Near Oyne (Pitcaple), Aberdeen - Inverness line (ScR) 12th May 1978
Notes by Alan Binns: - I have referred to Railway Disasters - Cause & Effect by Stanley Hall (1992 - reprint of Danger on the line 1989). The accident near Oyne (Pitcaple) on the Aberdeen - Inverness line was caused by a 'bridge bash' - a low-loader with a tracked excavator hit the bridge, knocking it out of line as well as ripping the excavator and trailer rear end from the road vehicle. The driver was local and knew of the bridge, he had loaded the excavator himself to be within permissible height for the bridge, but before leaving the yard someone else raised the boom on the excavator and failed to bestow it correctly. The driver was unaware of this and subsequently struck the bridge.
The driver is reported to have been faced with a decision as to which way to run up the line to alert an approaching train, and unfortunately took the wrong option. He had just set off towards Insch when he heard the train behind him approaching from Inverurie (it was the 07.43 from Aberdeen to Inverness), and saw the subsequent derailment. The two leading vehicles left the track, the leading car turning on its side but the second remaining upright. The third vehicle remained on the track. Out of 54 passengers on board only five suffered minor injuries, and the vehicle bodies were relatively undamaged.
The Class 120 was set 304 containing DMS 51793 (remained on rails), TBS 59684 (fell half down embankment) and DMBC 51784 (on side).
First two pictures are by Mike Cooper, the third is copyright Scotpix, courtesy of Peter Mullen.