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Severe weather warning

Rail services cancelled as storm blows into Scotland

Flood damageUpdate: 8.30: Commuters face more travel problems today as a severe storm sweeps in to Scotland from the Atlantic.

The Met Office has warned of 90 mph winds as Storm Gertrude hits the west coast. Weather warnings have been issued for much of Scotland until 5pm. The Forth and Tay road bridges have been closed. The Kessock Bridge has reopened to cars. The Skye and Erskine Bridges are closed to high-sided vehicles.

More than 7,000 homes have lost electricity, according to ScottishHydro. Wind speeds of up to 132mph have been recorded on Cairngorm.

Schools in the Western Isles are closed and some businesses are also likely to shut up shop until the storm passes. There are some concerns that flooding may return to some areas.

Conditions will result in disruption to rail services and a number will be withdrawn as a safety precaution.

No trains are expected to run on the following lines from start of service until late afternoon:

  • Inverness-Kyle/Thurso/Wick
  • Perth-Inverness
  • Glasgow-Oban/Fort William/Mallaig
  • Dumbarton Central-Helensburgh Central
  • Kilmarnock-Stranraer (services will operate between Glasgow Central and Kilmarnock)
  • Kilwinning-Ardrossan/Largs (services will operate between Glasgow Central and Kilwinning
  • Ayr-Girvan
  • Glasgow Queen Street – Dunblane

 The following services will reduce in frequency:

  • Edinburgh-Glasgow (via Falkirk High) will operate half hourly
  •  Edinburgh-Glasgow (via Falkirk High) will operate half hourly

These routes are likely to bear the brunt of the winds of up to 90mph – high tides forecast to hit the north and west of Scotland over the next 48 hours.

Due to the extreme weather, bus replacements are expected to be extremely limited.

For safety reasons ScotRail says it will be necessary to inspect the above rail lines for damage before reintroducing train travel.

While this work will be done as quickly as possible, it will not commence until after the peak of the storm has passed.

ScotRail train WaverleyPhil Verster, ScotRail Alliance managing director, said: “We will be withdrawing some services until the worst of the storm has passed.

“The safety of our passengers and workforce is our top priority and we cannot run services on these lines until our engineers have thoroughly inspected the network for any damage.

“In order to get the most up to date information about their journey, customers should check our website or app before setting out to travel. Leaving more time for travel is also advised.

“We will be monitoring the weather conditions closely throughout the day and have specialist teams ready to deploy quickly to deal with any issues caused by the storm.

“We are also working closely with our industry partners to limit disruption while maintaining a safe network for passengers.”

Other lines and services are scheduled to operate normally, but ScotRail warns that the extreme conditions may cause damage elsewhere and passengers should allow extra travel time, or consider postponing any non-essential trips.

The ScotRail Alliance will have hundreds of engineers out across the country ready to react quickly to any problems identified on the lines – removing trees and fixing damaged equipment such as overhead electric power lines and signals.

Customers who have purchased a ticket for today (29 January), can travel on relevant ScotRail services up to and including Friday 5 February.

For those with weekly or longer season tickets who cannot complete their journey today (29 January) as a result of cancelled or part-cancelled services, ScotRail will add an extra day onto season tickets.  More details will be confirmed in due course.

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