident, rail bosses were criticised by trade unions, as well as the family of one of the men killed in August’s tragic crash.