An estimated two dozen passengers were hurt when a train came off the tracks between Glasgow and Oban.
Sixty people were said to be on board the train which came to rest perched precariously over a 40ft embankment. The front carriage of the Scotrail train caught fire after being derailed. The accident happened close to the Falls of Cruachan power station in Argyll and Bute, 19 miles east of Oban, shortly before 9pm. All the passengers were said to have got out of the carriages. Several of them were injured but none were hurt seriously and all were said by the emergency services to have escaped as "walking wounded".
A British Transport Police spokesman said: "There are no reported serious injuries. The train involved was the 18.20 Glasgow Queen Street to Oban service. This is a two-car train and the leading car has derailed and caught fire. All passengers have been safely taken off the train, but the leading car remains overhanging the road."
Several ambulances were sent to the scene but most were recalled when the initial fears of a serious injuries proved to be overblown. Ambulance Service and military helicopters were also sent to the derailment because of the remoteness of the accident. A spokesman for the ambulance service said: "The first carriage has been derailed about 30 or 40ft above the road. The road's not been blocked. There's quite a lot of walking wounded."
The cause of the accident remained a mystery last night but an investigation has been ordered. A spokesman for the train operator ScotRail said: "All passengers are safely off the train. An investigation is already under way into the cause of the incident by appropriate agencies and industry partners."
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue service said they were alerted to the accident by a passenger on board the train and that the call prompted a "major deployment" of crews, with firefighters then working to gain access to the carriages.
He said: "The fire and rescue control room received at 8.53pm a 999 call from a passenger reporting the derailment.
"Our service immediately put into motion a major deployment of fire crews and appliances, including our major incident unit from Clydebank and heavy rescue vehicle from Easterhouse."