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Storm Jocelyn will spark second rail network shutdown on Tuesday, warns Network Rail Scotland

By Philip Murray

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A ScotRail train on the Far North Line at Inverness Railway Station. Picture Gary Anthony.
A ScotRail train on the Far North Line at Inverness Railway Station. Picture Gary Anthony.

Further serious railway disruption is expected on Tuesday and Wednesday, after railway engineers announced plans to shutdown Scotland's network when Storm Jocelyn arrives.

The Highland network has remained closed throughout Monday after Storm Isha brought extreme winds to the far north and forced the shutdown of the entire Scottish rail network.

But while engineers have been gradually able to reopen a number of tracks over the course of Monday the various Highland lines were still closed at the time of writing.

And if and when they reopen they will shut down at 7pm on Tuesday evening with the arrival of Storm Jocelyn.

Confirming the plans for the second shutdown in as many days, a statement Network Rail Scotland posted to its Twitter feed said: "We’ve just caught up with industry colleagues on an Extreme Weather Action Teleconference. Our weather specialists updated us on tomorrow’s named storm – Storm Jocelyn. It’ll bring more sustained 60-65mph winds and extremely heavy rain to Scotland.

"Given the extraordinary number of incidents caused by the ferocity of Storm Isha, and the likelihood of more damage to our railway as Storm Jocelyn follows so closely behind, we’ve taken the decision to shut down all passenger and freight services from 7pm tomorrow (Tuesday).

"Trains still running at 7pm will complete their journey at a reduced speed, and lines will remain closed on Wednesday morning until our engineers inspect tracks for damage and fallen trees or debris. This means services will start up later, like today.

"Our Integrated Control team has taken this decision to keep passengers and our people safe. We’re working with our train operators now on the details of this plan, and we’ll share more information as soon as we can."

Meanwhile, in an update shortly after 4pm on Monday, Network Rail Scotland confirmed the various sections of track which have so far been able to open after inspections and line obstructions were cleared.

None of those lines listed were located in the Highlands.

The full list of reopened tracks was as follows:

  • East Coast Mainline
  • West Coast Mainline
  • Aberdeen–Dundee
  • Perth–Dundee
  • Perth–Stirling
  • Dundee–Edinburgh via Kirkaldy
  • Edinburgh–Tweedbank
  • Edinburgh–North Berwick
  • Glasgow Central–Prestwick
  • Ardrossan Harbour–Glasgow Central
  • Largs–Glasgow Central
  • Glasgow Central –Paisley Canal
  • Glasgow Central–Barrhead
  • Ayr–Prestwick
  • Bathgate–Edinburgh.

Liam Sumpter, route director, Network Rail Scotland, said: “Storm Isha has caused a huge amount of damage across Scotland’s Railway.

“My thanks go to our teams, who’ve been working around-the-clock to remove fallen trees and debris while carrying out both minor and major repairs to damaged infrastructure.

“While we are continuing to re-open routes when it is safe to do so, we unfortunately expect even more disruption in the coming days as Storm Jocelyn arrives in Scotland.

“If you’re planning on travelling by train this week, please check the status of your journey with your train operator.

“We’re also urging lineside neighbours to make sure that garden furniture and equipment is secure as in high winds, this can blow on to the railway, causing damage and disruption.”

For more information on any changes to services, check www.nationalrail.co.uk or with individual train operators.

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