Prosecutors are considering whether Network Rail will face charges over a train crash which claimed three lives.

Train driver Brett McCullough, 45, conductor Donald Dinnie, 58, and passenger Christopher Stuchbury, 62, died in the crash near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, on August 12 2020.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said it is considering reports from a joint investigation by Police Scotland, British Transport Police and the Office of Rail and Road – the independent safety and economic regulator for the country’s railways.

The Scotsman reported that rail infrastructure company Network Rail has been told it will be prosecuted over the crash.

Train derailed at Stonehaven
The crash occurred in August 2020 (Jane Barlow/PA)

Network Rail said it would not be commenting and that it is a matter for the Crown Office.

A COPFS spokesman said: “The joint investigation into the deaths of Donald Dinnie, Brett McCullough and Christopher Stuchbury by Police Scotland, British Transport Police and the Office of Rail and Road is now complete and under consideration by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

“The families will continue to be kept updated in relation to any significant developments.”

COPFS will also consider a Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) report published last March which found that errors in the construction of a drainage system installed by Carillion meant it was unable to cope with heavy rain which fell in the area on the morning of the crash.

The ScotRail train derailed at 9.37am after hitting gravel and other stony material washed out from the drain.

The train hit the side of a bridge, causing its power car and one of its four carriages to fall down an embankment.

Carillion went into compulsory liquidation in January 2018.

The RAIB report made 20 recommendations to improve railway safety, many of which were directed at Network Rail.

At the time, Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: “This report makes clear that there are fundamental lessons to be learnt by Network Rail and the wider industry.

“As well as expressing our deep sorrow and regret at the loss of the lives of Christopher Stuchbury, Donald Dinnie and Brett McCullough, it’s important that we acknowledge it should not have taken this tragic accident to highlight those lessons.

“We must do better and we are utterly committed to that.”