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Raft of cancellations as Storm Gertrude batters Scotland

Train services are being withdrawn across Scottish routes which are likely to bear the brunt of 90mph winds as Storm Gertrude starts to hit.

ScotRail has already announced that it will be pulling trains from a number of key lines, while hundreds of engineers prepare to deploy across the network to inspect tracks and repair damages. With the strength of the winds, it is likely that the storm will blow debris and trees onto tracks and damage equipment such as overhead electric power lines and signals.

Inspection works to recover infrastructure damages will begin at around 10am today (29 January), after the height of the storm has passed.

The operator is also reducing service frequency on two of its most important links, Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk High (now half-hourly) and to Dunblane (now hourly).

Routes that will be affected include:

  • Inverness-Kyle/Thurso/Wick
  • Perth-Inverness
  • Glasgow-Oban/Fort William/Mallaig
  • Dumbarton Central-Helensburgh Central
  • Kilmarnock-Stanraer
  • Kilwinning-Ardrossan/Largs
  • Ayr-Girvan
  • Glasgow Queen Street-Dunblane

Phil 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.

“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 are scheduled to operate normally, but extreme conditions could still cause damage elsewhere and passengers are being advised to avoid non-essential trips altogether.

Storm Gertrude is the latest in a string of repeated storms since before Christmas, most of which have brought disruption to the rail network in Scotland and across the north of England.

Floods have already shut down the northern section of the West Coast Main Line, which only returned to full speed on 21 December, battered the line between Newcastle and Carlisle, and closed the vital Lamington Viaduct, which is only expected to reopen in early March. RAIB has also decided to investigate Network Rail’s actions and processes after Storm Frank’s destructive impact of the viaduct.

(Top image: ScotRail train speeding through Leuchars station, credit Andrew Bowden, Flickr)


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