With winds of up to 90mph expected to hit the West coast of Scotland from early afternoon tomorrow – and snow expected across the country from tonight – a limited number of train services will be withdrawn from noon on Wednesday, January 14.
No trains will run on the following lines from noon tomorrow until 18:00 on Thursday, January 15.
* Dumbarton Central-Helensburgh Central
* Glasgow-Oban/Fort William/Mallaig
For safety reasons it will be necessary to inspect the above rail lines for damage before allowing passengers to travel on these routes.
At this time, all other lines and services are scheduled to operate normally tomorrow and Thursday.
Due to the adverse weather conditions, however, all passengers should allow extra time for their journeys and check their line is open before travelling.
Network Rail will have hundreds of staff working over the course of the storm to keep lines open and repair damage caused by the weather as quickly as possible. Our fleet of snow ploughs and our snow clearing train are also ready to deploy to clear routes for passengers.
With the strength of the winds expected, railway infrastructure could be damaged as severe winds can blow debris and trees onto tracks and damage equipment such as overhead electric power lines and signals. High winds can also cause snow drifts to build up on more exposed sections of track.
David Dickson, Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, said: “Safety has to be our first consideration during severe weather. We will be monitoring conditions on the ground closely throughout the night and into the morning and will have teams in place across the country to react quickly to any damage caused by the weather.
“Where conditions are predicted to be most severe, we have agreed to withdraw a limited number of services until the worst of the storms have passed.
“During periods of snow and extreme cold we use a number of measures to keep the network open including insulated points heaters to prevent freezing, snow ploughs to remove drifts and our snow train which uses hot air blowers and steam to thaw frozen parts of the network.
“Our teams are out on the network and will be working around the clock to keep the tracks clear.”
Fort William Sleeper services will be impacted on Wednesday night. Buses will replace Sleepers southbound from Fort William to Edinburgh. Also, Sleeper customers travelling northbound towards Fort William on Thursday morning will be transferred on to buses at Kingussie.