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Credit: BBC

Another round of the usual ‘scientists agree’ assertions without saying which scientists, what exactly they supposedly agree on, and where the evidence – if it exists – can be found.
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It’s already clear that torrential rain played a significant part in the first fatal derailment in the UK since 2007.

Scotland’s Transport Minister Michael Matheson has confirmed the conditions were a factor and Network Rail footage shows there were landslides in the area.

The climate is changing and scientists agree it’s very different to when the railways were built by our Victorian ancestors, claims BBC News.

Though landslips are not uncommon, particularly in that area around Stonehaven, climate change means they are happening much more frequently as the land struggles to cope with the volume of water.

Just two years ago a passenger train hit a landslide on the West Highland line near Glenfinnan.

Fortunately, in that crash no-one was hurt.

There are questions over how we can modernise the railway and strengthen its resilience.

So are we doing enough?

Rail engineering consultant Gareth Dennis told BBC Scotland: “More could always be done. You’re looking at investment in new technology to manage and monitor assets remotely which means a better use of resources.

“Ultimately the pressures aren’t really financial, they are about human resources; the number of skilled people we have to maintain this infrastructure.”

The main line of defence just now are yellow trains, nicknamed the Flying Bananas, which run over every stretch of the network about once every two weeks.

They are called New Measurement Trains and cameras film the track at speeds of up to 125mph while computers on board carry out hundreds of checks a second.

But the breaches can come suddenly, particularly with freak storms.

Continued here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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August 14, 2020 at 11:03AM