Extreme rainfall brings speed restrictions to Scotland’s Railway

Speed restrictions have been put in place in place on Scotland’s Railway as high winds and heavy rain have hit the west coast.

Network Rail set the restrictions to help keep passengers and staff safe.

The following routes are affected:

  • West Highland Line
  • West Coast Main Line
  • Inverness – Kyle of Lochalsh
  • Kilmarnock – Carlisle via Dumfries

ScotRail is operating an emergency timetable between Glasgow Queen Street – Oban, Fort William – Mallaig, Inverness – Kyle of Lochalsh, and Glasgow Central – Carlisle via Dumfries. This takes into account the extended journey times expected as trains run at a reduced speed.

Caledonian Sleeper journey times have also been extended on services to and from Fort William.

Scotland’s Railway’s specialist weather forecasters have predicted 20-30mm of rain will fall across most of Scotland between Tuesday 19 September and Wednesday 20 September, but most of the West Highland Line will see up to 55mm of rain. 

Winds of up to 55mph are expected across the southern half of Scotland and additional frontline teams will be deployed across the railway to respond quickly if needed.

The changes have been made for safety reasons as high winds can blow trees and debris on to the tracks and cause damage to overhead power lines, while heavy rain can lead to flooding.

Liam Sumpter, Route Director, Network Rail Scotland, said: “With extreme rainfall and strong winds arriving later today, there will be some disruption on Scotland’s Railway.

“For safety reasons, we need to impose speed restrictions on areas of the West Highland Line, Kyle of Lochalsh Line, West Coast Main Line and Kilmarnock – Carlisle.

“We have additional frontline teams working to check flood pumps and remove any debris on or near the railway. Our control room team will also be monitoring the weather in real-time and if conditions improve, we’ll remove the speed restrictions sooner.”

Image credit: Network Rail

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