- in Science
The track where three men died in the train derailment in Aberdeenshire will be closed for several more weeks, Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has said.
The crash happened after a landslide on 12 August near Stonehaven.
Driver Brett McCullough, 45, conductor Donald Dinnie, 58, and passenger Christopher Stuchbury, 62, died. Six others were injured.
Mr Matheson said the investigation was making “good progress”.
The derailment took place when the 06:38 service from Aberdeen to Glasgow struck a landslip 1.4 miles north east of Carmont after a night of heavy rain.
Mr Matheson told BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme: “As it stands at the moment, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch are very advanced in their investigation.
“They expect their investigation hopefully to be concluded on site into next week which will then allow them to move into the recovery phase.”
He explained: “They are making good progress, but it is likely that the line there will remain closed for several weeks yet, given the remedial work that will have to be undertaken by Network Rail once the recovery operation is complete.
“It’s a very difficult site which the engineers are operating in and a significant amount of work had to be put in place in order to access the site and then be able to bring in the machinery which will be necessary to move the existing train carriages.”
Two independent task forces have been launched in the wake of a train crash in which three men died.
Network Rail said the experts had been asked to improve its understanding and response to severe weather, and better manage its earthworks portfolio.
Dame Julia Slingo, former chief scientist at the Met Office and an expert in climatology, will lead the weather action task force.
Lord Robert Mair, a geotechnical engineer and member of the House of Lords select committee on science and technology, will spearhead the earthworks management task force.
UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps has asked Network Rail to produce an interim report by 1 September.