Some train services in Scotland will cease running early this afternoon, Wednesday 16th February, as a safety precaution due to a forecast of heavy rain and high winds being brought in by Storm Dudley.
ScotRail will wind down domestic rail services by 4 pm today, when the worst of the storm is expected to sweep across Scotland.
ScotRail services on the Far North, Kyle of Lochalsh, and Aberdeen-Inverness lines will continue to run. Some cross-border services will also run but at reduced speeds.
Due to the strength of the wind, there is a likelihood that infrastructure could be damaged, with debris and trees blown onto tracks and damaging equipment such as overhead electric power lines and signals.
Network Rail will deploy additional engineers across the network ready to react to problems. They will check all affected lines for damage as quickly as possible before services are reintroduced.
On some lines, the disruption is expected to continue until mid-morning tomorrow, Thursday, 17th February, and passengers should check their journey before travelling. Information on any changes to services can be obtained at http://www.nationalrail.co.uk or with individual train operators.
Storm Eunice is expected to hit Scotland on Friday, 18th February, causing further significant weather problems over most of the country, and Network Rail’s weather specialists will be monitoring the conditions.
Passengers intending to travel over the course of the weekend are urged to check their journey before travelling.
Liam Sumpter, Network Rail route director for Scotland, said: “Storm Dudley has the potential to cause significant disruption to our infrastructure blowing trees onto tracks and damaging equipment.
“We will be working hard on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning to respond to any issues caused by Storm Dudley and will reintroduce services as soon as lines are inspected for damage and we are sure it is safe to do so.”
David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “We know the impact that the earlier withdrawal of services will have on customers but it’s a necessary step to ensure the safety of our staff and customers due to the severe weather.
“If you have to travel tomorrow (Wednesday), please check the ScotRail app or website before heading to the station. With services being withdrawn in the early afternoon, we’d ask all customers to carefully plan ahead.”