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Rail network prepares for Storm Gertrude

Posted: 28th January 2016

•Limited service withdrawals announced for Friday as winds of up to 90mph forecast to hit railway.
• Engineers preparing to deploy across the network to inspect lines, repair damage and reopen routes as quickly as possible.

Due to the severe weather conditions forecast for Friday (January 29) a limited number of train services will be withdrawn in Scotland from the start of service tomorrow as a safety precaution.
No trains are expected to run on the following lines from start of service until late afternoon:

• Inverness-Kyle/Thurso/Wick
• Perth-Inverness
• Glasgow-Oban/Fort William/Mallaig
• Dumbarton Central-Helensburgh Central
• Kilmarnock-Stranraer (services will operate between Glasgow Central and Kilmarnock)
• Kilwinning-Ardrossan/Largs (services will operate between Glasgow Central and Kilwinning
• Ayr-Girvan
• Glasgow Queen Street – Dunblane

The following services will reduce in frequency:

• Edinburgh-Glasgow (via Falkirk High) will operate half hourly
• Edinburgh-Dunblane will operate hourly

These routes are likely to bear the brunt of the winds of up to 90mph – high tides forecast to hit the north and west of Scotland over the next 48 hours.

Due to the extreme weather, bus replacements are expected to be extremely limited.

For safety reasons it will be necessary to inspect the above rail lines for damage before reintroducing train travel.

While this work will be done as quickly as possible, it will not commence until after the peak of the storm has passed.

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.

“In order to get the most up to date information about their journey, customers should check our website or app before setting out to travel. Leaving more time for travel is also advised.

“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 and services are scheduled to operate normally tomorrow, but the extreme conditions may cause damage elsewhere and passengers should allow extra travel time, or consider postponing any non-essential trips.

The ScotRail Alliance will have hundreds of engineers out across the country ready to react quickly to any problems identified on the lines – removing trees and fixing damaged equipment such as overhead electric power lines and signals.

Customers who have purchased a ticket for 29 January, can travel on relevant ScotRail services from today (28 Jan) up to and including Friday 5 February.

For those with weekly or longer season tickets who cannot complete their journey on 29 January as a result of cancelled or part-cancelled services, ScotRail will add an extra day onto season tickets. More details will be confirmed in due course.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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